Watching videos on YouTube can be a torturous experience. While the platform offers some of the Web's best content, there's always that moment when a video refuses to load beyond the initial few seconds. That kind of frustration can ruin your entire day. You wait thirty seconds, get five seconds of video, maybe, and wind up closing that tab. That video looked funny. When you have one billion monthly viewers, things are expected to be a little sluggish. But the Internet audience is unforgiving. YouTube engineers know this, and they're working to change it.
In a behind the scenes look by Gizmodo, YouTube engineers explain how the platform is working internally to make the experience faster as a whole. And not just on the Web, but across all mobile platforms as well. Waiting a few extra seconds may not seem like a huge deal when said out loud, but actually being denied that instant gratification leads to a huge spectrum of varying emotions—usually bad ones. And if that means a viewer winds up not watching a video because of lag, YouTube isn't doing its job.
YouTube's Core Engineering Team Leader, John Harding, explained that if a video starts playing within 200 milliseconds, viewers will perceive this as pretty much instantaneous. Anything beyond that, especially for a shorter cat video, is unforgivable. Services such as Netflix can get away with some initial buffering because the content is longer. But not YouTube. So the service started taking steps to improve load times with an initiative known as Sliced Bread back in 2012.
Instead of loading all resolutions of a video at once, YouTube uses Sliced Bread to load each individually depending on which resolution you want to watch. If you change resolutions on the fly, the resolution you pick will start playing dynamically. Everything will change depending on your Internet connection, too. So if your connection is blazing fast, it'll show you a higher resolution without breaking stride. But if your Internet connection starts to fall off, it'll play at a lower resolution without stopping or buffering. That's only the beginning, though.
Harding explains YouTube is taking even more steps to get videos loading more quickly—you can check out the video on Gizmodo for a complete explanation. Basically, engineers are working to better the platform's parallel processing and pre-loading, which will theoretically lead to a more seamless experience across the entirety of YouTube. The process is currently being implemented most deeply on YouTube's Android app, but it'll slowly come to the Web and iOS, too.
When the difference between someone watching a video and not watching a video is mere milliseconds, there's a lot at stake for YouTube. And, more indirectly, the content creators filling the channels of YouTube. For TechnoBuffalo, the faster our videos load for fans the better. If it takes a few more seconds than expected, keep in mind YouTube is working to eliminate that short lag.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra's Space Zoom camera is amazing and a bit creepy
The Galaxy S20 Ultra supports up to 100X zoom, which Samsung calls Space Zoom, but is it any good? Can a phone really product usable photos at 100x zoom? We've got our Galaxy S20 Ultra already so join us to find out!
Win an iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch with the Reader's Choice giveaway!
What's the best phone of 2019? Is it the iPhone 11 Pro, Pixel 4 or OnePlus 7T? What about the best laptop, games console, tablet and more? Vote NOW in the Reader's Choice awards and win BIG in time for the holidays!
Here are the best products from IFA 2019!
Here are the products announced at IFA 2019 that were worthy of our Best of IFA 2019 awards. Also featuring MrMobile's single best product at the show!
The Dungeons and Dragons loot you always wanted
These are the accessories you need to be at the most prepared D&D player at your table.