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6 YouTube features and tricks you need to know

Tarun Mittal
11th Feb 2017
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YouTube is one of the most popular social media websites on the internet. With around 30 million visitors each day who collectively watch 5 billion videos, YouTube is second in reach only to Facebook. But out of all these people who spend a considerable amount of time on YouTube, very few of them are aware of the various features that make using the video sharing site easier. Here are six YouTube features and tips you should be aware of:

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Basic keyboard shortcuts

Most people use their mouse to pause, forward, and mute videos on YouTube. But the site has a few keyboard shortcuts that greatly simplify the video-watching experience:

k - Pause or play

j - Rewind 10 seconds

l - Fast forward 10 seconds

m - Mute

Number 0 - Jump to the beginning of the video

Numbers 1 to 9 - Navigate through 10 percent to 90 percent of the video

Spacebar - Repeat the last action

There is also a lesser-known version of the site known as Youtube.com/leanback. Leanback is an entirely keyboard-navigable website; you can scroll through videos, search for new ones, comment, share, and do everything else you do on the conventional site, all without ever having to use your mouse.

YouTube transcripts

YouTube automatically transcribes the audio in every video into text which can be accessed by anyone; click the ‘more’ tab and select ‘transcript’ from the drop-down menu to obtain the transcript. You can also add the transcript – either as a pre-written file or you can type it out while watching the video - while uploading the video. Doing so bolsters SEO for your video, which makes it rank higher in Google's search index. You can also make use of this feature to transcribe audio or video files for free. The conversion of audio to text might not be perfect, but refining it is far-less time consuming that writing it from scratch.

The YouTube audio library

YouTube has a vast repository of free sound effects and songs which you can either download as MP3s, or use in the videos you upload. The songs can be classified according to genre, mood, instrument, and duration while the sound effects can be filtered based on categories like ‘human voices’, ‘horror’, ‘science fiction’, and the like. This makes it incredibly easy to add a soundtrack to your video, which makes it more watchable than a video with no sound.

The YouTube video editor

YouTube has a versatile video editor built in to the site which eliminates the need to use other advanced, and often time-consuming, editing applications. Using YouTube's video editor, you can add special effects to your video besides implementing basic functions like trim, splice, enhance, and filter. YouTube also has a slideshow creator wherein you can upload photos and the site automatically stitches them into a slideshow; you can arrange the sequence of the photos, change the slide duration, select transition effects, and add sound tracks.

Identify songs in YouTube videos

It often happens that we hear an awesome song in a YouTube video which we can't identify. And asking for help in the comments section rarely yields any useful results. A new site called MooMa.sh is trying to simplify this process. Simply copy-paste the video's URL into the site and it'll spit out all the songs it identified in the video. Currently in beta mode, MooMa.sh also works on videos from other sites like Dailymotion and Vimeo. They also have an Android app to cater to mobile YouTube users.

Create GIFs from YouTube videos

Creating GIFs out of YouTube videos is far easier than most people realise. Simply add ‘gif’ before ‘youtube’ in the URL bar (or visit the site and post the video URL there) and you'll be redirected to a site where you can create GIFs of specific durations. You can also add captions, stickers, and a few basic effects to them as well. The site, gifs.com, can also be used to create GIFs from videos taken from other sites like Instagram and Twitter.

Knowing these features and tips will surely make you a more adept YouTube user. If you know of any YouTube hacks that aren't mentioned here, do share them in the comments below.

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