YouTube Launches Video Speed Dashboard

The YouTube Video Speed Dashboard feature enables users to measure the speed of their video streaming.

YouTube has launched a new feature to enable users to measure the speed of their video streaming, the YouTube Video Speed Dashboard.

Chris Dale, a spokesperson for YouTube, announced the launch of the dashboard in a Feb. 11 blog post, saying video speed "can mean the difference between a fast and fun video viewing experience [and] a slow and frustrating one."

Indeed, "YouTube video speed depends on many different factors, some of which are the speed of your Internet connection, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) you are using and the distance to the video servers," Dale said.

Thus, he said, "The goal with this dashboard is to give you insight into what your YouTube speed looks like compared to the YouTube speed of users in other regions and different ISPs. We may also list the YouTube speeds for users in your neighborhood but with different ISPs. The speed numbers are calculated by measuring the speed at which YouTube video is received by the browser. This is then averaged over the previous 30 days, provided you've used the same browser during this time period."

The dashboard will give video makers and viewers the opportunity to play around with scenarios, compare speeds and possibly switch ISPs to improve speed. To test your video speed try this link.

The YouTube Video Speed Dashboard is another in a series of efforts by YouTube parent Google to help speed up the Web. Google has created several other technologies to that end, such as recent enhancements to the Google Web Toolkit. In December, Google announced GWT 2.0, which introduced faster profiling with Speed Tracer and had the express purpose of enabling developers to build faster applications more easily.

GWT Product Manager Andrew Bowers said in a Dec. 8 blog post:

""The first thing you'll notice in 2.0 is that we've added a new tool called Speed Tracer. Speed Tracer is a performance profiler for Google Chrome that allows developers to see what's going on in a way which hasn't been possible before. We've worked closely with the Webkit community to add instrumentation in the browser to enable developers to gain deep insights into how code behaves, uncovering problems which have been hidden up till now.Another feature we've added into Google Web Toolkit is developer-guided code splitting. Code splitting allows a developer to split up their application for much, much faster startup times. Imagine if you have a settings page that users go to once a week. Why download that JavaScript when the application starts up? With code splitting, your users download just the JavaScript they need to get started.""