Quite a while back, I started having trouble playing YouTube videos in Firefox. When I went to YouTube or there was a video embedded in a web page, it wouldn’t start playing right away like it had previously. Instead, it would try to load and a message would appear that said “If playback doesn’t begin shortly, try restarting your device.” I found that if I clicked on the video a few times, it would finally start playing and I lived with that for quite a while.
But recently I finally decided to see if I could find a more permanenet fix… and I did! Turns out the problem is that YouTube changed its default player from Flash to HTML5 so a kindly developer created a free extension you can add on to Firefox that will force the video to play in the Flash player. There’s also a version for Chrome, although I haven’t had the same problem when I did use that browser.
When you install the extension, a Flash icon will appear in your browser toolbar so you can enable/disable the add-on easily if you want to switch back to the HTML5 player.
NOTE: For this extension to work, you have to make sure you have Flash installed and that it’s enabled. I had disabled mine as a defence against video ads and it took me a while to figure out why the extension wasn’t bringing up the Flash Player on YouTube… d’oh!
Thanks to developer Maxime for coming up with a solution to this annoying problem—and for responding so quickly to an email question I sent. Check out Maxime’s website to find more browser extensions for enhancing YouTube. And if you do end up using one or more of them, please consider making a small donation so he can continue developing such great tools!
T4L reader Randy submitted Mailwasher to the Favorite Program/App Contest because “it lets me delete unwanted emails from my ISP’s server instead of my computer. No more junk downloaded.” Thanks for the tip, Randy!
There’s a free version of the program and a Pro version (starting at $39.99/year with discounts for longer terms; 10-day free-trial period). The free version is limited to 1 email address; Mailwasher Pro supports multiple addresses and includes some additional benefits. Mailwasher is available for PCs running Windows 7 and above and also has iOS, Android and Windows mobile app versions.
Roku currently has a sale on its Roku Premiere streaming media player. The Premiere is right in the middle of its lineup of 5 box players in terms of features. The regular price is $79.99, but until Saturday (January 25th) you can get it for $69.99. If you prefer to buy through Amazon, they seem to be matching the discount but I don’t know if it expires at the same time or not.
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