Most people are becoming increasingly dependent on the internet, whether they like it or not. Technology marches on at great speed, and people may struggle to keep up. Whilst it can bring challenges, it also brings new opportunities.
They say knowledge is power, and there is some truth in that. How often has an adult heard their child say, ‘Are you still doing that? There’s a much easier way – let me show you!’ This article is designed to show a few such hacks that can make our online activities more fruitful and fun.
Saving Online Videos and Changing File Formats
It saves space on our phones and computers if we access things from the internet rather than storing them offline. The problem is that such things as videos can be removed by the person or the video platform at any time. When it comes to downloading youtube vids, there are fortunately ways to do this. Some websites offer downloadable apps so that videos can be saved to the computer, and viewed offline at a later date. It is even possible to save live streams or download entire playlists with the press of a button.
In times past it used to be annoying if a picture was in a certain format but it couldn’t be read within a certain programme. Over time developers fortunately came up with software that enabled users to change file formats with the click of a button.
Similar things are applicable with video content. Imagine liking an online music video, but wanting to listen to it from a computer or phone. There are modern apps that allow such videos to be downloaded and then converted to either mp3 or mp4 files for this purpose.
There may be many reasons why someone would wish to anonymously search online. Someone might be looking for a product using Google, and later be barraged with adverts for this very thing. Our interests and purchases are big business, and our online search data often gets shared with other companies. Private browsing can resist this because we leave no footprint behind us as we search.
Most internet browsers include this option, including Opera and Safari. Internet Explorer calls it the ‘Private Browsing’ option, and Firefox names it a ‘Private Window’. Google Chrome offers the ‘Incognito Mode’.
When a person arrives on a website, it is often annoying when cookie notifications immediately appear. When adverts are displayed too, it can be tempting to change sites.
Fortunately, Ad Blocking software can be downloaded from the internet, and sometimes this is free. Once it has been installed, there will be a marked reduction in unwanted things appearing. This includes banner ads and pop-up ads.
Some sites will detect that an Ad Blocker is in use, and bring up a notification asking for it to be disabled on their site. It may be that free stuff is available on a website, and that the only way they can offer this is by making money through advertising. Ad Blocking software does enable us to turn it off for certain web pages or web sites, but it is entirely the user’s decision.
Help With Online Searches
Websites such as Google often anticipate what we are typing into the search box. This is because it remembers everyone’s entries. If we type ‘Laurel and’ it will provide the option of ‘Laurel and Hardy’. This can be helpful and time saving for us. Search sites are also kind to us when we misspell something. If we type, ‘Donald Trump’ we will still receive search results about this President.
There is a way of asking search engines such as Google to provide a missing word. Imagine being at a party and forgetting Freddie Mercury’s surname. The solution is to go online and use an asterisk. If someone types ‘Freddie * of Queen’ the surname will appear in the results. If we forget one of the elements ‘earth wind fire’ the missing one can be discovered by using an * in the search.
A New Way to Play Music or Videos
Someone may wish to play their saved media file using their computer, and not have a suitable way to do this. All people have to do is drag and drop the file over the URL box in Google Chrome. When this has been done, it will display the file string. Google Chrome will then use this information to play the video or music for you.
It’s always helpful to hang out with techie friends or to look online for simple solutions. They can make life easier, and help us get what we want much quicker. Then spread the word – someone else needs to know this!