Watch YouTube Efficiently

Table of Contents

There is a lot of entertaining content on YouTube. Sometimes it can be hard keep up with your favorite YouTubers. Or, maybe you want to watch more content in less time.


Instead of relying on YouTube's algorithm to tell you when someone uploads, use RSS readers. RSS fetches content and serves it right to you. A great FOSS (free and open source) RSS reader is CommaFeed.

RSS readers are a great, privacy-respecting alternative to YouTube's traditional subscription feature. In fact, it is better than YouTube's feature because you can subscribe to content creators outside of YouTube.

RSS feeds on YouTube are in the following format:{channel_id}

where {channel_id} is the channel's ID. You cannot put custom YouTube IDs here.

Finding a YouTube Channel's RSS Feed

  1. Look for the source code. Neatnik will help you view the source code if you do not know how to.
  2. Hit Ctrl + F (or Command + F) and look for rssUrl. The URL after the colon for rssUrl is the RSS feed for that YouTube channel.
  3. Copy that URL and paste it into your favorite RSS reader.

The highlighted part is the URL you want to copy.

Custom YouTube ID

Reading this section is not required for RSS.

One custom YouTube ID example is Pewdiepie. His channel URL is: “PewDiePie” is not his channel ID. It is his custom ID. His channel ID can be found by looking in the source code.

Watching at Higher Speeds

The most obvious tip is to just raise the video speed. Normally, I would recommend people to raise it to 1.1x speed as it's difficult to tell the speed increase. Unfortunately, YouTube has no such option, so it is best to raise it to 1.25x and slowly increase the speed from there.

I will give you with one warning. Watching at higher speeds may diminish the overall viewing experience. It may also make it more difficult to consume content at 1x speed because it will feel slow.

Calculating How Much Time You Will Save

Watching at higher speeds will allow you to save a lot of time. You can calculate that by:

  1. Turning your desired speed into a fraction
  2. Finding the reciprocal of that fraction (flip the numerator and denominator)
  3. Multiplying by how many seconds long a video is
  4. Subtract the total length of the video by the answer you got in #3.


  1. 1.25 = 5/4
  2. 5/4 >> 4/5
  3. 60 * 4/5 = 48. 60 – 48 = 12. Therefore, you save 12 seconds for every minute you watch at 1.25x speed.

Adblock and SponsorBlock

Adblockers block time-wasting ads. I recommend you leave it on by default, but turn it off for creators you want to support. A good adblocker is UBlock Origin. Its default settings are enough for most users. Mobile users should download the Brave browser to block ads.

Note, blocking ads may break Google's Terms of Service and could lead to account termination (though it's very rare). To avoid this, you can buy YouTube Premium.

SponsorBlock skips sponsored segments of a video automatically instead of having to exert effort to skip the video yourself. Blocked segments are contributed by the community.

Download Videos

Downloading videos may break Google's Terms of Service. Moreover, downloading videos could technically be considered piracy and may lead to legal consequences. To avoid this, buying YouTube Premium will allow you to download videos for offline use.

That said, why download videos? Sometimes you want to consume content offline. Another reason is that YouTube can occasionally be slow (especially if you have a terrible Wi-Fi connection). Downloading videos ahead of time will allow you to view them later at your own leisure.

Tags: #productivity #entertainment