15 things you didn’t know you can do on YouTube

YouTube is overflowing, in fact, with time-saving possibilities and other advanced options—out-of-the-way features that have the potential to make the site both easier and more pleasant to use. Some of them are just faster methods of getting things accomplished, while others are valuable opportunities for claiming control over your video-viewing adventures.

1. Play with subtitles

Sure, you knew YouTube had a subtitles feature – but did you know you can tweak a whole host of features such as font and shading to best suit your viewing?

You can turn on the captions wherever you see the ‘CC’ button at the bottom right of the play window. Once turned on, hit the settings cog and head to the ‘Subtitles’ bit. From here, click ‘Options’.

You can change font, colour and size in addition to backgrounds and opacity settings.

For some neat shortcuts, with subtitles turned on hitting ‘B’ will change the colour of the background, while ‘+’ and ‘-‘ can help adjust the size of the font.

2. Create GIFs from YouTube Videos

Instead of downloading GIFs online, you can make your own GIFs from the YouTube videos. It is super simple to make the animated GIF out of a small portion of any YouTube video. You just need to open the particular YouTube video you like. Then, in the browser’s address bar, simply add the term “gif” in front of YouTube. It now reads “gif outube.com”. This site would redirect to a separate page wherein you might select around 15-second video clip out of the particular video to create the desired GIF.

3. Playback from a specific time

You can share a video with playback starting at a set time. When sharing, look out for the ‘Start at’ box.

Check it and enter a time. Or you can just add ‘?t=2m10s’ to the end of a short URL (for playback starting at 2 minutes and 10 seconds, in this example).

4. Navigate long videos

Want to skip to a particular section of a long video?

Any video over an hour in length has an easy navigation option built into the play bar. Simply grab the red circle and drag it: the video view will change to individual frames, making it much easier to centre in on a part you want to skip to.

5. Magic Actions for YouTube

Magic Actions is one of the most enhanced features of YouTube. When you add this browser extension to your YouTube address, it opens a separate settings page. On this page, you will come across a series of handy tools and features. These might include volume control with the help of your mouse scroll wheel, 4K or force HD video playback, enable cinema mode, bypass country restrictions, hide ads, and enable speed booster for enhancing the speed of video loading.

6. Karaoke YouTube

Karaoke YouTube is a great Karaoke companion. There are loads of music videos that come embedded with lyrics as subtitles.

Type a song name followed by Karaoke in the search bar of YouTube to view videos with Karaoke support. To use it as a Karaoke machine, you can connect your phone or laptop to your TV and use a mixer to attach external speakers and a microphone.If the lyrics are not present or not good, get a free browser extension called YouTube Lyrics -it will show you lyrics right next to the video.

7. Edit videos and add audio

Want to start making your own video training montage? You don’t need to start downloading fancy editing software – YouTube has its own simple video uploader tool that allows you to edit videos on the fly.

Head to www.youtube.com/editor, and from here you’ll be able to weave together multiple video sources from your computer, and add music from a library of approved tracks.

8. TV Mode on YouTube:

If you are watching YouTube videos on your laptop or computer system, then you can transform the screen into a TV mode. YouTube offers a full-screen mode of TV to enhance the watching experience of its viewers. It makes it an enrich feel if you wish to watch videos from a certain distance.

For enabling this feature on YouTube, you just need to type “http://www.youtube.com/tv” on your system’s browser. This would launch the YouTube’s TV mode. The users are provided with the option to control the TV mode as per their preferences. It can be done so with the help of the keyboard. Moreover, the TV mode also comes with a special dark theme to be soothing on the eyes in some dimly lit room. You also can search for specific videos from a myriad of different categories.

9. Keyboard shortcuts

While watching video, you can use left, right arrow keys to jump back and forward 5 seconds.

You can use ‘K’ to pause or play, ‘J’ and ‘L’ to rewind and forward by 10 seconds, F for full screen and M to mute. Updown arrows can be used to adjust volume. Number keys 1 to 9 can be used to scrub through the video (where 1 is 10% and 9 is 90%).

10. Turn off ‘Related videos’ when embedding

Wanting to embed a video on a website but don’t want a bunch of unrelated conent to pop up once it’s stopped playing?

You can find embed codes if you click ‘Share’ and follow the ‘Embed’ option – this will provide you with an iframe that can be pasted into HTML code.

11. Customize the Ads:

YouTube ads are highly unwelcomed by the audience. Nobody likes to watch them. They can pop up anywhere and at any time as the video is playing. Though there is an option of skipping the ad, still you have to watch it anyhow for a minimum of 30 seconds. While you cannot get rid of them completely, you can definitely customize them as per your watching preference.

All you need to do is to head to Ad Preference section. Here, you can remove whichever ad you do not wish to appear again during your video browsing. Not that you wouldn’t receive any more ads, still you wouldn’t have to watch the same irritating ad for the second time.

12. 360-degree videos

Playing a 360 degree on YouTube is simple. Given the availability of cheap VR headsets (like Google Cardboard and derivatives), it’s only natural for YouTube to offer 360-degree video.

There are also cameras that record video in 360 (like Ricoh’s Theta). However, if you want to upload a 360-degree video, it is not as easy as uploading a normal video.

You first need to download and install the 360 Video Metadata app from http:www.github.comgooglespatial-mediareleases (this is available for Windows and MAC). In the app, open the 360 degree from your computer and check the box that says Spherical.

13. Play panoramic videos

YouTube can now support panoramic, 360 degree and VR videos.

You can either watch them with VR headsets, such as the free Google Cardboard, or navigate them from the desktop page by dragging the camera view around with your mouse, or with the AWSD keyboard keys.

14. Comic Book Mode:

Wish to watch any video in the comic book mode? It is quite simple to do so on YouTube. You just need to add “&pow=1&nohtml5=1” line of code at the end of the video URL that you are watching. You would observe a “pow” icon added to the particular video.

You can simply click on that icon. This will convert your video into a comic book mode. If you wish to restore the normal setting of your videos, click on the “pow” icon again.

15. Ban specific words from comments sections

Looking after a comment section of your YouTube channel can be an exhausting game of “Hunt the C-bomb” – but you can make it much easier for yourself if you add particularly offensive words or comments to your channel’s ‘Blacklist’.

Log in to your channel and head to youtube.com/comment_management. Here you’ll find the ‘Blacklist’ box which you can add words or phrases to, as well as the ability to hide users who repeatedly post offensive material.

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