YouTube is where we can spend hours watching videos. You may have noticed that when you play a video, it will buffer only a chunk of the video and will stop there. When you pause a video, the buffering will also stop after some time. The reason behind YouTube’s behavior is the Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP, also known as Dash for short. It basically breaks the video into small segments, and each segment contains a short interval of playback time. But don’t worry, we’re not going to study this in detail.
The effect of Dash is that when you pause a video and come back to it later, then it’s still not buffered. This means that when you skip a video ahead, it will rebuffer each time. Many people find this behavior as annoying. How about going back to YouTube’s old buffer behavior?
YouTube, by default, doesn’t lets you disable Dash. Fortunately, here’s a browser extension known as YouTube Center that lets you disable Dash. The extension, sometimes called a userscript, is available for different browsers including Firefox, Opera, IE, and Safari. Right now it is not available for Chrome which means that you’ll need to download the userscript, and then drag and drop it to the extension page. Alternatively, you can also use the Tampermonkey extension to install and manage userscripts.
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Once YouTube Center is installed, you’ll be able to see a small settings button in the upper-right corner (next to sign-in button) on YouTube. Click on this gear icon to open settings panel from where you can configure a plethora of settings related to YouTube. The setting that we’re interested in is the Dash playback. Go to the Player tab at the top and then uncheck the box for Dash playback. There’s no save button, simply click on the close button and return back to YouTube.
You’ll now notice that when start a video, YouTube will buffer the entire video, even if you leave it paused. This is very convenient method for those who want to enjoy a non-stop video experience.
I tested YouTube Center on Chrome, on a Windows 8 based PC. But it should work in other browsers, and in Mac OS also.
Apart from disabling Dash, YouTube Center has many other features too. You can use it to download the video while watching, auto-select your preferred video quality and more. Go ahead, try it out and get better YouTube experience.