YouTube is the most comprehensive medium of learning and entertainment. You can teach yourself a great deal through cooking, house-keeping, technology and various other channels, or you can simply watch cat videos all day.
However, there are minor annoyances that people often complain about. Most common complaints are about the layout being distracting, too much white space, and annoying advertisements that eat into your video-viewing time.
To tackle these problems, here are 8 browser add-ons for Chrome and Firefox so next time you watch YouTube videos you get the best viewing experience.
1. Enhancer for YouTube™
As the name suggests, Enhancer for YouTube™ is created to enhance your overall YouTube experience with different tweaks. Some of the notable actions it adds include the ability to control volume and playback with the mouse wheel, remove annotations automatically, loop videos, and play videos in your preferred quality.
The extension also removes ads from the YouTube player, and you can enlarge the size of the player as well. Interestingly, if you don’t like the current theme of YouTube, then this extension also lets you apply custom themes that will surely please your eyes.
2. YouTube Flash Player
Agreed that HTML5 is the future of video playback, but Flash isn’t dead yet; and for a good reason. Flash is lighter on system resources such as CPU and RAM, and it keeps buffering the video even if you stop. Therefore, on a low-end PC and slow network, Flash player allows you to view HD videos by simply letting it buffer before playing. The YouTube Flash Player extension replaces YouTube HTML5 player with the Flash player.
A simple click on the extension will let you switch the player from Flash to HTML5 and vice versa. Although do keep in mind that Flash player may not work best on your specific device, so make sure you experiment with both the players to see which one works for you best.
3. SmartVideo For YouTube
If you want to play YouTube videos in full HD but YouTube keeps kicking you in the 360p club due to your slow internet speed, then this is the extension you need. It enhances your YouTube viewing experience by giving you full control over the buffering bar and play the video in your preferred quality without any lag.
It has multiple buffer strategies, like you can make the video play when it fully buffers or let it buffer but play it whenever you like. It also has a smart buffer feature that plays the video automatically when it could be fully played without stopping.
The extension is also highly customizable and you can manage settings for both the YouTube player and embedded YouTube videos separately.
4. YouTube Plus
Another handy extension that adds a ton of new actions to enhance your YouTube viewing experience. YouTube Plus lets you play your video in a pop-out window that will float in your desired place. You can then move around and even read the comments while still keeping the video in view.
It also gives you control over the video FPS rate and you can even view the video frame-by-frame (perfect for tutorials).
The extension removes ads from all the YouTube videos, and you can blacklist channels to never come in your suggestions or search results. Some of its other features include the ability to increase player size, reverse playlist, take screenshots of videos, see total uploaded videos by a creator, save video thumbnail, and more.
Get it on Firefox
5. YouTube Control Center
As the name implies, this extension lets you control basic features of YouTube and make them autonomous. You just need to specify your preferences and the YouTube player will work as you demand.
To name some of the features you can control, you can set playback quality, default playback volume, control autoplay, control buffer bar, pause current YouTube player when another player plays, control annotation, and more.
Apart from playback, it can also hide comments, views info, buttons and video details. Furthermore, it can also block flash based advertisement, and even add custom themes to the YouTube player.
6. Video Preview
YouTube is loaded with clickbait videos. The video thumbnail suggests something really awesome, but inside there is nothing but disappointment. If you are tired of such videos wasting your time, then install Video Preview right away.
After installing the extension, you just need to hover your mouse cursor over a video’s thumbnail and it will show random pictures from it to help you get a better idea.
These pictures selected for preview span over the full duration of the video, therefore you’ll probably never fall for a clickbait again. Additionally, the extension shows the rating of the video right above their thumbnail to ensure you click on the right one.
7. Audio Only Youtube
Although YouTube is a video streaming website, but much of its content is focused on the audio. If you want to focus on listening to the audio of the video only, then Audio Only YouTube will get the job done. The extension disables the video and lets you listen only to the audio of the video.
You might think it will only hide the video, but it actually disables it and helps you save bandwidth. The developer claims it can you save up to 50% of bandwidth. It’s also easy to enable/disable the extension to watch the video or listen to the audio.
Get it on Chrome
8. ImprovedTube – YouTube Extension
ImprovedTube also adds a bunch of tweaks and controls to YouTube. It allows you to preset video quality and framerate that you think is right, and you can also expand the player to a full window size. Interestingly, it has a blue-light filter that helps you continuously watch video without any eye itching.
Some of its other notable features include the ability to hide video details, hide comments, hide related videos, set playback speed, set volume, manage autoplay, and play video in a pop-up.