Improve Your YouTube Experience With These Chrome Add-Ons

improve youtube 300   Improve Your YouTube Experience With These Chrome Add OnsIf you watch YouTube videos often, you may have developed some pretty strong preferences regarding how you like YouTube to be. Being a huge Google service, YouTube is not exactly a flexible, customizable service, but with some work and some handy add-ons, you can get rid of some YouTube annoyances, and get a YouTube experience that better matches the way you use it.

In the past, we’ve told you about ways to achieve a more cinematic YouTube experience, and we’ve listed some handy Firefox add-ons that enhance your YouTube experience. Today’s it’s Chrome’s turn. Do you use YouTube mainly to listen to music? Do you like browsing around for interesting videos? Or maybe you have a favorite list of subscriptions you stick to? No matter how you use YouTube, there are ways to make it even better than it is with useful YouTube Chrome extensions.

ChromeTunes

YouTube is a great music source, and while it’s pretty easy to find or create music playlists to listen to, the task becomes even easier with this simple extension. ChromeTunes turns YouTube into a bona fide music player, taking away the videos, the comments, the suggestions, and even the need to load youtube.com. After installing ChromeTunes, click on the red play button to start listening to YouTube music.

chromtunes 1   Improve Your YouTube Experience With These Chrome Add Ons

The ChromeTunes player has two parts: the player itself, which you can see above, and the settings layer, where you can add or remove playlists, search YouTube, and more. The player itself comes loaded with two sample playlists which you can easily move between using the bottom playlist switcher. The player comes complete with all the usual options such as repeat, shuffle, reload and share. You can also view more video information such as views count, likes, and more.

To add new playlists, either click the search and play button on the bottom right, or click the cogwheel button on the top right. From here, you can search YouTube for more playlists and add them to ChromeTunes.

chrometunes 2   Improve Your YouTube Experience With These Chrome Add Ons

Hovering over the extension’s button will reveal the name of the song currently playing, the artist, and the song’s length.

YouTube Preview

youtube preview   Improve Your YouTube Experience With These Chrome Add Ons

So you’re watching your daily dose of YouTube videos, going from one video to the next using the ever-present right sidebar. YouTube’s sidebar is a pretty good source of related and recommended videos, but as good as it is, you often find yourself clicking on videos that look promising, only to find out they’re not really what you were looking for. Sounds familiar? YouTube Preview is a handy little add-on that can help you find out more about a video just from looking at the thumbnail.

The first thing you’ll notice are the colorful green and red bars under each thumbnail. These are indicators of how popular a video is, and represent how many people liked this video out of all the users who’ve rated it. If you hover over the thumbnail, the thumbnail itself will start playing, and you’ll see a small walkthrough of the video. While it’s not like watching the full video, it’s much more informative than just seeing a static thumbnail.

Read a full review of YouTube Preview.

YouTube Options

Want to create your very own new and improved YouTube? YouTube Options has everything you need to upgrade and personalize your YouTube experience. With a few checkmarks in the right boxes, watching a video can turn from the regular page you’re used to, to something like this:

outube options 1   Improve Your YouTube Experience With These Chrome Add Ons

That’s right, no comments, so suggestions, to counters – not even a white background. With YouTube Options, you can control every aspect of YouTube you can possibly think of, from ads, annotations and comments to playback, background and layout. To start playing around, access the add-on’s options through Chrome’s Extensions menu.

youtube options 2   Improve Your YouTube Experience With These Chrome Add Ons

And best of all, YouTube options doesn’t work solely with YouTube – you can apply your favorite settings to other video websites such as Vimeo, Dailymotion, Metacafe and others.

Read a full review of YouTube options.

YouTube Video Deck

youtube video deck 15   Improve Your YouTube Experience With These Chrome Add Ons

Are you a subscription fiend? If you have many subscriptions on YouTube, keeping track of them all can become somewhat tiresome. YouTube Video Deck is a Chrome app that brings all your YouTube subscriptions under one roof – sort of like Google Reader for YouTube subscriptions. After logging in, you can add all or only some of your subscriptions, and receive notifications when a new video is uploaded.

You can set up the layout to your liking, and check the app every time you’re bored for the newest fixes from your favorite YouTube accounts.

youtube video deck   Improve Your YouTube Experience With These Chrome Add Ons

The app is ad-supported, and you can choose to see ads either at the bottom or on the left. If you want to get rid of the ads, you can buy the Pro version for 1.89€ (approximately $2.50).

If you’re not using Chrome, Video Deck is also available as a Web app.

Conclusion

YouTube being as popular as it is, there are endless ways to customize it, upgrade it and generally make it better. Have a favorite way to enhance your YouTube experience? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Image credit: circle image via Shutterstock

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13 Comments -

Chase Hainey

I am not the biggest YouTube person. I wait until other people share funny videos. I don’t like to have to wade through heaps of videos to find a gem. Maybe this will help! Thanks!

Florin Ardelian

Wow, YouTube preview has come a long way. I tried it a couple of years ago in Firefox, if I’m not mistaking and it was quite unstable. Thanks for reminding me about it!

Jeffrey Zabala

This is my fav Chrome add-on that enhance my Youtube experience.

Turn off the lights (darkens area surrounding the video. Works outside of youtube as well)
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/turn-off-the-lights/labjanboighjienkhiabgpefblkbmemd?hl=en-US&utm_source=chrome-ntp-launcher

Vinh

YouTube Preview is easily one of the more useful add-ons for YouTube. Goodbye videos with a fake thumbnail!

Austin Beatty

Those are some pretty nice looking ones, but I’ll add to the list my personal favorite, Youtube Center. http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/114002

It comes with all sorts of useful options and additions, and will work with the 3 “good” browsers (maybe more too): Chrome, Firefox, and Opera (though I haven’t tested in Opera)

(Somehow I got logged out before posting. If my other post shows up, you can delete it)

Yaara Lancet

All’s good with the comments. :) Thanks for the suggestion!

Ashwin Ramesh

Real nice suggestions. Thanks Yaara!

prashanth singh rathore

Great Add ons but is there any add on that is use to block the advertisment in youtube ……!!

Elizabeth

Is there any way to install Disqus comments on YouTube? I know it’s possible with Blogger but somehow I don’t think it’s the same with YouTube. If anyone knows of a workaround or a “hack” please let me know.

Yaara Lancet

I doubt there’s an easy way to do that if at all. YouTube is not meant to be your personal blog, so Google has much more control over the interface than on Blogger.

harley bellwood

I use YouTube all the time, these are great ideas.