Reviews: Popular YouTube Extensions |Chromebook Mobile

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Reviews: Popular YouTube Extensions

View some of the highest rated and most downloaded Chrome extensions for YouTube


These Chrome web browser YouTube extensions are among the most popular, as ranked by total user count (and positive product reviews), in the "Chrome Web Store". In general, these browser extensions add functionality and (or) styling to your YouTube video experience.

Black and white YouTube logo in a circular button with shadow under
Image Credit: WebTreatsETC via findicons
Basic YouTube info: It's wildly popular with over one billion unique visitors per month! Eighty percent of the visitors are from outside of the United States. It was created in 2005 by a trio of ex-PayPal employees. Google took ownership in 2006.


PSY - "Gangnam Style" music video

We've included this super-popular YouTube video example but nearly all functions on the following extensions are designed to work only within the actual YouTube.com site.

 

Most popular Chrome "extensions" for YouTube:


Turn Off the Lights ("The Browser Lamp"):
The "Turn Off the Lights" Chrome web browser extension is incredibly popular with almost two million users. For the most part, Turn Off the Lights is a tricked out and customizable program that darkens the web page area around the Flash and HTML5 videos you're watching. Many people wonder why you would want to do this instead of just watching them expanded to the full screen setting; Well, by darkening the background instead, you can continue to concentrate on other things you might be doing in your browser, plus, sometimes you just don't feel like being immersed in a full screen video. When you're done, just click the background and it goes back to the standard unmolested view. It includes shortcut-key options as well.

Magic Actions for YouTube:
"Magic Actions for YouTube" is another very popular Chrome browser extension for customizing YouTube that has over one million users. It includes a web page background diminishing (or backlighting) feature similar to the previous (Turn Off the Lights) add-on. Magic Actions for YouTube also includes a "Cinema" feature that will enlarge the video to your preferred size while also giving you the option to dim out the background automatically and simultaneously. To exit the embellishments, just click the background. Magic Actions also includes an auto HD option as well as a hide the advertisements setting. Personally, we enjoy some advertisements, plus it's an easy way to ensure your favorite sites survival, but on the other hand, if a site's downright spammy it's a good indicator to just move on to find that content on a better site, but that's an argument for another day. Magic Actions is a brilliant YouTube customizer and is part of our personal browser toolkit.

Auto HD For YouTube:
"Auto HD For YouTube" is a simple and straightforward program with almost half a million users and one mission: it allows you to automatically set your YouTube videos to play in various HD resolutions. Perfect... Nuff said!

SmartVideo For YouTube:
"SmartVideo For YouTube" has well over a quarter million users (plus excellent reviews) and is praised for its great selection of buffering (or 'Smart Buffer') feature settings which are very useful for spotty or slower Internet connections.


There was another YouTube extension with almost a quarter million users called "YouTube Options" (dev page | web store) which we had planned on testing, but since Google's recent push towards tightening up developer protocols, the extension seems to have slipped into limbo, so we couldn't test it and are just mentioning it in passing for now.

As far as the big picture, the outlook for new superior quality Google Chrome web browser extensions coming your way is excellent. By May 2014 at the latest, nearly all Chrome extensions will be subjected to a higher standard of oversight and quality control, especially in regards to "spammy" and malicious software.