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

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?