Here’s A Sneak Peek Of The New YouTube Player

By Megan O'Neill 

Over the coming weeks YouTube is planning to roll out some pretty major changes to their video player.  Rumors have been flying about a new player complete with thumbnail previews and storyboards, but now those rumors are about to become a reality.  Here’s a sneak peak of what’s in store.

Nundu Janakiram, product manager at YouTube, posted a few screenshots on the YouTube blog of what you can expect to see later on this month.  Janakiram writes, “Years ago we created a way to link a certain moment on a video, which let you find, share and comment on just your favorite parts.  Now we’re expanding that control even more.  Over the coming weeks, you’ll be able to see an image preview or a series of thumbnails with three new features on our video player.”  Below we take a look at those three features in more detail.

Sneak Peeks

With the new player, viewers will be able to get a sneak peek of what happens later on in a video, while they are watching.  Just hover your mouse over the seek bar and a thumbnail image of that moment will appear.  Check out the screenshot below to see what it looks like.

Scan Through Thumbnails

The new YouTube player will make it easier than ever to find a specific spot in a video you are watching.  By dragging the handle along the seek bar you can reveal a filmstrip of thumbnails, making it easy to jump to specific scenes and moments.

Seek Bar Zooming

When you are watching really long videos it can be hard to scan through using the seek bar.  That’s why YouTube is adding a new feature for videos that are longer than 90 minutes that let you zoom in on the seek bar, one and a half minutes at a time.  This makes it a lot easier to find the exact moment you may be looking for in a movie or video.

Are you looking forward to trying out the new YouTube video player features?  Is there anything else you’d like to see added to the YouTube player?

Update [March 8, 2012]: It looks like you can try the new player out for yourself on a couple of YouTube videos already.  Check it out below:

Image Credit: pressureUA /

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.