YouTube is a fantastic resource for discovering all sorts of videos. From funny cats clips and product reviews to live broadcasts and tutorials, practically anything you could ever want to watch is available free of charge at the click of a mouse.
While Android and iOS devices have dedicated apps available, PC users are generally limited to browsing for content in a web browser. If you’d like to avoid the extra distractions – and you’re using Windows 8 – you can turn to Your Tube 8 to focus your YouTube experience.
With a single purpose in mind, Your Tube 8 is a fairly simple app but this does not mean that it is with merits. Fire up the app and you’re presented with a series of highlighted videos to choose from. There are no details to explain how these videos have been selected for your viewing, but they’re there for you to take a look at if you like.
The only real way to use Your Tube 8 is to start searching; the search box and tools are available at the top of the screen.
You can perform a site-wide search, or you can use the two drop down menus to limit results to certain categories and video types.
When browsing through search results you can’t see anything other than a video’s title, but a fuller description is available when you click through to watch one.
Controls for playing videos should be immediately familiar as Your Tube 8 features embedded videos in much the same way that a web site would. Because of this you can control volume levels, playback speed and quality and toggle captions using the same controls you always see on the YouTube site.
There are very few options to work with in the app – you are placed into what amounts to a console mode in which you have limited access to YouTube and nothing but YouTube.
Of course, you are able to view larger versions of the videos you are interested in, but there is no full-screen setting that you can choose. That said, it is possible to right click a right click a video to access options such as viewing the video in a separate browser window or copying the URL ready for embedding.
Should you wish to share a video you have found, you have a couple of ways to do so. Within an individual video window there is a sharing link to the upper right of the video, and this can be used to share links video Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more.
There’s also a bigger share button to the upper right of the app window itself and this enables you to share videos through any service that has been configured for this purpose in Windows 8.
We’ve already mentioned the fact that this is quite a basic app. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but there are some important features that have been overlooked. Once of the most important aspects of YouTube is the social side of things.
If you’ve uploaded a video of your own, it can be interesting to get feedback from other YouTube users in the form of comments. This, crazily, is something that has been completely omitted from Your Tube 8. There is no way to leave or view comments without breaking out of the app and shifting to the website.
You’ll also find that you are not directed to other, related videos that you may be interested in – the ‘suggested video’ feature is sadly absent.
There are problems with some content. For example, some music video provided through VEVO cannot be viewed outside of the YouTube website so you’ll be directed to it if you try to watch such a video in the app.
There are issues with this app, but it still has its place. If you know what you are looking for, or don’t mind searching for videos using keywords, you’re unlikely to be disappointed. But the chain-linked video watching that tends to take place on the YouTube website is lost here.
Part of the fun of using the site is the journey that a simple video search can take you on. Clicking through suggested and related links can help you to discover some hidden gems that you might not have thought of looking for. This being absent is disappointing and takes some of the magic out of YouTube.
But for watching the videos you are able to hunt down, Your Tube 8 provides a great experience. The interface could do with a little tweaking here and there, but this is an app that’s worthy of your attention.