YouTube, for being the largest video hosting site in the world, has some of the worst video controls of all the video sites out there. When you play a video on the site you can select one of three different player sizes, with small being the default one. You can switch that to large or fullscreen, but that is about it in this regard. The player setting is remembered while you are on the site.
As far as the quality of the video goes, you can switch the quality while the video is playing to all available quality levels. But that does not stick and when you open the next video, it is again playing in the default quality setting. And that is defined by the video playback quality setting which can be set to two different quality settings. You can configure it to never play higher-quality videos, or let the site choose the best quality for the Internet connection and player size automatically. Here you can furthermore select to always play HD on fullscreen if the video is available in that quality.
So how can you make sure that YouTube selects the desired quality all the time? By using a script like Yays (Yet Another YouTube Script) that provides you with those options.
The userscript should work in Firefox with Greasemonkey or Stylish, Google Chrome and Opera. It adds a new settings icon to YouTube that enables you to make the following selections:
- Set a fixed video quality that you want all videos to be played in on the site. All videos on YouTube will be played in that quality if it is available. If not, the next best quality is selected instead. Available options are 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p and original which is the highest quality setting available.
- Set the size of the player. You can set it to normal, wide or dynamic. Dynamic means that it will be automatically adjusted to the screen size of the browser so that it fits all of the browser window.
- Set auto play to on or off. If you do not want videos to start playing right away after you open the video on the site, use this to block this from happening. This is great if you want the videos to buffer a bit longer before they start playing for instance.
Yays is a useful script for YouTube users who want control over the playback settings. You can use it to select a video quality that you want all videos to be played in. The option to use a dynamic width for the player window is also excellent and better than what YouTube is making available.