If you are a power user of Chrome browser and you are constantly experiencing buffering issues with YouTube and other sites like Facebook, Dailymotion, Metacafe, Vimeo etc., then a simple chrome extension may help you a lot.

SmartVideo for YouTube works flawlessly with all Flash as well as HTML5 based videos and allows you to have enhanced controls over buffering, quality and playback options. As soon as you install the extension, you will see following settings page, where you can set your preferences for YouTube and other sites:

SmartVideo for YouTube

  • Loop all videos: Enabling this option will keep on repeating the video that you are currently playing in your browser.
  • Hide player settings popup: If you enable this option then you will not see a popup box when you hover your mouse over a video. It’s recommended to keep this option disabled.
  • Buffering Options: You can set your own buffer strategy like Start playing the video as soon as the page loads OR Start buffering first and then manually click on Play Button to start playing the video. You can also set your own buffer percentage after which the video will start playing automatically. Keep in mind, the percentage is calculated by the extension depending on your connection speed.
  • Continue buffering videos even if they are paused: YouTube and some other websites stops buffering videos whenever you click on the Pause Button. But this extension allows you to enable continuous buffering, even if the video is in pause mode.
  • Set default video quality and player size: You can also set your default playback quality from 144p240p, 360p, 576p, 720p HD<=1080p HD and >=1080p HD, along with your preferred player size (small or large) for a video or a playlist. Choose your default playback quality very carefully, depending on your connection speed, as otherwise you may have a terrible playback experience! If you have a very fast connection, then select Let YouTube decide.
  • The extension can disable automatic switching to HD mode whenever you click on full screen button. It can also hide annoying annotations.
  • Desktop Notifications and individual settings for playlist video: The extension also allows you to set desktop notifications and audio alerts, along with individual buffer settings for videos present in a playlist.

Users with very slow internet speed can opt to initialize a video only when they have clicked on a video link. If you’d like to give this extension a try, then install it for Chrome and test various settings on this full high definition video of Samsung Galaxy Note 2:

note 2

You can see the extension in action at the bottom of the video. Here you can alter playback settings for a single video, depending on your requirements. Overall this is a must have extension for every Chrome user.