As you may already know, YouTube starts playing videos as soon as click on a video link. This is such a nuisance for people who open multiple videos on new tabs, with the intention of watching them later, before the first one is finished watching. Usually, you need to pause the video you are watching, then go to the new video that has already begun playing, pause it and then return back to the original video.
To tackle this problem, I’ve had my browsers configured to load plug-ins on demand. This feature is available on practically all browsers – Chrome, Opera and Firefox. When you turn this feature on, any embedded flash content including videos stops auto-playing. You have to click on the video area to enable Flash, and only then the video starts streaming.
This approach has one drawback. You can’t have your videos buffered and ready to play once you are done watching the first video, because the video hasn’t even started steaming yet.
The problem can be solved by YouTube Smart Pause – a Firefox add-on that automatically pauses the currently playing video once you leave the page, and then resumes playback as soon as you return. The favicon on the tab changes to indicate the status of the playing video.
There is an option to set a time delay to wait before YouTube Smart Pause pauses the playing video. If a delay is set, the favicon displays a countdown.
YouTube Smart Pause can function in two modes. In the “Visibility” mode, which is the default mode of operation, the add-on reacts when the active tab gets hidden or minimized. In the “Focus” mode, the add-on comes into play as soon as the Firefox window loses focus to another window, enabling you to move out of the browser into another application window. The video pauses automatically.
YouTube Smart Pause can be toggled for every page separately, from the right-click context menu. You can also press a specific hotkey (Ctrl+Shift+Y) to do that.