Time chop YouTube videos (warning auto-playing video)

This is something that I had been wanting to blog about for a long time, and it’s only now that I’ve had the chance to write about it for my own referance and others. Ever have that perfect YouTube video that you want to reference in a lesson, but there’s a whole lot of gumpf and unnecessary footage at the start or end, you’ve got to tell students to play it from a few seconds in and stop it when the explanation has finished? Well, you can with YouTubes own Player Parameters.

I’ve found this super helpful and vital in my lectures, especially with a blended learning model. You can either add the parameter to the end of the URL and include that as a link or add it to an embedded video (I’ve done this here). The time parameter is determined by seconds and is quite simple to use. So, here’s a skinny of the documentation with examples.

Start the video at a chosen time

Choose to start a video at a point you choose by adding “&start=[start time in seconds]” to the end of the video URL. Here I’ve chosen the video to begin 30 seconds in (&start=30).

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dLRjiiAawGg?rel=0&amp;start=30 frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

There is also the addition of “&version=3” ([code]&version=3) for players, however I have not found this to be a problem yet when omitted, perhaps you might discover an issue if so, please let me know.

Start and stop the video at chosen times

Here’s the same video but with the star time as before but with the addition of an end time of 60 seconds, “&end=60” is included after the start parameter.

<iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dLRjiiAawGg?rel=0&start=30&end=60" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>

What I have found is the start and end times become removed when replying the video (the video will play and stop from it’s original position), refreshing the page will appended the parameter again, bit annoying, but hey, nothing for free right…?

Start and stop the video at chosen times and autoplay

Autoply works well, here’s the video with auto play parameter added (&autoplay=1), I’ve only set this video to play for 5 seconds.

<iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dLRjiiAawGg?rel=0&amp;start=30&amp;end=35&autoplay=1" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>

I’ve tested the other options without success when embedding videos. There’s also a few tools out there, although it’s quicker to hand code the timings instead of using them in my opinion.

Looping

Adding looping unfortunately starts the video at the beginning of the video after the first run.

<iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dLRjiiAawGg?rel=0&amp;start=30&amp;end=40&amp;loop=1" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>

In order to make this work we need to set enablejsapi=1 and use the javascript API.

Remove the Youtube logo

To remove the Youtube logo add the “&modestBranding=1” parameters, also adding “&rel=0” to the end will remove the related videos at the end (I’ve included this in my examples throughout). Although this does not seam to to work anymore, YouTube has made changes to their style of videos where the logo is no longer shown, making this technique redundant. Although if you’re looking to make a ‘cleaner’ look to the videos, try the next technique.

<iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dLRjiiAawGg?rel=0&amp;start=30&amp;end=40&amp;modestBranding=1" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>

Remove the uploader info

This removed the heading text (title of the video) and the “time” and “share” icon links.

<iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dLRjiiAawGg?rel=0&showinfo=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>

Conclusion

These techniques although handy, have their limitations in terms of efficacy, the time chop technique is useful but only having it be used once without a page reload is frustrating and possibly not great UX. I can see why YouTube might want this to happen… however it’s a bother all the same. Of course the last techniques can be ‘checked’ easily by clicking “Show more” under the embed share method, but knowing the code suffixes is still quite handy.