Reloading Videos
November 23, 2012 4:38 AM   Subscribe

How do I avoid my web browser having to reload a video again if I view it again after having navigated away from it earlier or when I go full screen?

It seems so wasteful!
To clarify, if I just watched a video on youtube for example, it should be saved somewhere on my computer already. If I navigate away and return after a brief time period it should still be loaded. Is there any way to enable this?
I use safari, but i'm willing to switch browsers for this.
posted by freddymetz to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
If you install the VLC media player and instead of opening the Youtube page in your browser copy the address to your clipboard and open it via the "Save/Convert → Stream" functionality of VLC it'll only be downloaded once and you can go back to the file you saved it in. If that works there might be some way of rigging this to happen via a right-click option on a link in the browser.
posted by XMLicious at 5:04 AM on November 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

it should be saved somewhere on my computer already
Flash goes out of its way to make sure this isn't true. Making it harder for casual users to access the media file (eg in a temporary internet cache folder) was something that appealed to rights holders and helped with flash's adoption.

I've found that youtube's html5 viewer has better caching behaviour. You may want to try that, you need to join the trial to enable it.
posted by samworm at 5:43 AM on November 23, 2012

Just open another window for whatever you want to do next, and leave the video loaded on the old window so you can play it again.
posted by musofire at 8:08 AM on November 23, 2012

Often when you switch youtube to full screen it wants to show you a higher resolution version of the video, for which it needs to begin loading a different, higher resolution stream.
posted by jjwiseman at 9:50 AM on November 23, 2012

Adding a note to Samworm's answer above: remember that you're in the trial and that URL, in case you have to undo; there's very little hint of it on the site-as-usual. The YouTube player completely broke for me around Firefox 16 and the only thing that made the site usable again was leaving the trial. I haven't checked with the just-released 17 yet.

And also to jjwiseman's, you can disable automatic quality-switching in your settings, assuming you have an account and are logged in.
posted by Su at 12:13 PM on November 23, 2012

Anytime I come across a YouTube video that's even passably interesting to me, I just download an MP4 copy with YousableTube Fix. The quality will be higher than transcoding the already-compressed Flash version. There are similar scripts for Vimeo and other video sites that provide non-Flash versions of their videos.
posted by bcwinters at 8:08 AM on November 24, 2012

For posterity, the command line to download with VLC on Windows seems to be
"C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" --sout="#transcode{vcodec=h264,vb=0,scale=0,acodec=mpga,ab=128,channels=2,samplerate=44100}:file{dst=C:\\videofilename.mp4}" vlc://quit
...which I determined by watching the debugging window (Tools -> Messages) after triggering a dowload through the menus.
posted by XMLicious at 9:30 PM on November 27, 2012

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