Tag Archives | YouTube

Speed Up Flash Videos in Firefox

Want to speed up your flash video watching?  By default, Firefox takes a sort of “snapshot” of whatever you are doing every ten seconds.  Why?  It is so that the browser can restore itself, just in case of a crash.  Now you might ask, what does this have to do with flash videos?  Well, the snapshot action is what is causing your ten second delay, at times, with watching flash videos on the Web.

So what is the solution?  Time to visit our good friend, the about:config

The quick fix for this problem, at least for my own sake, is to increase the time between each of the saves performed by session restore. By opening about:config in your Firefox address bar, then typing browser.sessionstore.interval in the filter box, you’ll see a value of 10000, which is in milliseconds. (Meaning your session is saved every 10 seconds.) I changed this to 300000, or every 5 minutes, as I don’t have the urgent need for tab restoration. If you feel like being more on the safe side, try increasing it to something a bit lower, say 120000, or every 2 minutes.

I gave it a shot, and it might not be a life changing experiance after doing so, but it does seem to make the videos play faster, especially if you have several Firefox tabs or windows open at the same time.

The “Better” Firefox Add-on Collection

Better Firefox Addons

It is no secret I am a big fan of Gina Trapani’s line of “better” add-ons for Firefox, so I can tell you I was more than excited to see that they had been rolled together as an add-on collection, so you can grab them all at once. 

Which extensions make the list?

Better Gmail 2 – Add useful extra features to Gmail, like hierarchical labels, an unread message icon on your browser tab, file attachment icons, and more.

Better Amazon -  Highlight Amazon listings with free shipping, automatically enlarge product images, clean up book pages, shorten URLs and more on Amazon.com. Enhances Amazon.com with a compilation of user scripts and styles. All scripts copyright their original authors. Click on the script homepage in the Help tab for more information.

Better Flickr -  Adds collapsible header and sidebar, event title text wrap, colored weekend days, week numbers, and skins to Google Calendar.

Better GReader -  Preview web pages inline in Google Reader, collapse the header and sidebar for more reading area, add favicons to feed subscriptions and more with Better GReader.

Better YouTube – A compilation of some of the best Greasemonkey user scripts for YouTube in one interface.

Go pick up the Better Pack of Firefox Add-ons and find out what is so great about them yourself.

Easily Download Music and Videos from YouTube

Download videos or music for free!

The extension, NetVideoHunter, promises you a world of easy to download videos and music from any YouTube-like video sharing web site.  With it, you can download media from places such as YouTube, MySpace, Google Video, Metacafe, Dailymotion and more.

One more nice feature that comes with this add-on is that before you download any video or music, you can play it in a built-in media player.  It has both fullscreen and video smoothing capabilities too, to make your viewing experience just that much better.

Here is a video tutorial on how to get the most out of NetVideoHunter:

Now, truth be told – there are a lot of extensions out there that promise to make content downloading easy and painless, however many fail in a number of ways.  NetVideoHunter however, has yet to disappoint.  If you have your own favorite media downloader for Firefox, feel free to share!

Download Anything with FlashGot

FlashGot for Firefox A popular add-on for Firefox, to help you download all the links, movies and audio clips on a single page at maximum speeds, is FlashGot.  Created by the same man who brought us NoScript, this lightweight and reliable external download manager will let you download a plethora of information with a single click. 

While this extension has many good features, my favorite might be the FlashGot All.  By selecting this from the menu (or by hitting Ctrl+F3) you can grab all the links found on a current page and dispatch them to the default download manager.  Another nice feature included is the FlashGot Media option.  Watching a video on YouTube?  Quickly download it by hitting Ctrl+F7, via the right click menu or from under the “Tools” Category in your menu bar.

FlashGot might simply be the best integration/add-on for your download manager.

Most Popular Search Engines to Add to Firefox

We have looked at the ten most popular search extensions for Firefox, however we can not overlook the many popular search engines you can add to the Firefox search box.

Add to Any Search Bar Most Popular Search Plugins for Firefox *

  • YouTube – Find all kinds of cool web videos.
  • IMDB – Quickly find that one actor that was in that movie you just saw.
  • Wikipedia – The web’s encyclopedia.
  • Album-Cover-Art.org – Quickly find album art from your favorite musical artists.
  • isoHunt – BT search – Find ISO images quickly using this search plugin.
  • Merriam-Webster – It is like the dictionary, but Online! (insert ooh and awe here)
  • Live Search – Microsoft’s lovable underdog of a search engine.
  • Flickr – Find photos by searching via the image tags.
  • Weather Channel – Is that a tornado in your pants, or are you just happy to see me?
  • Amazon – Use Amazon’s A9 search to find Amazon products, and anything else on the Web.

Roll Your Own Search Plugin

Want to roll your own search plugin using any web site search box out there.  That is an easy task to accomplish with the Add to Search Bar extension.  If you want to “do it by hand” you can also create your own plugins with this handy tutorial from the Mozilla Developer Center.

More Search Plugin Databases

Now with those mentioned, you can’t mention the search engine box without mentioning the MyCroft project.  There you can find a search engine plugin or search provider that you can quickly add to the Firefox search box.

To check out their most popular search engines, be sure to check out the Top 100 listings.

What tools and plugins do you use to keep your searching in order?

* – Yes,I left Google off the popular plugin list, cause everybody knows about Google.

Convert YouTube Videos to MP3

The experimental add-on YouTube 2 MP3 will convert and download YouTube videos in the .mp3 audio format.  There is no doubt that YouTube has a large collection of music videos, so this type of service was bound to happen eventually. 

Download YouTube Videos as MP3 files!

Once installed, the add-on will add a link to each YouTube video page that says, “Convert & Download as MP3”.  Once clicked, the extension takes you to another web site where the mp3 will be available for you to download.  The only downside I could find, is that it takes some time to convert the videos to the .mp3 format. 

As a bonus, if you want to use the YouTube video to mp3 converting service without the add-on you can do that too.  Just bookmark this link:  http://youtube2mp3.wmn.eu/

You can download YouTube 2 MP3 extension on the Firefox Add-ons web site.

Get a Timeline with Your Online Videos

The people at VideoSurf have developed a really nice addition to Firefox, for all of you out there who are fans of watching Online video.  The VideoSurf Videos at a Glance add-on enhances your video playing experience with what they call video summaries. 

Videos at a Glance at Work

This comes in handy because it allows you to check out scenes from a video before you watch it.  It works with: YouTube Search, the YouTube Home Page, the YouTube Video Pages, and FriendFeed.

It also works for your search results too:

Even Works with Britney Spears!

A few other features included are:

  • Use the visual summary to jump in time while watching a video on YouTube’s video page
  • Discover more videos featuring the characters in the videos you click on, and learn more about them
  • Make all HD-compatible YouTube videos play in high quality (or HD) by default

If you want to give it a shot, go check out the VideoSurf Videos at a Glance page over on the Firefox Add-ons site or go lean more about VideoSurf on VideoSurf.com.

Searching Inline with Select-n-Go

Want to be able to browser for information from a page without leaving that page to go to a new tab?  If you want to save space or have easy access to a slew of search tools – you may want to look into adding Select-n-Go by Cleeki to your own Firefox installation.

To use it, all you have to do is highlight some text on the screen.  Then you get this cool window in a window effect. The main purpose here is to:

  • Minimum annoyance: no change of web page appearance, no unwanted tab switching, no unpleasant popups, etc.
  • Maximum efficiency: minimum operations, seamless connection, easy activation/hiding, etc.

You can do Google, YouTube, eBay, and Amazon.  If that is not enough for you – you can extend it even further by adding your own channels to it.

Select-n-Go Preview

In a nutshell, the add-on launches a browser window inside of your browser window. 

Now I promise though, that is not as annoying as it might sound.  True, it might not be the most visually appealing thing, however it does reduce your tab switching (back and forth) when searching for information Online.  You can pick up Select-n-Go by Cleeki on the Firefox Add-ons web site.

7 Easy Ways to Make Firefox Better

It is the little changes that make things better.  The devil is in the details, and when it comes to customizing some of the Web’s most popular tools, you can often make them better by combining some of the little changes out there.  Here are seven easy ways you can easily make Firefox a better browser – or at least the popular web site tools covered that you visit the most.

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Better Amazon – The Better Amazon add-on for Firefox highlights listings with free shipping, enlarges product images, cleans up book pages, shortens URLS and more on Amazon.com.  One of the best Amazon.com enhancers for your browser.

1215505433Better Flickr – A great complication of Greasemonkey scripts to make Flickr better for your average user.  You have the Flickr buddy icon reply, more user links, photo magnifier, page enhancer and a more feature rich editor.

1215377688 Better GCal – The Better GCal add-on for Firefox is a favorite of mine.  It allows you to collapse the header and sidebar, wraps event titles, color weekend days, give week numbers and even a few skins too.  Google Calendar never looked so good!

1226620693 Better Gmail 2 – A handful more of useful features you can add to your Google-powered e-mail client.  Here you have all kinds of useful additions, from macros to attachment icons.  You even have a few more skin choices and hierarchical labels.  Also don’t forget the first one, if your not yet rolled over to “Gmail 2″.

1219862724 Better GReader – Add a few more popular Greasemonkey scripts into your Google Reader.  You can preview web pages inline in Google Reader, collapse the header and sidebar, get a Mac OS X like skin, add favicons and tons more.

1215233168 Better YouTube – Enhances YouTube with Greasemonkey user scripts, that offer options like the FlowPlayer “doesn’t start till you hit play” viewer, clean “theater” view, and links to download the video automatically.

1222129898 Better Lifehacker – I am a BIG fan of Lifehacker, so why not make them “better” too?  This extension enhances Lifehacker.com and other Gawker blogs–like Gizmodo, io9 Jezebel, Valleywag, Gawker, Kotaku, Jalopnik, Defamer–with useful Greasemonkey scripts.

Which is your favorite “Better” add-on for Firefox or which area of the Web would you like to see Gina cover next?

Play and Download YouTube Videos Inside Google Search

Say, you like the fact that Google has started to thumbnail YouTube results in search, but you just want a ‘bit more.  GoogleTube, an add-on for Firefox, will allow you to play the YouTube videos inside of the Google search results window.

GoogleTube Screenshot

Once installed, all you have to do is hit the YouTube icon next to the search result link.  Instantly the video starts playing, without the need to open up a new tab or window.  Also, you can also download the video and view more information regarding the video (date added, views, rating, comments) directly from the search results.

The player can be configured to suit your needs too.  You can select player colors, player size and these additional options:

  • Allow auto play
  • Show player border
  • Show tiny icon on the status bar
  • Show download button
  • Show more information button
  • Choose where to show the video (next to link, under link, ect)

It is a simple extension that does a simple task very well. You can pick up GoogleTube on the Firefox Add-ons web site.