YouTube Desktop: Not so useful

YouTube Desktop: Not so useful

I played with Google's new "YouTube Desktop" application (in beta) for a couple hours today, and came away with mixed impressions.

YouTube Desktop runs in a browser and allows you to organize your various video watching and management tools the way you want.

The app is basically a buffed out and personalized version of YouTube's regular web interface at www.youtube.com. So YouTube Desktop should be judged on the things it can do that the regular Web interface cannot, right?

The app lets you play two videos at once, not just one. I'm not sure why you'd want to do that, unless you're comparing them or preparing to splice them together (YouTube Desktop contains no video editing functions).

You can also search for videos and form playlists of the ones you think you'll like. Some users might like to gather a bunch of clips together, then play them all back, back to back. Still, what's wrong with watching one video, then selecting another one (possibly based on YouTube's suggestions) and watching it? That's a matter of taste.

The app also provides a "Last 20 Played" command which, when clicked, lays out thumbnails of your most recently watched videos. Using this is probably a lot better than hitting the Back button a million times to find that one video you liked.

If you really like a video, the app lets you save them to your hard drives in avi, mp4 (ipod), mov, 3gp (mobile), wmv, flv, or .exe formats.

This is a major advancement of YouTube's current capability. Still, the only reason I can think of for doing this is if you're worried that a given video is about to be yanked from the YouTube servers.

YouTube Desktop is also supposed to allow you to drag-and-drop, resize and minimize videos in a tray at the bottom of the page. I could resize and minimize, but I was unable to drag and drop videos to different spots on the desktop, and I tried it using both the Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers. Maybe they're still working on that.

Anyway, at the end of an hour trying out the YouTube Desktop, I had the impression that the designers threw in every piece of video management functionality they could think of, useful or not.

With everything working correctly, the site might be great for people whose lives revolve around uploading, downloading and socializing around user-generated video. But if that's who it's aimed at, why not throw in some basic video editing and upload tools?

I'm glad Google invited me to be part of their beta for YouTube Desktop. The truth is I love YouTube simply because of the astounding amount of video there. It's amazing. Sure there's a lot of silly, worthless stuff, but there's so much long-tail stuff like old videos of obscure bands and documentaries about taxidermy and just about anything else you can think of. All the stuff on all the VHS tapes in the world is slowly making it on to YouTube. Scary, huh.

I can understand why Google would want to offer users new tools to help swim through all that video, but YouTube Desktop misses the mark.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mark Sullivan

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?