YouTube “Feather” Plug-In Speeds Up Video and Simplifies Layout

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If you’ve ever been frustrated by the slow speed of streaming YouTube videos, maybe it’s because the site has so many distractions–whether it’s featured videos or the evergreen troll section.

Now, a YouTube plug-in strips down all the fluff and speeds up the experience, and all with minimal style. If you don’t like clutter clogging a 10-hour Nyan Cat marathon, the “Feather” plug-in is for you.

The description on the plug-in reads,: “The ‘Feather’ project is intended to serve YouTube video watch pages with the lowest latency possible. It achieves this by severely limiting the features available to the viewer and making use of advanced web techniques for reducing the total amount of bytes downloaded by the browser.”

I tried the plug-in for myself, and it does look somewhat close to the original format of YouTube. The difference between the default YouTube format and the “Feather” plug-in is the layout. The plug-in displays fewer related videos and features, which presents a cleaner and much more organized format.

Left is before the plug-in, right image is after. Click the image for a larger view.

Warning: The plug-in is a work in progress, so it won’t work on every video just yet. It does, however, disable automatic updates and top comments. The number of related videos are set at five, and the comments section are also fixed; instead of clicking page numbers, you click “view all comments” if you’re interested in reading the thread.

Although the “Feather” plug-in is in beta mode, it doesn’t mean that you can’t improve your streaming quality. Since having multiple tabs slows down your Internet speed and your computer performance, try using fewer tabs when watching videos. Other ways you can improve your streaming quality on YouTube is looking at upgrading your Internet plan’s bandwidth–especially if you’re spending your whole day watching videos and browsing Netflix. Remember, you’re going to need 10/Mbps of bandwidth if you’re streaming HD video.

Fewer distractions thanks to the “Feather” project means a slightly faster streaming system for all and less trolls clogging the comments section. While creators may find disappointment that the chances of their video showing up on the related videos section diminishes, at least they won’t have to deal with the commenters whining that the video is lagging.