Alright, what's up with Youtube's streaming lately?

When I open a video, it never streams to the end. The gray bar stops at an arbitrary point. Sometimes it’s about 1/5 in, sometimes 2/3, sometimes 4/5. I can get it going if I start playing, but that defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? Once it starts streaming again, it may stop again at some point. Anyone experience this, heard of it, or know how to fix it?

Also, if I skip past the stop point, it will play a few frames of video, suggesting that it has loaded some info. But it rarely plays beyond that.

Some points:
[li]Windows 7 x64, Firefox 13[/li][li]It hasn’t always worked this way[/li][li]I did not change any hardware[/li][li]I don’t believe it happens on other computers (have to check version of FF at work)[/li][li]This does not seem to happen on other video sites[/li][li]It doesn’t matter if down/uploads are in the background or not[/li][li]My DSL has been giving me problems lately, but AFAIK it’s just slow, not pausing imperceptibly.[/li][/ul]

I’ve noticed that on some videos. My internet connection at work is a bit spotty so if I want to watch a video I usually pull it up, pause it, then go do something else (on the internet or somewhere else physically) and come back to it later. It’s frustrating when a 5 minute video is has stopped loading a minute in. If I knew that was going to happen I would have just taken my chances watching it in ‘real time’ so to speak.

I’ve had a very similar problem recently. I don’t know what caused it, I would guess that Google may have upgraded the Youtube player, it does seem to have some new features and a slightly different user interface.

I manually updated Flash from the Adobe website, which did seem to help a bit, but switching to Google’s Chrome browser solved the problem for me. If you can, try Chrome.

The problem I’ve been having (using Opera) is that about half the time when I adjust the volume the video stops (but the sound keeps going). I have to reload the page, which means the volume is back to too loud so I adjust it again and …

I’ve updated everything and it still happens.

Hulu does that sometimes and here lately Netflix has done it too, a few times.

I’ve always assumed this is due to Google having some bum servers running YouTube, and you’re unlucky enough to have managed to hit one of the bum servers when loading the page. If they’re doing geo-based, or IP-based load balancing, you could easily get the bum server many times in a row or in a short period of time.

I don’t have any evidence though. I have also seen this happen, but only rarely.

Alright, I’m at work and tested it:

Firefox “Nightly” 6.0. (I have no idea if this corresponds to the regular fork versions of FF or what. Blame IT): It doesn’t load, stops just a little over 50%
Chrome 19.abunchofnumbers: Stops just under 50%
Internet Explorer 8: same as Chrome.

Flash is up to date and it appears it’s not just my computer. It’s not solely Firefox as I tried three browsers. I’m not gonna try Safari.

ftg: does that happen if you adjust system volume? Keep it at medium, so you have room in both directions. But doesn’t Youtube at least memorize volume settings to some extent?

I’ve noticed this with Youtube too, and especially with Vimeo lately.

I noticed this a couple of months ago. YouTube have changed the way they deliver videos.

Originally, they used to just let your PC download the entire video, but since a few months ago 240p and 360p videos only download the small part of the video around where you are watching.

If you really want the old behaviour, change the video to 480p 720p or 1080p. That still downloads the entire video to your computer.

Thanks! That did the trick. It loads much slower now, but at least goes to the end. And are you saying that this is an intentional decision on their part, or a side effect of another change?

Don’t get me started on If you leave it paused, after some period of time it will automatically skip to the next “break point.”

I have noticed something similar recently with my android devices. If the video will play only to stop at some random point never to start again or to start playing and stop 10 seconds, 30 seconds later.
The other option is for the bloody thing to not play at all. I had no problems up until YouTube made their changes

I’m getting horrible YouTube performance. I’ve been watching a series of videos available in everything from 1080p to 240p. Usually, I can watch one in 1080p, but the performance drops off and I can only watch other videos in 480, as if I am being throttled. I also noticed the download bar scream ahead a bit, then slow to a crawl. It seems like this is some trick for youtube to push enough of a buffer to start playing a video right away, but then slow down to maintain a stream. Smart idea, if it actually keep the streaming fast enough to stay ahead of the video time.

Overall, YouTube has been my major source of entertainment, but has become a major pain in my ass at the same time.

I rarely play a YouTube video, but I run a lot of other programs with audio out. I’d have to adjust all them if I played with my master volume.

I don’t know why it doesn’t remember the volume setting. While I am aggressive in clearing out cookies/cache/etc., I try to leave YouTube alone for this reason.

I use a lot of tabs, and when I’m looking for something on YouTube I usually open several at a time. This might be confusing things, especially since there appears to be no reliable way (including up-to-date user side scripts) to keep YouTube from autoplaying. (Utter geniuses there.)

On some of other people’s comments on YouTube loading oddities. ISPs like to feed the first part of a stream/file really quickly and then slow it down from there. They also like to cache things so that multiple users in one area get the cached local copy rather than downloading it again across country. It is really easy to mess these things up and that causes a lot of problems that people blame on the web site rather than the ISP.

I have a Firefox script that seems to be working ok. I don’t know much about Opera to comment if there are equivalents. I had to try a couple to find one still updated.

The problem isn’t that it loads fast and then slows down. The problem is that it loads fast and then stops completely. As in, I can leave it up for 6 hours, and it won’t move an inch beyond the initial part.

I don’t work for Google, but I wager they did a study and found that 80% (or whatever) of people never watch past the first 50% of a video, and changed their streaming code to reduce bandwidth use.

That might explain what we’re all seeing here, if some browsers or some version of the Flash player can’t cope with that change, it could easily lead to the movie simply stalling at the point where YouTube is supposed to be sending more data.