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firefox youtube pluginYouTube is an amazing resource. It has something for everyone provided you know how to search it and find what you need. YouTube has huge educational value The Five Best Educational YouTube Channels The Five Best Educational YouTube Channels Read More , it is a great discovery tool for music lovers, it can be used for fun and to kill time (here are a few tools providing an easy lean-back experience with YouTube 3 YouTube Tools To Create An Easy Lean-Back TV Experience 3 YouTube Tools To Create An Easy Lean-Back TV Experience Read More ). The video platform has lots of possible applications. It all comes down to how you search it. I can spend hours going through search results, trying various YouTube search operators How to Search YouTube Like a PRO with Google Advanced Operators How to Search YouTube Like a PRO with Google Advanced Operators Read More as well as playing with available filtering and sorting options.

I must say, default YouTube search results page has terrible usability: you can’t preview videos, you have zero understanding if each video might be what you need and you have to scroll down again and again to scan through results.  So I’ve been searching for some browser addons to improve results and I am pretty much excited with what I was able to find. Here are my 3 best finds (tested on FireFox 4).

1. YouPop

YouPop is a Firefox addon that lets you preview or watch YouTube videos on mouse-over on any website (as well as on YouTube itself) in a popup. The popup can be dragged across the screen and resized.

firefox youtube plugin

The fun features of the addon include:

firefox youtube add on

2. GridTube

GridTube displays search result video thumbs in grid format arranged in a 2D array (which means much less scrolling through results). This, in combination with the above addon, lets you go through search results much quicker.

The extension adds three icons on the top right of the screen which help to select the appropriate display mode:

  • Grid mode with 5 videos per row,
  • Grid mode with 4 videos per row,
  • Plain list mode.

firefox youtube add on

If you have the YouPop addon installed, you are unlikely to need to click through to the actual video pages (unless you want to comment or rate it). If you do, the videos will open in a new tab by default (you can customize that behavior via the addon options).

3. YouTube User Likes/Dislikes In Search Results

Would you like to never start watching offensive or low-quality videos on YouTube? You may try using user likes and dislikes ratio information to get an idea of how dangerous the content is. Weirdly, YouTube won’t allow users to access this information from search results (it becomes visible only after you click through to the video page and start watching).

This userscript (tested on FireFox 4) lets you see user ratings right within search results. What’s more, it is compatible with the above two addons, so you can view user ratings in grid! With the userscript installed, just hover over any video in the search results and then mouse over a tiny “Rating” icon.

firefox youtube plugin

Any other tips to tweak default YouTube results? Please let us know!

Image Credit: seosmarty

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  1. Kvmhjn
    July 11, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    not working in ff4. do i need to install the first two addons for running the userscript ?

    • Ann Smarty
      July 13, 2011 at 5:19 am

      Which one exactly is not working?

      All the three addons were tested on FireFox 4, so not sure!

  2. Arif
    May 31, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I've added this plugins to my Firefox browser... really awesome...