With over six billion videos watched every month, there’s no doubt about who the king of online video streaming is. YouTube is awesome. But it can be even more awesome, if you know the right sites and apps to make it better.
The developers at YouTube work hard to make apps that improve your experience. But there’s only so much they can do. The fans are the ones who really take YouTube to new levels. From finding videos which have never been watched before to making it easier to build playlists, there’s something for everyone here.
1. YouTube Go (Android): Download Videos and Save Data
There are hundreds of ways to download YouTube videos to your hard drive, but this is the first official app to let you do that. Google launched YouTube Go a few months ago in India, with the aim to make YouTube access easier for those on slow or limited internet plans.
YouTube Go lets users download videos in different qualities, thus saving data. It also shows previews of videos, which lets a user scan the whole clip without having to stream or download it. The best part, perhaps, is that you can share YouTube videos with others on the YouTube Go app without using any data.
The app is now available for anyone to download on the Play Store, although be warned that it is still in its testing phase. Instead, you might need to manually install or side-load the app on Android by getting the APK file linked below.
Download — YouTube Go for Android (Free)
Download — YouTube Go APK from APK Mirror
2. Tubelister (Chrome): Turn YouTube Tabs Into Single Playlist
Oh Tubelister, where have you been all my life? This right here is perhaps the most important Chrome extension for anyone who loves YouTube. In a nutshell, it will take all your open YouTube tabs and turn it into a single playlist.
Most people open several YouTube tabs in the course of a browsing session. Not only does that slow down your browser, but you might just miss a video or two. Instead, get Tubelister and click the icon. All your tabs will be turned into a YouTube playlist, starting from the first to the last tab.
The playlist won’t be automatically saved, so doing that will be up to you if you want to keep it for posterity. Think of it like OneTab for YouTube.
Download — Tubelister for Chrome (Free)
3. QueueTube (Chrome): Search YouTube Without Stopping Videos
The biggest problem with YouTube is that if you are watching a video, you can’t search for more videos in the same tab. Do that and YouTube will stop the video to take you to a new page with the search results. Opening a new tab with YouTube messes with your flow. This is why you need QueueTube.
With QueueTube, search results appear in the right-side pane where you usually see related videos. This way, you can continue searching for new things on YouTube and adding them to your playlist, without ever pausing your video.
It’s one of the best extensions for Chrome, and it also works on any Chromium-based browser. So you can install the extension in Opera and other browsers too.
Download — QueueTube for Chrome (Free)
4. DJ2Q (Web): Collaborative Party Playlists
Speaking of playlists, YouTube doesn’t let you share and collaborate on playlists. It’s a tad annoying, especially when you consider that YouTube can be the most powerful music player out there. Like with everything, there’s a way around that.
DJ2Q is the best way to make a shared playlist for a party. Create your own room with a title, and start adding videos. Share the link with anyone you want, and your friends will add their own videos to the playlist.
The host has full control over playback, and the songs play only from the host’s speakers, no one else’s. For anyone else with the link, they just get to add songs. It’s exceptionally easy to use, which is the hallmark of a great app to share music playlists.
Note: In testing, we couldn’t add songs to the playlist once we signed in with our Facebook accounts. Our advice is to not login with Facebook and just use the app anonymously.
5. Astronaut.io (Web): Be the First to Watch a Video
While you might want more views on YouTube videos, that’s not the case with everyone. Regular people upload a lot of videos on YouTube. Not all of them are perfectly labelled, many aren’t even shared. So for such videos with zero views, you can be the first to see them.
There is something cool about being the first person in the world to watch this video. Astronaut.io is kind of like an art project. It finds videos uploaded the past week which have generic names and zero views. Each video plays for a few seconds, and then it switches to the next one. It’s a unique way of browsing YouTube, and frankly, it’s a little relaxing in an odd way.
We’ve featured some interesting ways to watch YouTube without going to YouTube, but Astronaut.io is a completely new experience. Don’t miss this one.
How Have You Improved YouTube?
Is there any must-have app, extension, or website that you use regularly to make YouTube better? If you use any of these apps already, we’d like to know any tips you might have.
Let’s talk in the comments.