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Tip of the Week – Creating a YouTube playlist

It's widely known that YouTube is not recommended for children under the age of 13. Alongside the latest Miley Cyrus video or that hilarious home-made sketch with the family dog, there are millions of videos with sexual or violent content that are highly inappropriate for tweens and even much older children.

The open nature of the site makes it notoriously difficult to filter such content. Instead, YouTube relies heavily on its millions of users to flag inappropriate material, so it can be reviewed by screeners and, if necessary, taken down. By that time, it's often too late and many parents take the easier route of banning kids from YouTube altogether.

In many ways this is unfortunate. There are millions of videos that are entertaining and fun, including the slapstick humor and classic comedy shows that kids love the most. Plus, the short duration of the clips and the easy replay controls make the site a great way to keep younger kids interested.

However, there is a way to isolate a selection of videos on YouTube, so your child can watch from a menu of clips that have been pre-screened by you. This is done by building a playlist, much the same way as you would put together a playlist of songs on iTunes.

Accessing a playlist on YouTube doesn't lock your child out from the rest of the site but it's a way to build a collection of favorite videos, which they can watch again and again without having to look for them via the unpredictable search feature.

There are two ways to set up a playlist:

From the video viewing page:

  1. Click the "Playlist" link under the video you're watching.
  2. From the drop down menu, choose "[New Playlist]", and click "OK."
  3. You'll be taken to a page where you can set the properties for your Playlist.
  4. Click the "Save Playlist Info" button. You'll be returned to the video watch page and the video will automatically be added to your new Playlist.

From an individual Account:

  1. First, set up an "Account", by signing up for YouTube or logging-in using your Google account information if you have one.
  2. On your Account page, click on the "Playlists" link under "My Videos."
  3. Click the "Create Playlist" button from the left column of the page and set the properties for your Playlist.
  4. Click the "Save Playlist Info" button.

Once your playlist is set-up, you can add videos while you watch them by clicking on the "Playlists" tab below the video and then clicking "Add".

Remember: your child will still need to operate under the honor system or be supervised, so they stick with the designated playlist and don't stray to other parts of the YouTube site.

Comment by Rena Hecht, posted 11/11/2009, 8:11 PM:

This is one of the most useful pieces of info on your site to date. I'm going to try it tomorrow!
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