InstantView is a new browser extension for the Google Chrome web browser and compatible browsers that plays YouTube videos without changing pages on YouTube.
When you click on a video on YouTube you are taken to the page the video was published on to play it.
While that is wanted sometimes, you sometimes may not want to leave the page you are own. Maybe you ran a search on YouTube and want to browse the search results after playing the video, or you don’t want to lose the recommendations that YouTube displays on the homepage, or browse your YouTube subscriptions .
Many users help themselves by middle-clicking on videos to load them in new tabs in the browser. They switch to the tab, watch the video, close the tab and go back to the previous one on YouTube to continue what they have been doing on that page.
Others may prefer to play YouTube videos on the desktop using a media player capable of that.
InstantView changes that by playing any video you activate on YouTube in an overlay on the same page.
Just click on any video thumbnail on the YouTube website and watch as it is loaded in the overlay on the same page.
You still get all the video controls so that you can use the position slider to skip, change the volume or the quality of the video.
Buttons below the video let you display the comments, turn on repeat functionality , minimize the video, or display the visualizer. The latter is only useful for music videos or other types of videos where the audio is important as you get to watch the visualization instead of the actual video when you activate the feature.
Comments are displayed in a small sidebar; they are tiny unfortunately and there is little that you can do to change that other than increase the size of the YouTube browser window.
Note that you need to click on the thumbnail to activate the video popup to watch the video on the same page. If you click on the video’s text link, it is opened on its own page just like it is normally.
A click on the extension icon in Chrome’s toolbar displays options to modify mostly visual elements.
The preferences list the following customization options:
- Switch between a light and dark theme.
- Enable compact view to reduce margins.
- Change the position of the mini player (default bottom right).
- Add a modifier key, e.g. Alt-Key, to thumbnail clicks to activate the extension’s functionality.
- Enable visualizer colors.
- Change the size of the mini player.
- Change the Info position.
Some of the options are quite useful; compact view makes the player area bigger which is great and options to change the size and position of the mini player are also useful.
InstantView for YouTube introduces a new option to watch YouTube videos without leaving the page the videos were linked on. While the extension is of no use to users who don’t mind clicking on videos to watch them, it is useful to users who prefer to stay on a page when they click on videos, at least some of the time.
Now You: How do you watch videos on YouTube?
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