Youtube buffering problems
March 13, 2010 1:59 AM   Subscribe

Youtube Buffering (maybe?) problems...

In the last two months or so I’ve been experiencing problems with youtube. Videos will load for maybe 40 seconds and then stall and buffer until they continue. Most times I end up pausing them to let them load before I watch. This is annoying.

I’ve had my computer over a year and this has only become a problem in the last 3 months at most. At first I thought it was an HD thing, but even running youtube videos at 320p (the lowest) makes this happen.

I’m running an Acer Aspire 4530-5315, Vista, 3Gbs RAM, 250 hard drive (split between a C: and a D: drive). I run regular scans for, well, everything.

I tested things out in Chrome as well, and they were just as slow. I suppose it’s possible that my system is getting too slow for video, but there doesn’t seem to be much out there on the standard market that is *that* much better than my system.

Not to mention the fact that my system hasn't changed and it used to run videos fine before. It's possibly a problem with youtube itself, but I thought I'd try for feedback.

Any ideas?
posted by aclevername to Technology (14 answers total)
What version is your Flash plugin?
posted by flabdablet at 2:03 AM on March 13, 2010

Response by poster: Oh, and I just watched a video of Jon Stewart`s 9/11 speech on and had no problems, so maybe it's just youtube?
posted by aclevername at 2:03 AM on March 13, 2010

Response by poster: Flash is
posted by aclevername at 2:05 AM on March 13, 2010

Ad also check for an update on your graphics drivers... along with USB. I've had weird problems like that in the past.
posted by simplesharps at 2:06 AM on March 13, 2010

Response by poster: Perhaps a stupid question, how do I check my graphics drivers? Through device manager?

Flash appears to be the latest version...
posted by aclevername at 2:16 AM on March 13, 2010

The problem is youtube, not you. I have multiple computers and 1.5mbps downstream and it's like the old realplayer days. The weird thing is it's just with some videos so I don't know if it's how they are load balancing the videos or whatnot but they definitely aren't running correctly the past few months.

SNL even made fun of the problems youtube is having

I don't know what USB drivers have to do with this. That's one of the more whacked PC diagnosis suggestions I've heard unless OP is running his monitor through a USB out and wasn't having BUFFERING problems.
posted by zephyr_words at 3:30 AM on March 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: No, definitely not running pretty much *anything* through a USB besides documents.

I'm calling it "buffering" problems because I don't know any other way to couch it. Videos start, and then they hang for a long time while they continue to load.

Like I said, this has been very recent. Perhaps that's why it's so frustrating. I don't have a lot of knowledge about computers, but I know enough to know that while my laptop isn't super fancy, it should be able to handle youtube.

Thanks for the insight!
posted by aclevername at 3:56 AM on March 13, 2010

I had a somewhat similar sounding situation with Youtube when I moved ISPs here in France from SFR to Orange. Some digging came up with the possible cause being a dispute between Orange and another large telecommunications company (I forget the name) leading to throttled connections to a fair few US sites when connecting through an Orange DNS. I started using OpenDNS and Youtube was instantly back up to the speed I'd expect from the fast connection I pay for.

OpenDNS is quick and easy to setup, might be worth a shot . . .
posted by protorp at 5:13 AM on March 13, 2010

For video drivers: there should be an "NVidia Control Center" or something like that in your tray. Open it; the driver info will be in one of the pages of that app.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 7:19 AM on March 13, 2010

FWIW, I've been having trouble too, and I know it's not my computer or ISP. One thing to try if you're using Chrome is to join the HTML5 Youtube beta. That will let Youtube play videos without using Flash, just using native video support in the browser. It works pretty well but has some of its own issues. But it may get you going better, and at least will let you test whether Flash is the problem.

Don't use OpenDNS. It's broken. If you really think DNS is to blame, try Google DNS.
posted by Nelson at 8:26 AM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I doubt there's anything you can do. I'm experiencing the exact same thing whenever I access youtube. From my house, from my mom's house, from Panera, on my laptop, on my desktop, even on my iPod touch. I think youtube's servers/player just aren't performing well recently. You'd think it'd be smart enough not to stop playing until there was a generous enough margin buffered, but apparently not. The download speed seems to slow as it goes.
posted by Vorteks at 5:23 PM on March 13, 2010

Not to stop playing = not to START playing.
posted by Vorteks at 5:23 PM on March 13, 2010

Response by poster: Well, there's comfort in knowing that it's not just happening to me. Thanks all.
posted by aclevername at 10:57 AM on March 15, 2010

thanks for having asking this - because it drives me crazy.
posted by cashman at 4:27 PM on April 27, 2010

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