Faster YouTube Videos? Find Out How…

YouTube Feather Beta - for faster loading YouTube videosYouTube is a must-visit for music videos, comedy, news, family events, and much, much more.

But sometimes, unless you have the very fastest high-speed cable or DSL Internet  connection, the video pages can load slowly. Especially using a dial-up connection.

So, you may be happy to know that YouTube offers an alternate way to view its videos that’s optimized for speed.

Basically they strip away a lot of the extra features and other stuff that’s typically found around the videos and optimize the video to limit how much your browser needs to download.

YouTube calls this their Feather project (because it’s designed to make video pages more lightweight).

Although it’s been around for quite some time, Feather is still in Beta. YouTube considers it a “work in progress” and not a final product. So it may not work for every video.

If you want a faster YouTube experience and don’t mind missing some of the extra bells and whistles, visit the Feather Beta page and click the Join link.

After that, whenever you visit a video page that’s been optimized, you’ll see a blue box on the right side of the page that tells you you’re viewing a lightweight version of the video page. You can simply play the optimized video as usual, or click one of the links in the blue box to see the regular (non-optimized) video page Just this once or Permanently.

I have EarthLink DSL Internet service at home with a 1.5Mbps connection, so I don’t need YouTube Feather, but I have enjoyed the optimized videos and faster-loading pages.

We hope you enjoy a faster YouTube experience too. Let us know how it works out for you.

How the Internet Is (And Isn’t) Changing Music

I think we all remember how Internet access changed the music industry (especially high-speed Internet access like cable and DSL).

EarthLink Music Channel - Powered by Rhapsody

Napster. iTunes.

But what’s the state of music today? What are all the ways people are discovering and listening to music?

The answers are hot off the press.

Nielsen, a leader in TV and other media measurement, just released its Music 360 Report on Tuesday.

Nielsen’s in-depth study of U.S. consumers looked at all aspects of music consumption, including listening and purchasing, music discovery, social networking, mobile music apps, and more.

The big takeaways for many may be both how much some things about music haven’t changed – and how much others have.

On the one hand, radio is still the dominant way U.S. consumers discover music. Almost half (48%) discover music most via the radio, versus only 10% through friends and relatives and 7% through YouTube.

And a good old-fashioned, word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend is still more than twice as likely to lead to purchasing music than any other factor.

On the other hand, teenagers are listening to music via YouTube more than through any other source: 64% for YouTube, 56% for radio, 53% radio, 50% for CDs.

To get all the stats, check out this press release on the Nielsen website.

If you’re interested in a good source of online music, you should also check out the MyEarthLink Music channel, which is powered by Rhapsody.

Where Do We Go For Videos Online?

Return Rates for Online Video Sites

Recent data has been released by online video service “Read It Later” gives interesting insight into the activities of its 4 million users. The service allows people to save links to videos on a list they can return to later to watch.   While their study was limited to their own users, it can be used to draw conclusions about the overall popularity of online video sites.

It seems that CollegeHumor and Break.com (both of which specialize in short, funny, easily sharable videos) display the highest return rates, followed by Comedy Central (which offers comedic clips as well as full-length TV episodes) and Hulu (a service offering clips and full episodes from a variety of television networks).

This ranking can initially be surprising; when most people hear the phrase “web video,” they will most likely think of YouTube and the user-created content it’s so famous for.  (In fact, any content that isn’t user-created, or is from television or film, is immediately taken down.)

It seems that, even when given the choice of  viewing “original” or “network” content, many people still prefer to “watch TV.”

(Free Internet Add-On!  If you’re using EarthLink’s Dial-Up service to connect to the internet, you can download a free accelerator to help you view images and movies even faster!)