Ten years ago today, YouTube cofounder Jawed Karim uploaded the site's first video, an 18-second clip called Me at the Zoo shot at the elephant enclosure. In the decade since, we've seen far more engaging videos, from the Evolution of Dance to Leave Britney Alone to "Gangnam Style." Now boasting over a billion users worldwide, YouTube has become a place to learn how to do things, break new recording artists, and document social unrest. Whether you want to upload your own video or take greater control over your viewing experience, the following 10 apps and browser add-ons will help you make the most of YouTube. Also, visit the Download.com YouTube channel to see our software walkthroughs.
YouTube Capture (iOS)
You don't have to be a professional moviemaker with a crew and expensive equipment to produce the next hot Web series. Even if you're new to production, Google's official YouTube Capture app enables you to shoot, edit, and upload your video, as well as share it over social media -- all right from your phone.
Once you've uploaded your first few videos, you'll need Google's YouTube Creator Studio to manage your channel. With this comprehensive app, you can change video details and settings, control notifications, interact with your audience, and analyze video performance.
If by IFTTT (short for If This, Then That) enables you to automate your activities with simple recipes. Popular recipes include bookmarking your favorites to Delicious, saving videos to Pocket, or posting your uploaded videos to Facebook or Twitter.
Video Ghost (Windows)
Do you like to multitask while watching YouTube videos on your PC? Right-click Video Ghost's toolbar icon to make video transparent so you can work over it. You can also use hotkeys to set your video's transparency, lock it in the background, or bring it to the front.
With so many must-see videos on YouTube, how can you catch them all? Award-winning 5by offers hand-picked videos by interest, or you can search by keyword or person who posted it. For a more social experience, trade and discuss your favorite clips with friends.
If you worry about what your kids are watching on YouTube, then you'll want YouTube Kids. Created by Google, this app offers age-appropriate content; kid-friendly navigation, such as big buttons, easy scrolling, and instant full screen; and parental settings that limit search and time spent in the app.
If you've ever clicked on a video and gotten an entirely different one than you expected, then you'll appreciate Video Preview. Just mouse over video thumbnails to see preview images of the entire video so you can find the one you actually want to watch.
Turn Off the Lights replicates the theater experience by blacking out everything around the video, so you can focus on what you're watching, Just click the light gray lamp in the toolbar.
EditThisCookie is a cookie manager that enables you to add, edit, delete, and block cookies. It can also give you access to the YouTube transparent playback control bar, which hasn't officially launched yet. Install EditThisCookie in Chrome, head to YouTube, click the cookie to the right of your URL bar, scroll down to VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE, and expand that line. Replace the characters in the value box with Q06SngRDTGA and click the green checkmark at the bottom to save. Now, whenever you move your cursor away from the video, the distracting bar disappears, so you're no longer encumbered by it when watching videos.
If you use YouTube primarily to discover music, you'll love SoundCloudify. The Chrome extension enables you to enjoy music from both YouTube and SoundCloud directly in your browser, no need to open a new tab. You can also search both sites, check the chart-toppers, and create audio, video, or multi-format playlists -- all via SoundCloudify's pop-up window.