I was recently listening to one of my favorite podcasts, and they talked about paying for an app to be able to download YouTube videos and audio. Why pay when there are free utilities to do that?
YouTubeCenter is a browser extension that I have been a fan of for a long time. It adds some great features to your experiences on YouTube like being able to download the video or audio, blocking of advertisements, blocking of annotations (those popup boxes during videos), auto-playing videos, auto-selecting quality, and a whole slew of other things. For more information about features, check out the wiki.
Another thing I like about it a lot is the fact that it is on GitHub, and the source code is available to view so you know the author isn't hiding anything in the code. It seems a lot of great browser extensions have been sold off to unnamed companies in recent months, and then their code gets modified for malicious purposes. One extension that I liked started changing all links to Amazon to direct through someone's affiliate ID in an attempt to generate revenue unbeknownst to the user (me). It went from a 5-star rating to none in just a couple of days of this happening. Now it's gone.
My browser of choice is Chrome, but Google won't let YouTubeCenter get published in the Chrome Web Store because of some of the features it has, so you have to go to their website to download it. The extensions work for just about every browser available right now. So head over to YouTubeCenter's site to get the extension.
Once you download the
YouTubeCenter.js file it is easy to install in Chrome. Click the Menu button in the top right corner of Chrome, it looks like this:
. Go down to More Tools and then Extensions. You just need to drag and drop the
YouTubeCenters.js file onto Chrome and it will be installed.
Now when you go to YouTube, you will have a gear icon in the top-right corner near your profile picture which you can use to configure advanced options for YouTubeCenter. There will also be a new row of options below the YouTube video controls: Download, Repeat, Lights, Aspect, Resize. These options are pretty straightforward.
I'd click on the gear once to configure a couple of things that will make your YouTube experience much better. On the main menu that comes up after clicking the gear, check the box that says Remove advertisements. Then, click Player on the left and look for the Enable annotations option, and make sure it is unchecked. Those two options alone make watching videos much nicer.