Whether you’re looking for user instructions or to be entertained, the right video is often the best answer to what you’re searching for. However it’s easy to get lost in the endless library of videos available on the Internet when you realize that YouTube alone adds 720,000 hours of video on average every single day!
How to go about finding the right video for your purposes?
You can start with a general search (ie on Google or another search engine). The advantage of this method is it will include videos that may be housed somewhere other than YouTube. Be aware however that YouTube has been purchased by Google, so they are likely to prioritize in the search results options that drive you to YouTube above equal or better options elsewhere. But I find that the convenience of using Google outweighs the small probability I’m not seeing something that might be marginally better. If after a general search, you don’t see what you want, you can always then go onto another video site (eg Vimeo.com) to search there directly.
In launching a search from Google, if you only want to see results in video form and not written instructions, then you can add the word “video” to your search query. Let’s say you just got a new clothes dryer and want to know how to access and clean the condenser lint filter without having to wade through the booklet of instructions which, by the way, are in 4 different languages.
We type in “Video how to clean the condenser lint filter on a Bosch Serie 4 dryer”. Here you will want to be as specific as possible with the model as you don’t want to waste time viewing instructions that don’t pertain to your dryer. You may find that at the top of the page of search results you find “Google Shop” options (in the hopes you are actually planning to buy a Bosch dryer not already having bought one and will bring them a generous commission). Simply skip past the paid results, and you’ll find the videos just below (see image below).
Playing and adjusting your video
When you select the video, normally an ad will start playing. (This is how YouTube makes its money.) If you look on the lower right hand corner of the video screen, it will tell you in how many more seconds you can skip the ads. (See below right, circled.) Press “Skip” once the counter gets to zero, otherwise additional ads may continue to be fed to you. Don’t get impatient as you usually only are made to watch 4-10 seconds of one ad before you can skip directly to your content. In the scheme of things, this isn’t a bad trade-off. (Sometimes there will be further ads within the video itself but normally only for longer content and not short tutorials like we’re accessing here.)
You can also see when the video was uploaded (see below left, circled). You may need a recent video if you are looking for a tutorial for something that has recently changed. In this case, the video from 2017 is still valid as instructions for changing the lint cartridge on my new dryer.
Once your desired video has started, you can easily access the stop/play (arrow circled, below left) and volume controls just under the video screen. You can also rewind or fast forward by sliding the progress bar left or right (see blue arrow, below left). You may be limited to fast forward only to the point that the video has already loaded (it will continue to load, so you can just wait for it to finish.) If you hover the mouse over the volume icon, a slider will appear and you can adjust the volume accordingly. The numbers to the right of the volume icon indicate how long the total running time is and at which minute and second you are in the process. This is handy if you want to remember for yourself or share with someone else something that takes place at a particular place in the video. They can simply slide to the appropriate time to view only the specific part.
You can also adjust the image to play at full screen (see yellow arrow below, right). Simply press same icon again if you want to leave “full screen” mode. There are other options to “cast” the video to your television, play in theatre mode, add closed caption (cc) and adjust other settings. Go ahead and have a play with these buttons.
Looking for Free Video Entertainment
If you are looking to be entertained and don’t have a particular video in mind, you may want to go to the homepage of Youtube.com and select “Explore” (see yellow underline on image below, left)
Here you can narrow down and browse by categories (to the right of the underlined menu bar) for example: Movies & Shows, Music, Learning, Sports. Simply tick on one of these and you’ll be invited to further narrow down your search, for example music by genre or new releases. Films and shows are normally to rent or buy, whilst music and other media often offers free content.
You can also use the Search bar (above the media choices) to type in the name of an actor, music artist, director, film or subject matter and go from there.
Just be mindful watching videos on a streaming service like YouTube can be addictive! You will find the service will often automatically load another similar video after the one you selected has finished. In future posts we will cover how you can shunt that auto-feed option and regain control of your time. For now, happy viewing!
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