Have you ever tried using YouTube’s built in keyboard shortcuts? Yes, it has keyboard shortcuts and we even listed them a while back, but YouTube’s shortcuts are nothing short of unproductive torture. It seems odd that Google didn’t think to give them a makeover while it was redesigning every single service it owned. The shortcuts are active only and only if you have the mouse positioned above the player, and even then, they aren’t easy to manage. One of the main reasons why some websites don’t have great keyboard shortcut support is because the best and prime key combinations are already being used by the browser itself, and that leaves little room for web services.
Nevertheless, with the amount of shortcut support Google has for Gmail, it makes one think the shortcuts for YouTube were an afterthought. tubeStop is a simple little Chrome extension that solves this problem. It adds full-fledged keyboard shortcut support; the kind that does not rely on the cursor to be positioned some place for it to be functional. You have your pause/play shortcut, volume control and switching between videos when you’re watching a playlist.
The space bar pauses and plays videos, the Ctrl+right/left arrow keys allow you to move to the next or previous video in a playlist and the Ctrl+up/down arrow allows you to control the volume. In all fairness, that’s sufficient for a smooth YouTube experience. Once you install the extension, make sure you activate it from the icon it adds next to the URL bar. If you’ve already got a YouTube video open and maybe halfway streamed, rest easy, since the extension will start working without the need to refresh the page.
The extension is excellent, and that raises a question; why can’t these shortcuts be added by default? They are easy to remember and there aren’t many websites out there that they would conflict with. The space bar will usually pause/play videos even on desktop media players and it’s possibly the easiest to remember.
There are few extensions like this one in the Chrome Web Store at present and of the ones we’ve come across, this is the only one that worked. Keep in mind, though, that if you have other YouTube Chrome extensions installed, they might interfere with it or vice versa.
The link provided below will take you to the extension’s Chrome Web Store page.