I am a big fan of YouTube, just like anyone in the world who has a computer and even a somewhat reliable net connection. It is just an addicting site, with thousands of hours of video uploaded each month from some amazing submitters. Even amateurs have gained a serious legitimacy through this social media miracle, and it is one of the best examples of the power to reach global viewers in the world today.
That being said, you don't always want to have to search through the myriad of less impressive videos, random clips and bizarre uploads to find what you want. Or even to go to the main site to view content in the first place. In a time when productivity is everything, it helps to have a couple of apps that allow you to search and view YouTube videos in a more efficient way.
Firefox has really gone the distance in this regard. Many developers have created addons that enhance the YouTube experience, all with simple but impressive programs that offer unique features not provided by the main site. Even YouTube itself has gotten in on the action and created their own.
Here are five great addons that will make your YouTube viewing even better.
Podcasts, music and commentaries have a special place on YouTube. But some are not so easy to view off of the site, which is a problem. Especially if you just want a song or lecture, and you don't want the (often redundant) video that comes with it. This addon works by letting you download it in an MP3 format, effectively stripping away the visuals and offering a clean audio clip that you can then upload to devices like Zune and iPod. It even has a clipper to allow you to remove anything unwanted, like dead air, intros and ads.
This is a favorite in a world where video downloaders can be kind of sketchy. It provides a fast and clear service that is available for MP4, MP3, M4A, AAC, FLC and HD formats, all with a single click downloader and a subtle direct download button. It is easy to use and doesn't have any weird, obtrusive watermarks in the center of the video. It also works within the YouTube page itself.
Just want to get past the sometimes irritating YouTube search feature? This is from the actual site itself, and provides an enhanced search that is more customizable and direct than the original. The results are more relevant, and a lot of the bad content you want to ignore is removed. It goes back to a better Google design you find with the engine, but has been lacking on their video sharing site.
I hate flash ads, which is what led me to this plugin in the first place. But there is an additional benefit in that it doesn't play YouTube videos immediately. Which means you can open as many video tabs as you like and not have to wait for the ad or video to load and start playing before you pause it. Instead, it offers an overlap play button that requires you to activate it before anything will play. Very handy, and simply brilliant. Plus, no autoplay videos on other sites will annoy you.
Never be forced to switch the resolution of a video again. For those who prefer HD in all things, you can use this simple app to default all video settings to the highest available definition.
Do you have any YouTube addons for FireFox that you are especially fond of? Let us know in the comments.