Tips for viewing of these videos

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Apr 3, 2010
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Here are some tips to get a better experience from watching these videos:

1. Many of these videos have small text/graphics that you need to be able to see to understand the topic. If you have a high-speed connection to the web, try to increase the resolution by clicking on the little gear symbol. There, you often see different values with one selected. In most cases, you want to select 720p:



Audio quality also improves when you select higher resolutions which is helpful in training videos. Note that not all videos have 720p. If they don't, use he highest setting there is.

If your Internet speed is too low, that selection may cause the video to constantly pause. If so, then go down one notch until it plays reliably.

2. Along with #1, you would want to run full screen. Otherwise, everything is resized causing the text to be blurry. Click on the squares at the right as shown in the above graphics. When you are done, simply hit the escape key and it should return you back to the small window. Full screen also makes it easier to sit back and watch the video like you would watch a TV.

3. Video tutorials tend to be very long. If you sat through them in person, they would not feel that long. But watching it on the computer screen, especially if someone is talking slowly, can cause one to lose interest. Players such as Windows Media Player have a speed setting where you could cause the video to play faster without the pitch getting higher. Unfortunately the Flash youtube player does not have this super useful function.

There is however a partial work-around. The web is moving toward a new standard called "HTML 5" for video playback. The standard HTML 5 has crude playback speed control. But before you get there, you need to tell Google to present its videos using HTML 5 and not flash. That method is in "beta" and you need to opt in. That is easily done by clicking on this link and enabling HTML 5: http://www.youtube.com/html5. You can also use the same link to go back should it not work well for you.

Once you enable it, start your browser again and go watch the videos. Not all will be in HTML 5. Indeed, many won't be. But for some, if you click on the same settings control (the gears), you not only get the resolution settings per above, but also a speed control:



As you see, you now have choices of 1.5X and 2.0X as playback speeds (and also slower ones than 1.0). I find 2.0X as unusable. There are more clever schemes for speeding things up that this player does not use (such as removing pauses). Even 1.5X is poorly implemented and makes it hard to understand things at times. But it is still pretty useful for very slow talkers or for parts of the video you already know. Here is a video that it works on in the library today:


If you don't see the secondary controls, then you have not enabled HTML 5 yet. Try changing the speed and see the effect.

Again, note that even if you have enabled HTML 5, it may not show up on many videos. The video has to be encoded for the new format and the older videos are not.

Note that if you don't have a good connection to the Internet, HTML 5 may pause more often than Flash. So if you are seeing a lot of pausing that does not occur in Flash, then you may want to revert back.

Happy viewing!
 
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