Some handy tips to help improve your video-watching experience.
YouTube gets over a billion hours of video views every day, with its user base growing day by day. With this large user base, the video platform offers a plethora of features to enhance its users' viewing experience. However, there are several tricks that are not commonly known and can help improve your video watching experience.
1. Search Smarter on YouTube – As it has a database of millions of videos, the search for YouTube often ends up showing thousands of results. One way to get better results is to use the filters provided by YouTube – tap on the filters button, and it lets you filter by upload date, type, duration, and features. The other trick is to make sure a specific keyword is not included in your search results. You can do this by simply adding the subtract sign '-'before your keyword. E.g., if you want to search for Cricket news which does not include Australia, then your search would be Cricket News –Australia on YouTube.
2. Get text transcript of the audio in any video – YouTube videos are automatically transcribed using Google's speech recognition technology, and these transcriptions are available for users. Viewing the transcript is useful when you are either watching videos without sound or unable to understand what is being spoken in the video. To access the video's transcript on a computer, click on the three dots next to the save button below the video and select the 'Open transcript' option. It will show the transcript next to the video along with the timestamp.
3. Create a video playlist to watch later – How often do you find an interesting video but cannot view it immediately due to one or the other reason? A solution to this is to create a video playlist for such videos using YouTube's Watch Later feature. Click on the three dots next to the video thumbnail in the search or on the homepage and then select the option to 'Save to Watch later". You can then view the video list by going to the 'Watch Later' queue, which can be accessed on the desktop by click on the three lines at the top left corner next to the YouTube logo. On a smartphone, you can access the watch later videos by tapping on your profile photo at the top right.
4. Improve YouTube’s video recommendations – YouTube tends to start suggesting videos based on your usage history. So even if, by mistake, you end up searching for a topic that you don't have an active interest in, YouTube would start showing recommended videos and channels on the same topic. Thankfully, you can teach YouTube not to show you non-relevant results. When you see the recommended video on your homepage, be it smartphone or computer, tap on the three dots next to the name of the video, and you will see the option to mark the video as 'Not Interested' as well as the option to 'Don't recommend channel.' This way, YouTube will stop showing your similar videos and any video from that particular channel as recommendations.
5. Auto-translate videos in other languages: YouTube has videos from across the globe, and users upload them in their native languages. If you love watching particular videos in a foreign language, e.g. animations from Japan, but don't understand Japanese, then YouTube offers a solution for that. Open the video, tap on the screen once, and then tap on the three dots to bring up the additional menu. Click on Captions, and it will give you the option to view auto-generated captions on the video in English. The translation is not 100 percent accurate, but it's good enough to get a rough idea of what is being spoken in a foreign language.
6. View videos in Virtual Reality: If you own a VR headset, YouTube gives you the option to enjoy videos in a VR mode for an immersive experience. Before placing your phone in the VR headset, open the video that you want to watch on YouTube and tap on the three dots in the top right corner. Once the options menu opens up, you need to select the option' Watch in VR,' and YouTube will automatically change the video playback in VR mode. You can then put the phone in the VR headset and enjoy watching the video. To close the VR mode, tap on the back button or click on the arrow pointing down in the video's left corner.(Karan Bajaj is a senior tech journalist based in Delhi.)