How to skip to a timecode in EMBEDDED YouTube video

In a previous post I shared with you the syntax for your YouTube URLs that allow your users to click-through and automatically skip to a specific timecode in a YouTube video.  But that's for the case of watching a YouTube video on YouTube's site.

The point of this article is about how to do the same thing -- skip to a YouTube timecode -- for YouTube video that's embedded on YOUR site.

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If you click the video above, and you're doing so from a desktop or laptop (this technique doesn't seem to work for iDevices), then you'll see that it doesn't start at the beginning of the video.  But rather, it starts you off at about the 38 second mark in the video.  (That actually solves an annoying problem where the first 37 seconds of the video kept stuttering, for some reason.  Using the parameter setting I'll show you below, I'm able to skip the annoying part.)  But, all that isn't really the point of this blog post.  What is the point, is the syntax you'll want to add in your embed code.

timecode syntax for embedded youtube video(Click to enlarge.)

When you grab the embed code from the YouTube video (using the "old" embed code method), there are two places in it that have a source URL reference to the video.  Those parts are highlighted in yellow above.  (You can click the picture to enlarge it.)

What you want to do is add the text below

;start=99

to the part of the URL that is just prior to the last set of quotes.  And, you'll need to replace the "99" in the sample above with the actual timecode you want in units of seconds.  (Note also the semicolon.)

So, in my snapshot above, for example, we're starting the video at the 38 second timecode into the video.  Meanwhile, in a previous article I wrote about the 10 Commandments of Screencasting, I included an embedded video that starts at the 15 minute point.  Accordingly, the parameter setting I used for it was ;start=900.  (i.e., 15 minutes x 60 sconds per minute = 900.)

So What?

You can obviously use this technique to focus on a specific part of a video that you want to bring to the attention of your readers.  In the example of the video above, I simply fast forwarded you past a segment of the video that would otherwise make people simply want to "click off."  Essentially resurrecting a video that I otherwise had left for dead.  (Unless, of course, I simply re-compiled the video and re-uploaded it.)

You could also use this technique when you use someone else's video.  As in the example of the 10 Commandments of Screencasting video, rather than have you sit through the first 14m:59s of a 30-minute long video, I'm instead able to simply take you directly to the part of the YouTube video that was most relevant to the topic.  It keeps the article relevant to the topic of discussion, and shows your readers that you respect their time.

All in all, what this allows you to do is keep your visitors on your site longer, rather than bouncing them away to another website.

Did this help?  What other examples can you think to share for when you'd use this parameter?


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About Mel

Mel is the online training architect and screencasting wizard at Kareo, one of Forbes' 2013 list of 100 Most Promising Companies in America. He's also the creator of Digital-Know-How, a training website devoted to developing learners' skills for screencasting and web video course development. Mel is also the chief blogger of ScreencastingWizard.com; Mel's personal blog. The comments and opinions you read here are Mel's and not associated with any other company.
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