YouTube expert tips: Easier ways to enjoy Web videos

Some of the best tips we've found for YouTube "superusers"

YouTube is a great place to watch the funny viral video du jour. But it can be a lot more than that. If you love preparing and sharing your own video creations, for instance, YouTube has lots of tips and tools to help you do it with ease. Even if you just want to learn to find and watch groups of videos with minimal hassle, YouTube has what you need. Following are some of the best tips we've found for YouTube "superusers."

Download videos for your portable device: If you have an Internet connection, YouTube delivers videos reliably. But when it comes to watching a YouTube video on your iPod, things get dicier. Here's how to ensure a smooth transfer: Add 'kick' to the beginning of the URL of the video you'd like to download (for example, 'kickyoutube.com/watch/?v=ZEigvdbzia8'). When you get to the site, select the file type your device supports, and let the KickYouTube site take care of everything else.

Make and Share QuickLists: To optimize your YouTube viewing, get to know the service's QuickList feature. With it you can queue up video after video for a continuous flow of YouTube goodness. You can even save a QuickList and share it with a friend. To get started adding videos to a QuickList, click the + icon on the bottom left of any video thumbnail.

Protect your privacy: Every so often, through a cruel turn of Internet fate, a seemingly private video becomes the object of amusement for millions of YouTube-viewing strangers. To avoid becoming the next Star Wars kid, keep a close eye on the Privacy setting (public or private) when you upload a new video. For fine-grained privacy options, point your browser to www.youtube.com/account#privacy/search. There you can control who may see your YouTube channel (your channel is like your user homepage), what browsing activity YouTube displays in the Recent Activity section of your channel, and how other users can find and contact you.

Hide inane comments: When you stop in at YouTube, you'd appreciate a little civility. Unfortunately, many YouTube commenters have the manners--and the writing skills--of a marmoset. The YouTube Comment Snob, a Firefox extension, filters comments to hide those containing too many misspellings, all caps, no caps, excessive punctuation, or profanity.

Play back high-quality videos by default: It's great to be able to watch virtually any YouTube video in High Quality, but it's a pain to switch each one to 'HQ'. If your connection is fast enough, make high-quality playback the default setting. Log in to YouTube, and change your playback settings by selecting I have a fast connection. Always play higher-quality video when it's available.

Streamline your uploads: Uploading a video to YouTube is easier than ever, but uploading high-quality videos can take hours. To avoid delays in your Internet browsing, save your YouTube uploads until you're ready to hit the sack. You can upload multiple videos simultaneously, and when you wake up in the morning, your new video masterpieces will be live on the site.

Developer's Choice: YouTube Subscriptions

"The yellow 'subscribe' button is on almost every YouTube page but still falls under many folks' radar. It's the way savvy YouTubers find out about the newest videos from their favorite video makers before anyone else does--and before the vids go viral. My most essential subscription: thelonelyisland."

--Brian Glick, YouTube product manager

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Adam Pash

PC World (US online)
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