The new Xbox 360 Dashboard received a few more apps yesterday including the most anticipated one. YouTube went public late yesterday to much of the delight of viewers.
As soon as you download the YouTube app and fire it up, you can dive into “Feature” videos under headings like “YouTube trends,” “most liked,” and “most popular.” Don’t ask me how YouTube figures out what goes where in those buckets. You can also “Discover” content via categories like “animation,” “celebrities and gossip,” and “gaming.”
Playing these videos worked great (quality depended on the source material, of course). Tapping the A button while a video is playing brings up a menu bar with pause, play, fast forward, etc. and from that bar you can choose More Actions which will reveal features such as Like, Dislike, Flag, Watch Later as well as Info about the video. I’m glad these functions are there, but they’re kind of buried; at first I didn’t think they existed.
Searching is done with the controller or gestures (with Kinect) via an row of letters on screen. Voice search isn’t supported. Voice is supported for browsing/navigating and playback, plus you can access that hidden “Like/Dislike” menu easier via Kinect than you can with a controller.
You can link your YouTube account to your Xbox Live account by entering a code from the Xbox app into a page at http://www.youtube.com/activate. Once you do that, you can see your Favorites, play lists, Watch Later list and get recommendations.
Subscriptions are hidden away under “View All” which seemed like a curious decision, given that Google is pushing original content via channels these days, but at least they’re there. “View All” is also where you’ll find your own videos.
All in all, YouTube is a really nice addition to the Xbox 360 experience for watching popular videos and catching up on your queue.