If you were asked to name one of the biggest sites on the Internet, which would you choose? Google? Facebook? Twitter? How about YouTube? Started in 2005, YouTube is currently host to 100 hours of new video every minute, and 100 billion people visit the site every month. That is a truly staggering figure and just goes to show how much YouTube has infiltrated our lives. In Internet terms, the site is an absolute Godzilla.
This means of course that countless third-party tools and apps have been built around the YouTube API over the years. From downloading tools to scripts, and from analytics to trends, the enthusiastic YouTube fan seems to have it all. Here are 5 tools that caught our attention here at Cool Websites & Apps.
Whether you are just a casual video watcher wanting to see what everyone else is watching, or a YouTube channel operator looking to see what the hot trends are so you can take part in them, YouTube Trends is the place to go to.
The page is made up of three sections — the map, the blog, and the dashboard. The dashboard has a great comparison feature, where you can pick up to three countries (each with their own age group) and see at a glance what each demographic is watching, and compare what a teenager is watching, to say someone in their 60’s. This is valuable SEO information for anyone who makes their living from making and publishing videos.
The blog….well, is a blog. That doesn’t need much explanation. It showcases trending videos and discusses them. The map shows what different people are watching in different locations. The one gripe about the map is that it is confined solely to the US. A bit pointless if you are looking for say European stats.
The Internet is buzzing right now about the small sneak trailer released by JJ Abrams, showing the new Star Wars movie. Die-hard fans are dissecting the trailer piece by piece, asking why there is a black stormtrooper, why the lightsabre has been redesigned, and where is that geriatric Han Solo? And who did shoot first? Han or Greedo?
If you want to send someone the parts of a video that you deem the most important, and forget about the rest of the chaff, then TubeChop is a cool tool that I have been using for a while. And it works like a charm. Simply load in the YouTube URL or a keyword to search for the video. When the video comes up, enter your start and end times of the video that you want to keep, write an optional description, and then click “chop it”.
You will then see your edited video, and on the right hand side, there is a URL to send to whoever you want. There is also an embed code if you want to put the edited video on a website.
These days, YouTube is increasingly being used more and more for music. If you enter any song name and / or artist, you will get at least one version popping up. The music industry however seems to be playing whack-a-mole with these videos. They demand that one gets taken down and another 5 pop up to take its place.
If you are sitting at your desk working away, and you want some music playing in the background, then you can make a YouTube playlist using Tubalr. You can either enter a genre, or you can enter a specific artist’s name. If you go for the latter option, you can specify whether you want exactly that artist, or someone similar to them. A playlist is then generated, and the first video on the list starts playing. As each one finishes, the next one begins. So you can start it and not have to worry about searching for something else to play afterwards. Plus, using this, there is that surprise factor, not knowing what Tubalr has found.
There seems to be a huge industry in YouTube video downloading tools. The vast majority of them seem to disappear eventually but there are a few quality ones out there, including DVD VideoSoft. In all instances, it works perfectly, and it works extremely fast. There are separate desktop apps for downloading videos, and for downloading the audio only as an MP3 file. There is a premium version of their software (and the nagging from their banners does get on your nerves sometimes), but on the whole, their free software is absolutely fantastic.
Just be careful when downloading, as they try to get you to install bloatware. Always go for the custom installation, and deselect all the chaff. Unless you like custom toolbars and having your browser start page changed.
Finally we come to an app, which can either be used to wake you up, or it can be used for prank purposes. AlarmTube is an online app, where you can set a time which you would like to be woken at, along with a YouTube video you would like played at that time. So instead of “BEEP! BEEP! GET YOUR ASS OUT OF BED! BEEP!”, you can instead have the sweet tones of Kylie Minogue (OK, I like her. Shoot me), or you can rickroll your wife with Rick Astley, or if your husband is a very deep sleeper, how about something like Iron Maiden? Guns & Roses? US Marine instructors at boot camp? If YouTube has it, AlarmTube will play it at the time you specify.
Just open a browser on a smartphone, load up the page and set the alarm. Then wait for the person in bed to get the shock of their life. But hey, they’re up, right?
At Cool Websites and Apps, YouTube tools will just be one of many categories that we will be looking at. Which YouTube tools and apps should we be looking at for our next roundup?