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Three simple ways to watch YouTube (and other) videos with no distractions


It turns out people don't like clutter. Surprise! Not that YouTube's interface is all that cluttered, but sometimes I just want to watch my video without having to see it in full screen.

Well, it turns out that there's a whole genre of websites which specialize in removing all the crud and leaving the video: in other words, they generate spartan pages with your video embedded right into them, on a white or black background.

I found all three of these on the excellent MakeUseOf, which never fails as a source for a ton of cool web-related news and tools. Here goes:

  • ViewPure gives you a short link, and a blank/white background. What I like about it is that it also provides a text box for creating a new page; other sites only give you a bookmarklet which you're supposed to click while on the page for the video you want to watch. Very nice.
  • Silentube gives you a bookmarklet, but it actually worked also when I just appended the video URL to Silentube's URL, although it claimed that "Seemes something went wrong". If you're into bookmarklets, Silentube is a nice one.
  • Quietube is apparently a fierce competitor of Silentube (at least if you go by the name). It has one-upped its rival, since my URL-pasting trick worked just fine on this one. You also get a bookmarklet which you can just click when you're on the video page.

One thing I would like each of these sites to do -- that they currently don't -- is to take the highest-quality video from the site, or at least let me choose the quality. I suspect that if I use the bookmarklet they display whatever quality I am currently watching, though.

These are particularly handy when you want to send someone a link to a video, and you want to show them just the video so they can focus on how hilarious/interesting it is.

Tags: browsertips, browsing, distractions, quiet, vimeo, youtube