YouTube

How to Get the Most from Video Sharing Website YouTube

Unless you've been living under a rock, you have probably heard about YouTube, and viewed and shared videos on the website. But are you aware of the benefits of logging into your YouTube account, and do you know all the YouTube tricks?

The phenomenon that is YouTube

YouTube is a website for sharing videos, and has become a phenomenon on par with Google search, and is now the third largest website beaten only by Google and Facebook.

You probably know that on YouTube you can find many videos that users have uploaded. Much of the content is short amateur videos. What you may not realize is that YouTube is also a very useful website, in many ways. In this guide you will get an overview of the possibilities.

10th Anniversary

YouTube was founded in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, colleagues who all previously worked at PayPal. YouTube beta was opened in May 2005, and YouTube was officially launched in November 2005. The website grew very rapidly during the first few months, and in July 2006 an average of 65,000 videos were uploaded to YouTube every day, with 100 million views across the site. YouTube was acquired by Google in 2006.

The first YouTube video was posted on 23 April 2005 and was called "Me at the zoo," and it shows the entrepreneurial Jawed Karim in the San Diego Zoo.

What can you expect to find on YouTube?

If you are not an active YouTube user, then perhaps you've only seen random videos found online. YouTube has become a huge resource for all various kinds of videos and we are not talking about nonsense videos that have little or no quality.

YouTube videos can be divided into various categories:

Short Videos from Users

This is perhaps what YouTube is most known for. A large part of YouTube's videos are recorded using mobile phones. Although many of these are of a very low quality, a good number do receive very high ratings. On youtube.com you can find a list of videos that are most popular right now.

Music

YouTube can also be used as a pure music service, due to the enormous list of music videos. There are quite a few programs, apps and websites that facilitate this process. Here are some examples:

Tubalr is a site that can be used to search for music you like. It provides Website searching for music on YouTube, and you can create a playlist based on your choice.

YouTube Music Key is a trial service that makes it possible to listen to music from YouTube. You can optionally submit your email address, if you want to try the service for a trial period.

Thepar is a website that collects music from YouTube. You can play music tracks directly in your browser. Very easy to use!

Fire Tube is an extension for Firefox web browser, which retrieves music from YouTube.

Streamus is an extension for Google Chrome and Opera web browsers, which arranges music from YouTube.

Movies

If you are movie enthusiast, then YouTube is an absolute goldmine. Here you will find not only shorts, but also entire full-length feature films. If you use the keyword "full movie", you will get a search result of full-length movies, but many of these may only be available for a short time due to copyright reasons.

Online Courses

Not everybody is aware of it, but YouTube is very good for various types of online courses. An example of this is NTNU open video.

Here you will find lessons from universities, research and education, and there are also different types of tutorials and do-it-yourself guides.

How do you find courses on YouTube? Use the search tool on YouTube to find the course you are looking for. It's as simple as that.

Sports

Much of what happens in sporting events around the world, also finds its way onto YouTube. You can find Sports channels at the following link youtube.com/channels/sports.

Breaking News

Many news outlets have their own channel on YouTube. You can find various news channels at the following link youtube.com/channels/news_politics.

Live Events

These are sent directly from various types of events, including press conferences and the launch of new products. You can find these by going to the YouTube channel of the current business.

YouTube Live was originally created for a live broadcast of events from San Francisco and Tokyo in 2008. Today, YouTube Live has its own web address of youtube.com/live and it now shows a list of different events that appear directly via YouTube.

Viewing videos

Youtube previously used Adobe Flash for viewing videos, and it was later added as an option to view videos with HTML5, but with Flash as the default option. As of today, however, it is HTML5 which is the default option. The change occurred in January 2015. You can check HTML5 support in your web browser by visiting address youtube.com/html5.

YouTube videos in 2007 only used one format, 320 × 240 pixels, and used a variation of compression, such as H.263 and MP3 monaural audio. All videos were shown in the aspect ratio 4:3.

In 2008 this was changed to 16:9 widescreen. In 2008, video compression changed to H.264. In 2010, YouTube videos added support for 1080p HD. Some videos also received support for viewing videos in 4K, which provides an opportunity for a resolution of 4096 × 3072 pixels. The maximum resolution of YouTube videos has since been reduced to 3840 × 2160 pixels.

Default view, cinema mode or fullscreen? You choose

You can choose how you view YouTube videos. If you want a larger size, select the Cinema mode to the right of the YouTube screen, or you can choose full screen mode from the icons in the same place. You can hover over them to see what the different options stand for.

You can change YouTube settings to always use the best video playback quality. You can set these settings via your Google account. Here you can check the Playback folder and put a checkmark by "Always choose the best quality for my Internet connection and the size of the player I use," if this setting is not already selected.

Create a YouTube account!

You may have used YouTube for a very long time and watch many videos, and even saved them to your Internet browser favourites, but if you create a YouTube account, you get a lot more benefits.

It is certainly an advantage to create a YouTube account, partly because you can then organize your favorite videos and YouTube channels.

You can create a YouTube account by clicking on "Sign in" link at the top right of the YouTube window. If you have a Google account, simply log in with your username and password. If you do not have a Google Account, you can click on "Create Account" link to register.

YouTube interface

Once you've registered on YouTube, you get the following options via the menu on the left:

My Channel. Here you get an overview of the channels you've subscribed to, and you can also access your favorite videos via Playlists.

My subscriptions. You get a list of your subscriptions, such as the YouTube channels you've subscribed to.

Log. This is your history, ie a list of videos you've previously seen, in chronological order. The last movie you saw, is at the top.

Watch later. Stores videos that you have selected via the "Watch Later" menu, which you'll see if you hover your mouse pointer over a thumbnail of a particular video in the YouTube pages.

Playlists. This is a list of your favorite videos. This is a video you have selected via the "Add" menu under each video.

Subscriptions. Here's a list of YouTube channels that you have chosen to subscribe to.

Browse channels. Here you will find YouTube channels of various types, which you can browse and optionally choose to subscribe to. Here you will find what YouTube recommends for you, and channels that are considered to be the best on YouTube. You also get a list of channels in categories such as music, film, entertainment, humor, games and sports, just to mention a few.

Favorites

You can organize your favorite videos in multiple playlists. Click the plus sign (+) under a particular video you like, and here you can either choose one of the playlists that are already in place, or you can select "Create a new playlist", enter a name for the playlist, and save the video in this playlist.

You can easily rename playlists by clicking on a specific playlist, and then click the name in the next window. This brings up a window that allows you to change the name of the playlist.

Channels

Channels are a way to organize your favorite videos. You can subscribe to channels, such as a channel of your favorite music band, a news agency or a particular YouTube user. It's easy to subscribe to a channel, you open a channel, and then click the "Subscribe" button in the top right. The selected channel is then added to "My Subscriptions" folder in the left menu.

How do you upload videos?

It is very easy to upload videos on YouTube. You log in first with your YouTube account, and then click on "Upload" link in the top right corner.

On the next page it gives you the option to select a video file or video files you want to upload. You must choose whether the video should be public or private.

Copyright

You are not allowed to upload anything on YouTube that is copyright. You are also not allowed to publish pornographic content or violent videos. You can find details on youtube.com to what you can and cannot publish.

YouTube extensions

There are quite a few extensions for your web browser, which allows you to optimize your YouTube experience.

YouTube Fast Search gives you the ability to play videos directly in the search results.

YouTube has an extension for the Firefox browser, and this provides a YouTube search tool in the browser.

Y++ is an extension for Firefox that makes it possible to play multiple videos one after another without stopping.

YouTube Video and Audio Downloader is a Firefox extension that allows you to download YouTube videos in various video formats. This extension can also be used to extract an audio file from the video.

YouTube Enhancer Plus is a Firefox extension that gives you control over YouTube. Download videos, blocks advertising, Playback videos automatically in HD format, are just some of the possibilities you get with this extension.

Magic Actions for YouTube is an extension for Chrome that allows you to get a variety of advanced YouTube features, including the possibility of auto-HD and advertising blocker.

ImprovedTube is an extension for Chrome that gives you extra YouTube features. You get Auto HD and better control of playback.

Auto HD for YouTube is an extension for Chrome that allows videos to be displayed automatically in HD.

Easy Youtube Video Downloader Express is a Firefox extension that makes it easy to download YouTube videos in high quality (1080p Full HD).

Simple YouTube to MP3 / MP4 Converter and Downloader is a Firefox extension that can be used to download YouTube videos in formats such as MP3, MP4, Ogg and WebM.

Tips and tricks

In YouTube there are quite a few tricks, which are more or less "hidden". Here are some of the most interesting ones:

Play a video over and over again

You can do this by adding "repeater" in the URL.

Example, take the original URL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM8Ss28zjcE

Then add repeater just after youtube:

http://youtuberepeater.com/watch?v=eM8Ss28zjcE

How to download a YouTube video

You can download a YouTube video by adding pwn to the URL.

Example – https://www.pwnyoutube.com/watch?v=eM8Ss28zjcE

How to unblock YouTube in your country

Some YouTube videos are blocked in some countries, and you will then get the message: "The user hasn't made this video available in your country." You can change the URL so you can view the video.

Example, take the original URL, such as - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmsyEMFYsus

Then change it so it looks just like this – https://www.youtube.com/v/UmsyEMFYsus

Jump to a specific time

You can change the YouTube address in such a way that the video starts at a particular time. The easiest way to do this is to right click on the video itself and choose "Copy video URL at current playback."

Another way is to change the URL, so the video starts after a certain number of seconds into the video. In this is example, it is 30 seconds.

This is an original URL:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzeh8PDak34

Now change it so it looks like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzeh8PDak34#t=30