I just spent some time hands-on with YouTubeDesktop which makes viewing and interacting with YouTube videos much like what you’d experience with a desktop application, except it’s web based. While YouTube videos are simple and convenient to watch as-is, YouTubeDesktop does give you a unique experience, and offers a simple-to-use interface.
What can you do?
With YouTube Desktop, much like a window open on your desktop, you’ll be able to drag, resize, and minimize windows to a tray. You can also create players and drag and drop videos between those players. And just like YouTube, you can search for videos, or browse them. When you first visit YouTube Desktop, it will display some of the videos that are currently popular.
Other features include:
- Watch multiple videos at the same time or have multiple players open at a time
- Download Videos as avi, MP4, mov, wmv,flv,exe – “converted on the fly”
- Change themes
- Share videos via email
- View recently played videos
At first I wasn’t really quite sure how this would be beneficial to the typical YouTube user. However, after playing around with it, I see it as a “distraction-free” way to view movies. They don’t display any comments which some may see as a draw-back, but I’d actually rather do without all the comments. This would be perfect if you’d like to watch/listen to a bunch of music videos or movie trailers as well because you can find all the ones that you want to see, and just add them all to your playlist. Once one video is done playing, it will play the next one in queue.
The first problem I see with YouTubeDesktop is actually the name. Because there’s YouTube in the name, I would bet that YouTube’s lawyers will eventually require them to change their name.
Another issue as Last100 points out is that they allow users to save the YouTube videos to their computers. YouTube actually has it written in their terms and conditions that third parties are not to allow users to save the videos.
Overall it’s a service that would be great for those of you who regularly watch a lot of YouTube videos. If you just watch a video here or there, it’s probably not worth using it. Remember, it is web-based so there’s no downloading involved, which makes it convenient to use.
Currently YouTubeDesktop is in private beta and an invitation is needed. They’re not giving away any invitations right now, but when they do, we’ll let you know!