Sick of Slow YouTube? Try Feather, YouTube Made for India

Feather, a dedicated YouTube video site from the Google itself was recently launched for those who cannot bear slow loading speed of videos. This test version of YouTube offers “ultra light watch space” which means faster buffering of video and paying less attention to other details like comments and sharing widget.



For years, YouTube had its interest in higher quality videos, HD and even 1080 pixel wide videos (that certainly require higher bandwidth). Nevertheless, YouTube realized that all countries might not have 16MBPS of internet speed and suffer sluggish videos. For us, Indians, even 1MBPS broadband is considered as God’s gift, an extravagant resource. Most of us has to settle for 256 or 512 KBPS. Consider it like watching a 5-minute video, for which you have to wait 10 minutes to load. My workaround to this problem is to open YouTube player and then pause it, as soon as it starts to load. Now come back again after few minutes to find the whole video buffered. And not to forget, use YouTube’s cache to watch repeat videos.

However, Google this time done as a favor by introducing Feather, a TestTube feature. TestTube for Youtube is what a Labs to Google i.e a experiment playground. To use this feature, you need to first join this experiment by going to http://www.youtube.com/feather_beta. Once, you are in the experiment, all the videos that you subsequently watch will feature less flashy content. Watch for yourself, how a feather video looks like in the below image.

youtube-feather-for-slow-videos

According to Google,

This is an opt-in beta for “Feather” support on YouTube. The “Feather” project is intended to serve YouTube video watch pages with the lowest latency possible. It achieves this by severely limiting the features available to the viewer and making use of advanced web techniques for reducing the total amount of bytes downloaded by the browser. It is a work in progress and may not work for all videos.

So, if you aren’t interested in comments, related videos and other web2.0 flashy content expect video, join this program from here and enjoy fast rendered, smooth and less latency videos.

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Filed under Youtube Tricks. Posted by Abhishek and last updated on March 15, 2011.

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This is cool and helps me in saving bandwidth costs.. :)

Wow, Too good… its pretty useful in India where internet speed is always lesser than they promise..

Thanks for sharing this new information

With no offence directed toward those in India, the fact is you aren’t important enough for YouTube to tailor a new system toward. No, what this initiative really represents is a further reduction in user interaction by stripping away the ability to comment and rate. The spin is that it’s faster loading but the underlying intentions would seem to be very much different.

Agreed Allen. India may not be the direct factor for feather YouTube, but certainly a cause.

When will India realize that they will need faster Internet.., We still stick to kbps when the world has moved to mbps…

  • Youtube for HTML5 Videos! Sorry Firefox, you can’t
  • […] You can start viewing HTML5 videos by joining this experiment. If you have already joined any other testtube experiments, you may not get the HTML5 player, though it works perfectly with light-weight Feather. […]

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