Tag Archives: Youtube

IT tips #17: How to force a YouTube video to start at a particular time point


Let’s say you want to send someone a YouTube clip or embed it in a post, but the bit that you want them to see is right in the middle of the clip. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just link straight to that part of the clip? Well you can. All you have to do is this. There are two different processes here: sharing a link on something like Facebook, and embedding in a webpage. Both processes are shown below.

Sharing a link 

1. Find the place in the video where you want it to start, and pause the video there.

Click on “share”


2. Another menu opens up. Click on “share” and make sure that the box is ticked that says “start at.”



3. The time in the box will be automatically updated from wherever you paused the video – that’s why you have to pause it, because otherwise the time in the box  keeps changing as the video plays. You can manually type in the time, maybe adding or subtracting a second or two if you didn’t quite pause it in the right place.

4. Copy the code and paste it into your Facebook post. Be sure to make a space and press return after the link – this seems to be necessary to cause the video to be embedded.


1. Temporarily turn on “text” mode (not WYSIWYG or “visual”). In WordPress it looks like this (click on the “text” tab”


2. Note the time  that you want the video to start.

3. Convert the time (minutes and seconds) into seconds – so if it’s 2’36, that’ll be 156 seconds

4. Click on “share”



5. Another menu opens up below. Now click on “embed”


6. In the embed code, right before the final double quotation marks after the link, add ?start= and then the number of seconds, e.g. ?start=156 if you want it to start at 2’36”.


Embed code: <iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/sy5K4YtpNsk” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Embed code with start time: 

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/sy5K4YtpNsk?start=156″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

7. Paste this into the place where you want the video to appear in your page.

8. Turn “visual” mode back on (just because it’s easier). A greyed-out screen will appear where your embedded video will be (it will only show up when you preview the page, or publish it).

Legacy instructions

I’ve revised the information above on January 9th 2015  because the previous method (see below) seems now to be obsolete – but leaving it, in case the legacy method is useful for any reason. I’m borrowing the method from this external post, but simplifying and slightly amending it to fit the way it looks on my screen.

Make a note of where the section starts that you want your friend to see

  1. Copy and paste the YouTube link into the email/Facebook, Twitter, whatever it is
  2. Before you press ‘send’ , add the following straight on to the end of the link:

#t=[number of minutes in]m [number of seconds in]s

e.g. if you want to start this clip of the Avengers episode at 17’08”,  the point where it all gets rather camp  at a place called ‘Terpischorean Training Techniques’, you’d add #t=17m8s to the end of the YouTube link, or


which will give you this:

Another way to do this is to press  ‘Share’ then select ‘Options’, then tick  the check box next to ‘Start at’.


IT tips #9: Download Youtube videos as MP4/FLV files


There are many, many ways of doing this, but Download YouTube Videos as MP4  is one of the simplest and most reliable plugins I’ve ever used. I use it for embedding video clips in PowerPoint when I’m lecturing, because if you’ve got a YouTube clip that you really want to show someone else

  • there’s a risk that it might have been taken off-line by the time you go to show it again
  • if the internet connection fails or is slow, you can’t show it at all
  • clips load much quicker when they’re already on your local computer rather than being streamed off the web

Once you’ve installed the script, it  adds a little menu item on every  YouTube  page right under the video that gives you the option to download it  as MP4 or FLV.

Just a word of warning though – don’t press any of the green ‘download’ buttons:  to install the script, just go to the top right hand side of the page and press ‘Install’ (see below) – all the ‘download now’ buttons refer to other things sitting as ads on the page, and are nothing to to with the script.

If you use it in Firefox you need to install Greasemonkey first, but it works straightaway as a plug-in in Chrome. See directions on the page for other browsers.

By the way, I know that downloading YouTube clips and storing them is probably illegal and violates all kinds of copyright laws, but I take the view that when I do it, I’m using the clip temporarily in an educational  context, and I wouldn’t upload the video again to another site, or distribute it on a CD or DVD.

IT tips #8: How to embed a Youtube clip in a post


I’m going to explain this in relation to WordPress, but the principle is broadly the same in several other contexts. It’s very straightforward, but it’s the part in point 7 below that is the thing that you really need to know to make it work.

  1. Go to the YouTube page where your favourite clip is
  2. Press the ‘share’ button
  3. Press the ’embed’ button [note – some clips don’t allow embedding, and this is the point at which you’ll find out]
  4. Pick a frame-size from the four different sizes shown.  For embedding in a web-post like this, I usually pick a small one so that it fits within post size, but you can always go back and alter it later.
  5. For safety, pick ‘Use old embed code’ – it usually works with anything
  6. Now click in the box with the blue highlighted code, select all of it and copy it.
  7. Go to the place where you want to embed the video, and select ‘HTML’ or ‘Code’ (sometimes shown as < > ona tool bar). In WordPress it looks like the tabs on the left – press the ‘HTML’ tab and it will stop being greyed-out.  Find the end of the HTML code, and paste in the code from Youtube
  8. Press Visual again – and you’ll see a shaded box where the YouTube clip will be once you’ve saved and uploaded.
  9. If you’ve made a mistake about the size, go back to YouTube and select a different frame-size, and re-select and copy the code from the code box.
  10. Here’s a screen shot of what the ’embed’ part of Youtube looks like:

And here’s the result:

Stermann & Griessman tanzen fürs Vaterland sketch


I think there’s a kind of international exchange going on. I find more and more English people fulfilling the stereotype of the humourless German bureaucrat, whereas German humour just seems to get funnier and funnier.  Sadly, the funniest parts of this sketch are untranslatable, so go and learn German.

Will the real Eduard Khil’ (trololo man) please stand up? Yes!


Wonderful to see that the original  trololo man Eduard Khil’ is still very much alive and well, and enjoying his internet fame (a recent comment called him the ‘Jesus Christ of Youtube’). Here he is on a Russian TV programme watching clips from Youtube of other people imitating the Trololo song. And it’s another reason to love the Internet.

And for hardcore trololo fans, here he  is singing along with his fans on Skype.

The related videos make for perfect procrastination material. I’m just waiting for Trololo the ballet.