Youtube as a VJ Platform

1. Make sure the video is focused by clicking onto it.
2. Initial buffering will reduce as you jump around the cues points.
3. Fullscreen / Profit.


Clip cues: Keyboard 0 — 9
Motion titles: Subtitle track on (content on slots 0, 1, 2)
Tempo: Playback speed 0.25x — 2x
Pixelation filter: Quality 720p — 144p
Jumpcut: Keyboard ⬅ -5 | ➡ +5 (seconds)

What is this and why?

Most people love music and love visuals, so wouldn’t it be nice to have both?
To be able to throw some movement onto a wall? Or to have a play and a daydream on any computer screen?

This is a reimagining of the Youtube platform as an always-on, zero-barrier-to-entry, VJ clip library and playback instrument.

With 10 cue points per video, speed adjustment, pixelation/compression levels and a hackable subtitle system. It has a surprising amount of playback functionality and depth to explore.

The mechanics of using Youtube to VJ

A video of clips
I have Jimmy’d a track of 10 loops together.
Each clip roughly starts at the next 10% increment mark.

Loop selection
Each cue point can be triggered using 0 – 9.
0 sets the playhead to the beginning and 9 at the ending (90%).


The playback speed options on youtube can be used to map TEMPO.

If the visual tempo of the clip is at 120bpm, a playback speed of 1.25 will increase the visual tempo to 150bpm.

Play around and see what works for with your listening.

As an aside: Techno music is generally within the 120-150bpm range and a Hiphop tempo could be achieved by setting a playback speed to 0.75 = 90bpm

Titles / Motion graphics

The subtitle track is a multidimensional* layer that can be filled with text and emoji content to create some rudimentary and animated visuals (fun!).
It can be achieved using Youtube Studio or by uploading a transcript file, if you think in terms of ASCII art it’s a very easy tool.

The time fidelity for subtitles is at 1frame/0.5seconds = 2fps.
This can be multiplied up and down by setting the TEMPO multiplier.

The subtitle languages can be used as title tracks. That’s a lot.

*each text/emoji character has a spatial and a temporal position, x, y, and time.

Filter (singular)
To add a pixelation filter into the mix Settings → Quality.

The 240p resolution produces a lot of dithering and compression artefacts and can be rather pleasing.
At 144p it becomes a hot mess. 🍜

1 thought on “Youtube as a VJ Platform”

  1. What a great tool! Love playing with it – I tried using it to Firestarter, The Prodigy and it worked a treat. Bravo Carlo!!

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