youtube pause

I can't figure out how the hell you report a bug to Youtube, other than by posting in an obviously-ignored honeypot forum, so I guess I'll just post my bug report here and hope that my LJ is read by a Youtube developer or someone who knows a Youtube developer. (This trick has worked before...)

Dear Youtube,

It used to be that I could press play on the video player and then immediately press pause, to allow the whole video to silently buffer. That no longer works. Now I have to wait until enough of the video has been downloaded that it actually starts playing before I can pause it. This is very irritating, because it means that I can't just press play+pause and then hide the window to come back to it later: I have to sit there and wait 10+ seconds for it to start squawking at me first, then drag the slider to the left, then press pause. Lame! I should be able to press the pause button even if zero bytes of the video have been downloaded.

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48 Responses:

  1. skywaterblue says:

    Oh, thank God it's not just me. I thought I was going nuts.

  2. liveavatar says:

    I was having this problem earlier today myself. Also, the videos would download but not run unless I inched the slider along, and then it would stutter & stop again.

    At this moment everything is working again.

    • discogravy says:

      this happens to me regularly in firefox/chrome if i've got a ton of tabs open so i'm guessing it's to do w/ memory mgmnt somehow. restarting the browser completely fixes (but it's a goddamn pain when you've got a tab wall-of-death)

  3. avva says:

    I thought I was the only one bugged by that. Man, it's so annoying.

  4. evan says:

    I forwarded it to someone who works on YouTube.

    • evan says:

      My sources tell me they know about this and the fix is under development. Apparently it's more complicated than you'd expect.

      • philharnish says:

        It's only complicated because of our own wrongdoing. As the complexity of YouTube increases little things like this slip in and can be difficult to resolve. It's definitely a bug we intend to fix.

        • otterley says:

          Usually we call this a "regression" in the software industry and we roll the code back to its previous, less-sucky state.

          • philharnish says:

            otterley, thanks for the quick lesson from the software industry ;) Right now we have a QA team for UI testing where automation would obviously be ideal. If anyone out there has experience unit testing asynchronous flash UI they should totally apply to YouTube.

      • robotdevil says:

        I assume the nyc colo sucks. Videos tend to be really jerky for me (on an 8mb connection) from servers with 'nyc' in the hostname

        Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7_ABZBX06s

        (I promise it's not rick astley)

        • robotdevil says:

          Sorry, me no english. Can you ask your friend if there is a known issue with the nyc servers that causes them to host videos in a jerky fashion?
          Thanks.

  5. saltdawg says:

    I thought that was just wonky on youporn!

  6. philharnish says:

    Dear jwz,

    This problem bugs the hell out of me too. I took a quick stab at fixing it and broke a bunch of other stuff. I've focused my attention on other stuff for the time being but I also really want to see this fixed. Maybe if we're lucky another developer here will fix it in their spare time. Consider it my next priority though.

    Thanks,
    Phil Harnish

    • lafinjack says:

      Can we have either the play/pause functionality back (I remember it broke when the player look changed a month or three ago) or work like a couple other vid sites do where hitting play only starts buffering, and doesn't actually start playing until the user presses the button again?

    • violentbloom says:

      That would be really great.
      Actually it would be helpful to be able to set this as a default. Poor little me only has satellite internet so I always have to wait for it to buffer.

      And unlike some other video sites, at least you can pause and buffer even if it is now trickier.

      • philharnish says:

        How about how quicktime works? It will buffer as much as it thinks you need before it starts playing. The idea is you reach the end of the video right about when you finish downloading it. There is a bit of math involved but it's doable.

        • lafinjack says:

          I've noticed QT's version of buffering never really works out right. It either does the math wrong and ends up stuttering/randomly pausing; does the math right but bandwidth fluctuates and ends up being wrong in the end; or everything goes right and it perfectly gets the buffer timing right but I've already gone on to another tab or task and it starts playing in the background as I'm doing something else.

        • violentbloom says:

          yeah it *thinks* my connection is faster than it is.
          So usually my buffering experience is shit, unless it lets you pause and download it all.

          Hey but I hear we might be getting uverse or something from att. So maybe someday we'll have a faster connection.

  7. ivan_ghandhi says:

    Unless anybody already filed it, I can file the bug... hello, anybody?

  8. jakenelson says:

    I was having issues earlier with play+pause... in IE it wouldn't pause, in Chrome, Flash died and I got the "Sad plugin" when I tried it.

    Honestly, if there were a way to tell YouTube that I want it to always, always pause and download and not start until I tell it to, I would love it so much. So much.

    Just saying.

  9. belgand says:

    "Start paused" should ideally just be an option for you to set and forget. This whole idea of videos starting to play immediately is just bad. At the very least it implies a very linear, non-tabbed, one window method of using the Internet that I doubt the majority of people are really using most of the time.

    • travisd says:

      Agreed! And I have to imaging that it doesn't help the bandwidth bill much either -- why should I start buffering a video download when all I want to do is check out the stats or something else on the page?

    • I'd love to have a "start paused" personal preference.

    • pne says:

      I wonder whether the people you (and I) know are representative of "the majority of people".

      • belgand says:

        Based on the comments the majority of YouTube users are 13 year-old kids. I am certain that they do not have the attention span to be using a single tab at a time. I'm amazed they don't get bored with it in the time it takes the page to come up and the video to start playing.

    • philharnish says:

      Yeah, I hear ya dude. Opening tabs to YouTube.com pages requires flipping over and pausing. And with this bug you have to wait until it has buffered some before you can even do that :S

  10. ciphergoth says:

    On a very slow Internet connection, the video plays for short periods and then loads for long periods. Unless you want to watch it like that, you have to sit with your finger hovering over the pause button so you can hit it in the brief periods when it's not loading...

  11. taffer says:

    How about a "download it, but don't play it" option like QuickTime has? Why can Apple do this years ago and nobody else has the sense to steal the idea?

  12. ivan_ghandhi says:

    Just filed the bug.

  13. philharnish says:

    Should be fixed. Let me know if you see anything else.