There’s nothing worse than watching the CPU usage on your computer zoom to 100% when you load a YouTube video, before you spend the next 10 minutes cranking up the volume to drown out the sound of your fan going crazy.
Since Flash plays havoc with my Mac when watching video I tend to avoid YouTube, but when Apple released Safari 5 with extension support something wonderful happened. HTML5 happened in Safari via a wonderful extension called YouTube5.
Here’s how it works. You download a 20kb extension from here, and once it lands in your downloads folder, which shouldn’t take too long, simply double click it to install it in your Safari web browser.
If you’re using a version of Safari later than 5.0.0, the extension should be enabled by default, but you may want to change a few of the settings before you begin using it. If you go to Safari > Preferences > Extensions, you will be able to see a list of all the extensions that you have installed. I like things to be as streamlined as possible, so YouTube5 is one of the only extensions I currently have installed.
Despite its name, YouTube5 actually allows you to playback not only YouTube videos in HTML5, but also Vimeo and Facebook videos too whenever they play back in your browser. As I want as much video content as possible to play back without Flash killing my CPU, I keep this default setting the way it is, so that Facebook and Vimeo content is played in HTML5. Of course, you can change this so that only YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook videos play back in HTML5, it’s up to you.
You can choose a default setting when you’re in the main settings of YouTube5, and tell the program to either load videos in 360p, 720p or 1080p. If you want to change the resolution of a video whilst you’re watching it, this is super easy as well. Simply click the little information button in the top right hand corner of the playback window, and you’re given an overlay which lets you specify a resolution depending on what’s available from the video playing back. There’s also a replay button present here, so that you can easily return to the start of the video and begin watching it again.
Again, YouTube5 is a free extension available for Safari (there’s also a version available for Chrome, although performance isn’t quite as good as it is on Safari at the moment from my experience), and you can download it from here.