Because I don't think Deezil Wants Me to Call Him For This.... November 19, 2013 7:30 PM   Subscribe

I swear I remember some comment once that someone linked to a forum that told you how to jigger your computer so, when you were trying to access Youtube, it would skip over the Youtube sites that would take forever to load and bring you to the ones that would download at proper speeds. Did I hallucinate that? If not - where the frak is it?
posted by EmpressCallipygos to MetaFilter-Related at 7:30 PM (29 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

I've seen it, I just never used it and can't find it now that I need it ;-)
posted by deezil at 8:02 PM on November 19, 2013

I remember this; haven't found it yet but still looking.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:15 PM on November 19, 2013

I think you want to google "bypassing YouTube cache" or something like that--I've never tried it because YouTube is always fast enough for me. I also remember seeing it on here somewhere, but can't find it now.
posted by pullayup at 8:18 PM on November 19, 2013

Is this it?
posted by pullayup at 8:19 PM on November 19, 2013

No, that wasn't it, pullayup - there was a link to where someone gave some IP numbers you blocked by...doing something. Or they linked to a Reddit thread where they gave the IP numbers there.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:35 PM on November 19, 2013

I think it may be from this, in reply to this; links to a reddit thread.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:36 PM on November 19, 2013

EmpressCallipygos, I feel your pain. I don't know the exact thread you're after, but I've found that the Google Feather beta has helped me stream a little more cleanly at home. There's also a bunch of stuff you can find about blocking certain IP addresses, and if you're using Chrome there's a certain plugin you should disable in favour of some other plugin (I forget what exactly), but none of that did much for me.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:38 PM on November 19, 2013

This is probably the Reddit thread Lobstermitten mentions above.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:39 PM on November 19, 2013

Err which it is, I only clicked on LM's second link for some reason.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:39 PM on November 19, 2013

I checked that thread, Lobstermitten - it still doesn't seem quite right. I also remember Time Warner Cable being disparaged quite a bit in the thread in question.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:40 PM on November 19, 2013

There's a follow-up thread, too, EC--could this be the one you are looking for?
posted by misha at 9:52 PM on November 19, 2013

How to stop YouTube sucking sets up a rule that excludes a couple of IP addresses. Was linked here.
posted by maggieb at 11:04 PM on November 19, 2013

I remember seeing this too. I *think* I also recall a guy from Youtube saying that while blocking a specific server would cause you to be bounced to another, that new server might also be slow. There's some kind of load-balancing thing that works to try to pair a viewer with their closest server, which theoretically leads to higher speeds. My memory of this is quite fuzzy, though.

You might want to look into disabling Dash playback. I use this Greasemonkey script to disable it. Dash will load the video in chunks, only getting the next chunk when the previous one is coming to an end. It's why if you jump forward in time in the video, you have to wait while that chunk is downloaded. The linked script will let you autobuffer, which downloads the entire video file in one go.
posted by Solomon at 2:44 AM on November 20, 2013

I don't think it will help you to find that particular thread because all of these sources are talking about the same thing. You want to make it so your computer doesn't go to the cache servers and instead connects to YouTube directly.

The problem with this is twofold. First, the cache servers that particular users are using varies by their ISP and locally. So what one person reports as what IP address range to successfully block the cache servers won't work for other people. Second, it's a moving target.

Ideally, you'd just force the YouTube player to always connect to YouTube servers directly, rather than blocking access to the cache server range and having the player fallover to the direct server. Everything I've seen does the latter because that's relatively straightforward by just altering your routing rules. Doing the former would mean interfering with the workings inside the browser/player. That would be better and would be a good extension for Chrome or Firefox, but I've not seen anything like this.

And the better routing solutions I've seen are changing the routing tables on one's router. But not everyone has home routers that allow you to do this. And it's sensitive to how you change the routing for the range you want to block; you want it to immediately tell the computer that it needs to try something else rather than have the attempt to the blocked range time-out, which causes a small delay.

You can block access to the cache IP range with firewall rules on your computer — Windows firewall on PCs. Or possibly with something like PeerBlock. Or I suppose changing the routing table for your PC.

But none of these blocking solutions are going to work unless you're blocking the IPs for the cache servers that your connection to your ISP is actually being directed to. So you first really need to look at what IP address your YouTube player is actually connecting to, and then determine what range it's in that is the cache servers.

If you go out looking at that Reddit thread (and when this came to a lot of people's attention was in the Reddit thread on what dirty secrets people who tell about jobs they've worked at, which included the funeral home stuff that freaked people out, and the thread was posted to MeFi) you'll find people reporting specific ranges to block ... but you'll also see people posting much later saying that such-and-such a range that someone had earlier said worked doesn't work anymore, even when it's the same ISP, like TimeWarner or whatever.

As you can tell, I've investigated this but generally lost interest and wasn't motivated to make it work — I tried a range in PeerBlock, it didn't work, and I lost interest. YouTube isn't often slow for me, though it sometimes is. But the more people who do this, the more it will be a moving target because ISP and YouTube will be motivated to move the cache servers around.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:53 AM on November 20, 2013 [5 favorites]

None of those threads look right, but they're similar enough that I may just be remembering it properly...I was hoping something else was out there because I did try blocking those IPs and it didn't work that well.

Feh. I'm calling off the search based on fears that the specific thing I seek may only be in my head.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:12 AM on November 20, 2013

I remember something about going into your YouTube preferences and opting in to some experimental features (maybe HTML5 playback instead if Flash?). But maybe that was to avoid ads? And I am sure no longer works
posted by misterbrandt at 6:55 AM on November 20, 2013

No, it was definitely something about blocking the IP's. The reddit links people link to above look like they're describing the technique I saw - I was just hoping to find this one specific thread in case it had another specific IP to block.

I remember someone in HERE talking about having bad luck with Time Warner Cable in particular and blocking IP [bleh bleh bleh bleh] worked for them; I didn't have much luck blocking the IP numbers mentioned in the links HERE, so I wanted to find that elusive Time Warner Cable one. But that may have just been in my head.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:57 AM on November 20, 2013

Well, if it helps at all, this comment in that Reddit thread is specifically about Time Warner.
posted by inigo2 at 7:31 AM on November 20, 2013

In the same Reddit thread inigo2 links to there is also this comment on the same topic but with a different Ip address.

There was a metafilter FPP about a "dirty secrets of your job" thread on Reddit in August sometime in which I linked to a reddit comment that linked back to the timewarner thread inigo mentions, so that's another place you might have seen it.
posted by Wretch729 at 8:55 AM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:48 PM on November 20, 2013

I mean, it links back to the same Reddit stuff others have linked to, but at least it goes THROUGH the "Time Warner" connection I remembered, even though that Time Warner connection was on Reddit.

Yay I didn't make it up!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:50 PM on November 20, 2013


I hope you mean you found it after reading Ivan Fyodorovich's correct answer:

in the Reddit thread on what dirty secrets people who tell about jobs they've worked at

Otherwise, damn, yo.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 2:07 PM on November 20, 2013

you left out the important bit: "... and the thread was posted to MeFi."
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:18 PM on November 20, 2013

I should have linked to the thread, instead of mentioning it in passing. I knew that was what she was thinking of, though. It was where I saw the YT thing and several people also made a big deal about that info in the thread.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:22 PM on November 20, 2013

you left out the important bit: "... and the thread was posted to MeFi."

....That wasn't a given for something I'd asked about in Metatalk?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:35 PM on November 20, 2013

On reflection I think I was uncharitably indignant and a bit of a noodge. I hope I didn't cause any offense, but either way I apologize for my unnecessary brusqueness.

For what it's worth I followed the instructions in that Reddit thread and noticed immediate improvements in streaming and torrenting speeds. Time Warner Cable, New York (Queens). Though they may have changed things, as the speeds seem to have choked back to their pre-trick levels a few months later.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 2:36 PM on November 20, 2013

That's a link to the exact same reddit thread that has been linked in here like nine times already!
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:11 PM on November 20, 2013

Heh; yeah, I know. I only remembered the interstitial reddit link, though, which confirmed the Time Warner connection, and that's why I wasn't recognizing it.

In other words - The comment I was looking for was A, it linked to something on Reddit that was B, and B linked to the link you were all showing me, which was C. I hadn't gotten as far as C in my original review of the link, so you were all showing me C but I was missing B, and that's why I was looking for A.

....For the record, I tried to think of an Underpants Gnomes way of phrasing that but it didn't seem to fit.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:25 PM on November 20, 2013

That thread is notable and important because finally, the Big Bird conspiracy is finally unmasked. Not sure if that got sidebarred, but it certainly should have.

It is one of the most shocking and memorable thing I've ever read in the blue.
posted by el io at 12:32 AM on November 22, 2013

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