Youtube, I guess by now it’s making a profit. Massive bet by Google that was, with absolutely no history on monetising such a site, they jumped in and did it right. A monstrous data hog, Youtube supposedly consumes the same amount of data today as the entire Internet did just 5 years ago, and every minute an entire month of video is uploaded – something like 720 hours of footage uploaded per minute.
Google are really quite cool with their open platform approach to many of their web properties. They happily provide an API for developers to access the available resources of that property, often with quite special results. (LMGTFY is an example of smart developers leveraging google.com) And of course, since it has such modifiable content type, Youtube has spawned a family of mod-sites. There’s only so much you can do with video – here’s some sites that allow you to push that envelope:
Gif the Youtubes
Ever wanted to create your own animated gif from a favourite video? Envied someone else’s rather cool avatar & had to have your own unique version? Chances are you gave up on that project a couple of hours later. Well, now all you need to do is add “gif” in front of the Youtube url – www.gifyoutube.com
– this will take you to the Gif-ifying website where you simply choose the start & end point then collect your constantly-repeating gif. Easy as that.
Up/Down/Round & Round
A simple quick & dirty slow-motion effect is achieved by holding the spacebar down during playback. For anything more intricate, I suggest YouTubeSlow.com. Here you get powerful control over the playback, speed it up or slow it down to the exact pace you want, then throw in loops or a full repeat. then wrap it up ans take it home with you. YouTubeSlow lets creative types express themselves without heavy hardware investment.
The best online example really belongs on-site, YouTube’s very own built in footage modifier found at /editor. Here you can combine videos, rotate, lighten/brighten/sharpen, clip or trim, add still images, apply up to 25 visual special effects and include any text you want to add. The app will even help you include a royalty-free soundtrack if desired. So really, quite a powerful product operating from inside your browser.
For all the above sites, your Internet connection speed can affect the usability. Those with sub-standard broadband had better be blessed with patience. But really, anything from just 2MB/sec or better will give you a decent, pretty much lag-free experience. If you aint got 2MB/sec, you shouldn’t be paying for broadband.
My long-time favourite solution for take-home Youtubes is Keepvid.com. Here you can extract video from some 80 separate streaming video websites, in up to 10 different formats – from full HD to the extracted mp3, with plenty of format selections in between. Use their browser bookmark button for the speediest solution.