YouTube doesn’t expose some in-demand features on its website – including playing videos on repeat, downloading them, automatically enabling HD mode, and more. You can do all these things, but you’ll need to know these URL hacks. Most of these tricks allow you to easily do extra things on YouTube just by modifying the URL (web address) in your browser while using YouTube.
If you’re sharing videos with your friends, you can save everyone a lot of time by using YouTube’s integrated (but hidden) feature to link directly to specific times in videos. But, to really get the most out of YouTube, you’ll also need to know when to turn to third-party tools and YouTube hacks.
Repeat YouTube Videos
Almost any song you can think of is on YouTube, so it’s not surprising that many people use YouTube to play music. If there’s a song you really want to listen to, it can be annoying having to constantly Alt+Tab back to the YouTube window and hit the play button again every time it stops. YouTube doesn’t provide a built-in way of setting a video to play on repeat.
You can use a variety of websites to repeat a YouTube video, such as youtuberepeater.com. To repeat any YouTube video, go to the address bar, change the youtube.com part of the web page address to youtuberepeater.com, and the video will load on the YouTube Repeater website, repeating itself every time the video ends. You can even use the website to specify a custom stop and start time, just in case you only want to repeat specific parts of the video.
Music on YouTube isn’t necessarily unlicensed, either. Google has even taken note of all the music uploaded to YouTube and entered into licensing agreements with record companies. Even if a song on YouTube was uploaded by a YouTube user, it’s very likely that the song is properly licensed and ad revenue is being given to the artists – or at least their record labels. So don’t feel too bad about using this trick.
Link Directly To Times In a Video
Let’s say you’re watching a video on YouTube and there’s a really funny or insightful part of the video that you just have to share with your friends. You could link to the video and tell your friends to skip to a particular time in the video, but that’s more work for them. Instead, you can link directly to a specific time in a YouTube video. When anyone clicks your link, the YouTube video will load and automatically skip to the time you specify. This is ideal when sharing videos via email, instant messages, social networks, or even when linking to videos on websites.
To link directly to a time in a video, simply add &t=#m#s to the end of the URL, where the first # is a minute and the second # is a second. For example, to link to the 2:30 point in a video, you’d add &t=2m30s to the end of the video’s address.
If you don’t want to remember this trick, you can always use youtubetime.com. Provide a video address, minute, and second, and it will create the link for you.
Download YouTube Videos
YouTube doesn’t want you downloading their videos, so there isn’t a download button on YouTube. But there are good reasons you might want to download YouTube videos – perhaps you live in an area with a spotty internet connection and you want to download them to view at your own leisure, or watch them offline during airplane flights without an Internet connection.
To download a YouTube video, you’ll need to use a third-party website. One convenient one is pwnyoutube.com, which gives you links to easily download YouTube videos. While viewing any video on Youtube, change the youtube.com part of the URL in your address bar to pwnyoutube.com and the video will open on pwnyoutube.com and give you download options. You can download the video as an FLV, MP4, or even MP3 audio file.
Automatically Play Videos in HD Quality
Google’s obviously trying to save money on bandwidth because YouTube doesn’t have a setting that automatically starts playing videos back at your preferred quality setting. If you want to watch every video in 720p HD, you’ll have to change that setting each time you load a video. This can get extremely obnoxious.
To automatically play videos back in HD mode, you can install a browser extension. Whenever you start watching a video, the browser extension will do the dirty work, automatically enabling your preferred HD video quality setting for you. Chrome users can use YouTube High Definition browser extension., while Firefox users can use the
These browser extensions follow you to every YouTube video you open, so they’re better than a URL trick that would only work on a single video.
Create Video Mashups
Have you ever wanted to play multiple YouTube videos at the same time? You can’t do that directly on YouTube. By playing multiple videos at once, you can create mashups – for example, you could pair a funny cat video with Gangnam Style. Or you could combine two songs and have them play at the same time. Both videos would start playing at the same time, and you’d have a link you can send to your friends to share your mashups.
To do this, use YouTube Doubler at youtubedoubler.com. Enter the addresses of two YouTube videos on the box at the bottom of the page.
Do you have any other YouTube URL hacks and tricks to share? Leave a comment and share them!