When did Youtube change the way it streams video?

It used to be that you could pause a video on Youtube, and it would continue loading until done and you could then watch it all at once and not have to suffer through constant pauses in the middle of the video. Also, any such fully loaded videos could be restarted and they wouldn’t have to stream again. Neither of these is true anymore(at least for me). I’m vaguely aware that this is not a new phenomenon, but I’ve just shifted to a slower internet connection, and it’s causing a fair amount of frustration. Has Google officially announced any of these changes? Is there any way to switch back to the old system?

You might be trying to stream them at a quality level that’s too high for your connection. Next time it happens, click on the gear icon and select a level lower. Auto’s usually pretty good at adjusting on the fly, though.

No matter how high or low the quality or connection speed, videos don’t pre-load(is this even a word?) fully if you pause. The grey bar that runs ahead of the red will go until a quarter or so of the video length and then stop there until you press play, when it starts moving ahead again. This used to not be true once upon a time.

It’s been a while. IIRC, it was fall 2011 for IE and summer 2012 for Chrome.

We had a thread on it probably a year ago.

It must save them a ton on bandwidth if you figure in how many people pause a video and never watch it or watch the first few seconds of it and then click to a new page (but the entire thing has finished loading).

So what is the benefit in making the entire thing download again if you want to rewatch it? It’s a PITA if you have limited 3G data.

I’m not sure they’re very concerned with saving YOU bandwidth.

But surely bandwidth works both ways? They still have to serve me the video all over again if I click “replay”, rather than allowing it to be stored on my device until I replay it.

I haven’t noticed my YouTube cached video disappearing when I refresh the page. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn this is just a bug in Flash, or in whatever browser you’re using.

As far as why it doesn’t stream as far ahead anymore: as others have pointed out, it saves massive amounts of bandwidth for them.

Yes, but that’s just you. The other 5,000 people who viewed the video never hit “refresh”. So the net result was a bandwidth savings.

I have a lot of criticisms of Google and their handling of YouTube, but I’m not going to assume they made a change like this without bothering to study whether it saves them money or not.

Yeah, and now my videos are often choppy!