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Viewing a Video

Viewing a Video

When you find a video you want to watch, you still click it to view it. The new default viewing page is a bit different from the one you’re used to, however.

The first thing you notice is that the video player is larger than it used to be. That’s a good thing; when it comes to watching videos, bigger is always better.

There are a variety of playback controls at the bottom of the video player. You’re probably familiar with most of them. There’s the “scrubber” control that spans the viewer’s width, of course; just drag this slider left or right to move to a specific point in the video. Note that when you mouse over a point on the scrubber, you see a thumbnail of the video at that point in time. This is useful improvement over the previous scrubber, and helps you identify where you might want to go.

Figure 3 The new YouTube video player, with playback controls at the bottom.

Then there are all the controls underneath the scrubber, from left to right:

  • Play/Pause. Click to pause or resume playback.
  • Volume/Mute. Mouse over to display a volume slider, to raise or lower the volume. Click to immediately mute or unmute the sound.
  • Elapsed Time/Total Time. Displays the elapsed time on the left, and the total length of the video on the right.
  • Show/Hide Annotations. If a video has text annotations (not all videos do), click to show or hide them.
  • Captions. If a video is closed captioned (now all videos are), click to display or hide them onscreen.
  • Change Quality. By default, YouTube will try to automatically feed you the best quality picture for your viewing screen. You can, however, manually change to a different resolution by clicking the Change Quality button. Depending on the video, you may have options for 1080p HD, 720p HD, 480p, 360p, or 240p. The higher the resolution the sharper the picture, especially on larger screens. Note, however, that higher resolution videos take up more bandwidth, and may play back erratically on slower Internet connections.
  • Watch Later. Click to add this video to your Watch Later list.
  • Small/Large Player. The left icon displays what YouTube calls the small player. (This is what you see by default.) Click the right icon to display a larger video player that spans the entire top of your web browser.
  • Full Screen. For an even bigger picture, click the Full Screen button. this displays the video on your full computer screen—which is great when you’re watching in high definition (HD). Press the Esc key on your computer to exit full-screen mode.

Underneath the video player is information about the video. You see the video’s title, its channel (the person or organization that posted it), and how many total videos are in the same channel. There’s a button to subscribe to this channel, and a number that represents the total number of this channel’s subscribers. Underneath that are the thumbs up and thumbs down controls, so you can either like or dislike this video.

Glance to the right and you see a big number that tells you how many times this video has been viewed. Underneath that you can see how many likes (thumbs up) and dislikes (thumbs down) the video has received.

Figure 4 The information underneath the video player.

Underneath this informational section are even more options, organized in a series of mini-tabs. Left to right, these tabs include the following:

  • About. This is the default tab; it displays a text description of the video.
  • Share. Click to share this video via email, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media. (Click the right arrow next to the Google+ icon to view other sharable social media.)
  • Add To. Click to add this video to one of your playlists.
  • Transcript. If there’s a text transcript of this video, click to view it.
  • Statistics. Click to view basic performance statistics for this video—views, engagement, audience demographics, and the like.
  • Report. Click to report this video as in violation of YouTube guidelines. You can report a video for including sexual content, violent or repulsive content, hateful or abusive content, harmful dangerous acts, child abuse, spam or misleading content, or if it infringes your rights in any way.

Figure 5 The Share tab; click to share this video via various social media.

In addition to all that, you can expand the left sidebar to display a variety of navigational options. Click the top icon on the top left to display the same navigational sidebar found on YouTube’s home page. Click the bottom icon to display more videos from this channel.

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