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We all know what YouTube is, right? You log in, watch three hours of cat videos and funny fails, then realize you’ve not even started on that report that’s due first thing in the morning.
I’m not interested in helping you write the report — but I am interested in helping you squeeze even more video content into your three-hour binge. We have helped you improve your YouTube experience before.
Again, here are eight awesome YouTube tricks to help take your viewing experience to the next level.
1. Move One Frame at a Time
Why should you need to move forward or backward by a single frame at a time?
Well, some content creators have an annoying habit of flashing up messages or images for a split second. Or perhaps you’re trying to grab the perfect screenshot of a video for using elsewhere.
Be honest, how much time have you spent pausing and un-pausing videos, trying to get it to stop at the exact moment you need?
You won’t have to anymore. Pause the video and use the Comma and Period keys to move forward and backward frame-by-frame.
Note: This only works on PC/Mac. If you’re on mobile or streaming to a TV, you’re out of luck.
2. Community Posts
Okay, I lied. YouTube isn’t all about videos. Not anymore.
In September 2016, YouTube launched its new “Community” feature. It gives content creators an alternative way to interact with their audiences. They can post GIFs, live video, text, images, and more. As a viewer, you can comment on and like/dislike the posts.
Now, YouTube has limited the feature to some of the most influential producers, but it’ll soon roll out to everyone.
If you want to see the feature in action, navigate to a channel and click on the new Community tab. Check out how ASAPScience’s Community page looks in the image below:
3. Accurate Keyword Searching
With more than a billion videos already uploaded and an estimated 300 hours being added every minute, it’s not always easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.
We’ve all searched for a long time and had to click through countless pages just to find the video we want. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Add allintitle: before your search term. YouTube will only show results that include all your keywords. Look at the difference in the number of matches in my two examples.
4. Other Useful Hotkeys
I love the frame-by-frame hotkeys, but there are a few other useful ones you need to know about:
- K — Pause
- J — Rewind 10 seconds
- L — Fast-forward 10 seconds
- M — Mute
- 0 (zero) — Jump to the start of a video
- 1 to 9 — Jump to 10% to 90% of the video
5. Slow Tutorials Down
Why do some people who make tutorial videos go so fast? Surely, they realize if you’re watching their content it means you’re not an expert in the subject matter and you need a slower pace?
Put the brakes on by slowing down the video’s speed. Click the gear icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the video window and select Speed. You can drop the speed as low as 25%.
This trick is particularly useful for visual tutorials. If you’re watching how to tie a tie or make an origami crane, it’ll let you see all the little nuances in much more detail.
6. YouTube TV
You probably knew you could cast YouTube to your smart TV or media streaming stick, but did you know you can get the same experience on your computer screen?
It’s easy to navigate and looks more professional. If you want to run YouTube in a public setting, perhaps for a presentation or in a bar/restaurant, it’s much better.
To use it, just go to youtube.com/tv and follow the on-screen sign-in instructions.
7. Personalized Video Feed
For such a popular website, the YouTube homepage is a bit of a mess.
At the top, you’re presented with recommended videos YouTube thinks you want to watch based on your viewing history. They can be hit and miss.
Scroll down and you’ll be shown some of your channels interspersed with other recommended topics and/or channels. The recommendations are frequently lousy, and there doesn’t appear to be any logic to how videos are ordered under channels. It’ll even prompt you re-watch videos you’ve already seen.
The solution is to use the Subscriptions tab. Click Subscriptions in the left-hand panel and you’ll be taken to a chronological list of all the videos released by all the channels you subscribe to.
8. Never Miss a Video
Even if you’re using the Subscriptions tab, you’re still liable to miss content from your favorite producers. The problem is especially acute if you subscribe to hundreds of channels. You’ll be scrolling down forever just to find something worthwhile.
Save yourself the hassle and use video notifications. They’re easy to set up. Navigate to the channel you want notifications for and click on the bell icon next to the Subscribe button in the top right-hand corner. Mark the checkbox and you’re ready to go; the site will alert you every time something new is published.
To further customize your notifications, click your avatar, hit the gear icon, and go to the Notification tab. You can choose how you want to receive your alerts (push and/or email), enable desktop notifications via Chrome, and customize your email preferences.
Share Your Favorite YouTube Tricks
The nature of YouTube means there are literally hundreds of nifty tricks and clever features for you to take advantage of.
I’ve shared eight of my personal favorites, but I’d love to hear yours. What shortcut do you keep using? Is there a setting which significantly alters your viewing experience?
As ever, you can leave all your tips and recommendations in the comments section below.
Image Credits: Microgen/Shutterstock