Watch YouTube videos in Chrome while you browse the web using Sideplayer

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 2, 2015
Google Chrome

Sideplayer is a new browser extension for Google Chrome that provides you with the option to watch YouTube videos in Chrome while you are browsing the web.

It adds a movable YouTube player overlay to Chrome so that you can watch videos regardless of where you go or which tabs you open in Chrome.

You can feed it YouTube videos in two different ways. Either click on the "play in Sideplayer" button while you are watching a video on YouTube, or paste a YouTube video url directly into the form that opens up when you click on the extension's icon in Chrome's main toolbar.

The video starts to play in the top right corner of the screen automatically either way and remains visible even when you switch tabs in Chrome or switch between different instances of the browser.

youtube videos sideplayer

The top right corner may not be the best position necessarily as you find important controls, such as sign in links there often. You may move the player to another location in the browser window using drag and drop. Just click and hold the left mouse button on the player and drag it to another location.

You may also resize the player window or use playback controls such as pause or seeking while hovering the mouse cursor over the interface.

There you find the option to cancel the video which you can only do while hovering over the player and not through the extension icon.

You are probably wondering who this is for. The one use case that I can think of is if you are working on a screen that is not wide enough to display two browser windows at the same time, and if you want to watch YouTube videos while doing other things on the Internet.

You get the same features that Sideplayer offers when you place two browser windows next to each other with one playing videos on YouTube so that you can use the other for other tasks.

You could use the extension for instance to play tutorial videos for WordPress or other web applications while working on the site or in the application at the same time.

Obviously, it is possible to play entertainment there as well or any other form of YouTube video, for instance movie trailers.

Closing Words

Sideplayer may be useful in certain situations but the fact that I can place two browser windows next to each other for the same effect and the extension's permission request are reasons why I won't be using it.

As far as permissions are concerned, it requests to read data you copy and paste, and to read and change all data on websites you visit. While both are necessary to power the functionality it provides, it is somewhat of a scary prospect.

Now You: Discovered any cool Chrome extensions recently?

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  1. said on October 9, 2015 at 2:20 am

    just read the developers reply anout the warning fly out above maybe it’s fine YMMV

    1. PsyintZ said on February 12, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      Yeah, as if a developer with malicious intentions is going to admit to what they’re really doing with the data they collect from you, such as selling it to third parties. Of course the creator of the extension is going to tell you there’s nothing to worry about. That doesn’t eliminate the fact that they’re still collecting your personal information and basically reserve the right to do whatever they want with it. And by no means am I accusing this specific developer of utilizing shady business practices, but simply pointing out the potential for abuse.

  2. said on October 9, 2015 at 2:13 am

    No thanks Google says it can *read and change all your data * …….I’ll pass on that one it’s a third party app so who knows what they might do with it or who these people are ?

  3. XenoSilvano said on October 6, 2015 at 10:00 pm
  4. Joshua said on October 5, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Use Picture in Picture Viewer. It’s a better Chrome Extension!

  5. beergas said on October 3, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Thanks. Was strongly considering adding this until last para. Those privacy concerns are key. But if it only relates to the youtube video operation maybe worth a shot. Sure using two browsers windows is done all the time but having a little movable window might be neat. Thinking it over. What with Adblockers going the money route it makes me wonder just what’s next for data miners.

  6. hirobo2 said on October 3, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    This sounds pretty useful, is there an equivalent add-on for FireFox?

    1. Andrew said on October 19, 2015 at 2:45 am
  7. Raul said on October 3, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Hey Martin,

    Raul here from Sideplayer. Thanks for the article!

    Yeah the permission notification can be scary, but that functionality is needed for Sideplayer to work.

    1) If you copy a YouTube link, it will be automatically pasted inside Sideplayer.
    2) In order to Sideplayer to work, it has to edit the website you’re on.

    We’re thinking about ditching the copy/paste functionality, so there would be one less permission for people to be worried about.


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