How to Fix YouTube’s Poor Performance of Recent Days

YouTube getting you down lately? I noticed about a month ago that YouTube video loading processes got very buggy in my favorite web browser, Safari. I tested buffering videos in FireFox and Chrome and experienced similar bad results.

The problem has been the player’s controls hardly work till the video completely loads. Also, the video doesn’t playback along with the sound until the video fully loads. It brings Safari to almost a complete stand-still as other tabs load poorly while YouTube is doing its thing.

Thankfully, one other YouTube user realized he was experienceing these problems and dug around to see what was their cause:

After doing some legwork, he discovered that Google has deployed a HTML5 video test into its user base. That this option is automatically enabled for many users. To check whether you’ve been included, visit this Youtube page and scroll down towards the bottom. If you see the evil green checkmark, click the blue “Leave the HTML5 trial.” Instantly, you gain 50 karma points and often your video just starts working properly. TUAW

Though the article on TUAW points the problems out only in Safari’s video playback, I have friends and coworkers that are experiencing the problems in FireFox and Chrome as well.

It appears to have something to do with slower wireless network speeds, so if switching off the HTML5 testing is not an option for you, try to find a fast network to avoid the glitches.