Fan Canvas visualizes a YouTube user's video history

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 1, 2013
Updated • Nov 1, 2013
Music and Video, Youtube

If you follow a couple of video producers or people who upload videos on YouTube you may have encountered situation where you want to browse the latest videos released by them, or videos released in a particular time period.

While you can do so with a couple of clicks, the interface that YouTube provides you with is not well suited for that task, as you have to browse from the latest videos all the way down to the videos that you want to see.

That may result in a lot of clicks for you depending on when the videos that you are interested in have been published to the account.

Fan Canvas is a new third party service that lets you browse a YouTube user's video history visually. All you need to do is type or paste the username of the YouTube user in the form on the main page on the website to get a visual representation of all public videos that were uploaded to YouTube by the account.

Note: The service seems to limit the total number of videos that it displays in the timeline to 25. That's a severe limitation that reduces the service's usefulness significantly. There are no configuration options to change that, and it is not clear if the limit will be removed in the future.

Fan Canvas

The service displays a timeline of videos at the bottom of the browser window, and the actual videos that you have selected on top of it. You can scroll the timeline by holding down the mouse button in the timeline interface and drag motions to the left or right, or by using the back and forward buttons up top.

You can play any selected video right away on the screen, and also read the description that was posted along with it.

Depending on the upload frequency of a user, you may want to compact or extract the timeline. Compacting will increase the time interval that is starting with days, so that you will end up with a monthly view in the end. This can be useful if a user has not uploaded that many videos to the site.

The opposite is true if you select to extract the timeline, as you will have greater control over timelines that display a lot of videos.

There is also a bookmarklet available that you can make use of.


The limitation makes Fan Canvas an interesting proof of concept service. It will remain that unless the video limit is removed by its developers.

While it is still good to get a quick overview over the latest videos uploaded to a particular account, it cannot be used currently to browse the complete history of a user on YouTube.


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