When I first decided to write this post, I did a bit of searching: how many videos are there on the Internet? That’s a number I couldn’t find, but I did come across some pretty staggering data:
- In March 2008, 11.5 BILLION videos were watched by U.S. Internet users alone. 1 month, 1 nation, 11.5 billion views.
- Those numbers broke down as such- 139 million viewers watching 83 videos apiece.
- The average online video viewer watches 235 minutes of video per month
Long story short, online video accounts for a huge portion of time spent by Internet users, both in the United States and abroad. There are, however, things about online video I truly hate, and I’m going to help you avoid them.
The thing I dislike the most about online video is that it is the only thing I can do. Sites like YouTube, Google Video and the like force you to single-task. I can’t start a video and then go somewhere else, or multi-task with another site while I’m watching the video. Doing so would require a new window, resizing, etc.- just a pain. To solve this, I’ve found a great Firefox extension called YouPlayer. Essentially what YouPlayer does is play your videos in the sidebar. MakeUseOf, one of my favorite blogs, did a great piece about YouPlayer that you can read here.
I love YouPlayer for two reasons: One, the fact that videos play in the sidebar. That allows you to do other things while your videos play, and it reserves a set portion of the screen for the video while allowing you to use the rest of the screen for other things. The second thing that sold me on YouPlayer was the ability to create playlists from around the web. I’m often watching one video, and find another that looks cool. With YouPlayer, you can drag links to the sidebar and watch the videos in order without having to open and close browser tabs, navigate websites, and generally engage in tom-foolery.
To install the YouPlayer extension, go here.
My other beef with online video is that there’s just too darn many video sites out there. YouTube, Google, Vimeo, FunnyorDie, Blip, HolyLemon, Revver… the list just goes on and on. Though most of them are located on a few sites, there are different videos all over the Web. There just isn’t time to search all the different sites for the videos you’re looking for. Luckily, MetaTube has created a great search engine for video sites.
Online video is a phenomenon that is really here to stay, and one that will continue to improve. With MetaTube and YouPlayer, you can make finding and watching the infinite number of videos easy, fun, and actually worth your while.