YouTube pro

YouTube, one of Google’s most popular services and the third most popular website worldwide, offers the most features and content of any video sharing website to date. With roughly a billion unique visits every month, the company is constantly upgrading and adding features. Naturally, it is useful to know some of the tips and tricks to help improve your browsing experience.

Before watching another video, one of the first options is to opt into the HTML5 beta testing for YouTube. The setting is like a performance boost. This means less time yelling at your computer or complaining about slow internet (especially off-campus) when watching hilarious videos. This option can be enabled by going to youtube.com/HTML5 and joining the beta trials.

While many of the videos have already been encoded in this format, videos that contain ads have not yet all been converted. This feature can be enabled natively in the Chrome browser or any browser that supports HTML5, which is just about every browser available on the market.

Now that you have this performance boost for video streaming, you should know how to efficiently share your favorite videos with friends and family.

Time and time again, I receive links from friends with messages such as “go to this time and watch this part.” There’s an easier and quicker way to share the moment. Simply right-click the video at the specified time, and select the option to “copy video URL at current time.” This will allow users to share a video with a link that will go directly to the specific time, making video sharing just a little less complicated.

YouTube isn’t just meant for videos; it can also be a useful substitute for a music-streaming service. As one of the most popular music video upload sites, YouTube has virtually unlimited access to free music.

For those of you who use Pandora, Spotify or any other music streaming services, YouTube offers an alternative service called Disco. This simple-to-use interface allows people to look up songs, artists or genres and create a playlist of the searched item. The advantage of this feature is the ability to make playlists without all the commercial breaks, limited number of songs that can be skipped or data stream limit — all for free.

Another new feature for 2013 is the ability to opt out of ads. Originally, the only way to do this way to use a program such as AdBlock. Now, YouTube allows users to skip ads completely under the settings option, saving you some time when you’re on a video marathon.

These are only some of the features that help make YouTube a little friendlier to browse, but there are many more.

ALLEN GUAN can be reached at science@theaggie.org.

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