15 Ways to Make YouTube More Useful

From downloading videos to reinventing the interface, these 15 tools will help you use YouTube like you've never used it before.

For a site famous for giggling babies and piano-playing kitties, YouTube sure has managed to become an integral part of our lives.

The site, launched in 2005 as a Hot-or-Not-style video dating service, has evolved into the place for all things video online (well, except for that stuff on Hulu). It's no stretch to say that in most casual conversations, YouTube is almost as synonymous with video as Google is with search.

But let's be honest: The service leaves many things to be desired. It's cluttered, there's not much room for customization, and there are plenty of things you can't do. The good news, though, is that it doesn't have to be that way.

These 15 tools will help you make YouTube far more useful. Whether you're casually browsing the site or looking to download and even mash-up clips, these apps will expand your possibilities and enrich your video experience.

Or, to put it another way, that piano-playing cat is about to get a whole lot cooler.

1. Search Visually

Tired of wading through pages of text to find the video you want? Check out oSkope, an innovative visual search engine that gives YouTube an image-centric makeover.


The site lets you browse through YouTube either by category or by your own specific search term, with results displayed in easy-to-browse thumbnails. You can even drag and drop the images to arrange clips to your liking, or pull clips down into a folder to save them for later viewing.

oSkope can display information in several visual forms, so be sure to look at the box on the left-hand side of the screen to find the setup you prefer. The default "grid" option is nice on the eyes, but the "list" alternative puts some extra info on the screen that you might find handy.

Next page: Save Your Favorite Videos

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