Let’s get right to it: smart people have gone and made free (and completely safe and legal) apps that you can stick in your internet browser, which make the experience of watching YouTube better, easier and smoother. The things these apps change are subtle, but awesome. You don’t have to worry about them breaking your computer either, because they’re all totally permitted to exist by Google itself (which of course owns YouTube).
Here’s How To Install Them
The things we’re dealing with today are called ‘plug-ins’ – these are basically just new features that you can add to your web browser. The ones we’re focusing on are built for Google Chrome (which is the fastest browser by the way and the one you should be using anyway), which has a special store for them – sort of like the app store, except everything is free.
So here’s what gonna happen. I’m going to tell you how awesome this plug-ins are, then I’m going to give you some handy links that you can click. The links will take you straight to the chrome store, then all you have to do is click ‘add to chrome’ and they’ll be installed in seconds! Easy! Now, let’s have a look at our personal favourites:
1. Sideplayer Let’s You Watch Your YouTube Video In Any Tab
Sideplayer is an awesome free plug-in that gives you a new button when watching videos. This button appears, as if by magic, on all your YouTube videos. This is what the corner of your videos will now look like:
It’s the button on the far right. Once you click it, your YouTube video pops out onto the screen. You can then move the little video around your screen freely, as well as making it whatever size you like. On top of this, the little video will travel with you if you switch tabs, meaning you can watch YouTube while looking at other websites. Like this:
As you can see, I’m watching Dan Howell while I’m on wetheunicorns.com. I’ve also moved the player to near the middle of the screen – because you can drag it to wherever you want.
All in all, it just works like magic – and you can get it totally free, from here.
2. Magic Actions Makes YouTube Way Smoother To Use
Magic Actions is a plug-in that’s sort of a bag of treats. Once you get it, you have a load of new features available to you, but you can pick and choose which ones you want in the settings.
Let me show you what’s on offer. Here I am, watching a sweet video by Markiplier:
The eagle-eyed among you will see that there is a new bar of buttons that are sitting below the video. These buttons include:
- The ability to have the video replay itself when it reaches the end (like the replay setting on an MP3 player).
- The ability to have your videos always automatically play in HD
- The ability to instantly take a screenshot of only what’s onscreen in the video. Like this:
- The ability to automatically add filters to the video (as it’s playing), including black and white:
Or even upside-down:
- And the ability to enter ‘cinema mode’:
Oooooh cinematic! You can Magic Actions for free right here!
Note: Magic Actions also features a built in ad-blocker. It’s up to you whether or not you use it, but remember that Ad-blockers are generally disliked by YouTubers. If you want to read more about the controversy surrounding ads and ad-blocking, check out an article we recently wrote about it: here.
3. YouTube SmartPause Pauses Your YouTube In A Smart Way
Last up we have an app that is really simple and really sweet. Smartpause will pause your YouTube video when you flip to a different tab – and then resume it when you come back! This is super useful for those of us who tend to have 10 – 10,000 YuTube tabs open at once (i.e: all of us).
Get it here!