Several times many of my friends and blog readers have asked – Is there a way to watch YouTube videos in slow motion? And my answer has been – No, unless you download the video and play it with a video player that offers playing in slow motion.
But with YouTube adding support for HTML5 video player, you can now watch videos at different speeds. However, as of now HTML5 video is being offered as opt-in trial only and also not all videos hosted are in the supported format. Nevertheless, there are still quite a large number of videos for you to enjoy.
So, here’s what you need to do.
Get the right browser
Firstly, you need a browser that supports HTML5 and either the h.264 video codec or the WebM format (with VP8 codec). Here is a list of browsers that meet the requirement.
- Firefox 4 (WebM, Beta available here) (What Firefox 4 has in store for you)
- Google Chrome (WebM)
- Opera 10.6+ (WebM, Available here)
- Apple Safari (h.264, version 4+)
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 (h.264, Beta available here)
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, 7, or 8 with Google Chrome Frame installed (Get Google Chrome Frame)
Join the HTML5 Trial
Like already mentioned, HTML5 is currently offered as opt-in trial. So you need to join the trial first. Go to http://www.youtube.com/html5 and at the bottom of the page you would find the ‘Join the HTML5 Trial’ link. Click on it to join.
Search for HTML5 videos
Enter a search term in the search field to find videos. Once you get the search results, click on the “Filter & Explore” to show advanced search options. Under Filter look out for a link called Webm and click on it to show only videos of Webm format. Alternatively, just just add &webm=1 to the search URL and hit enter.
View the videos
From the above search results choose any video to view. If you right click on the video player, you will notice that the video is running inside an HTML5 player rather than the usual flash player.
At the bottom of the player, you will find a button that reads ‘Normal’. This is the button that controls the speed of the video playback. There are actually 5 choices for speed – 2x,1x, Normal, 1/2 and 1/4. Just choose the 1/2 speed or 1/4 speed to watch the video in slow motion.
In the days to come, the HTML5 player may become the default YouTube player and you should be able to control the speed of all videos.