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There's already a question asking about how to stop youtube videos from automatically playing, however the solution there doesn't satisfy me as it prevents the video from buffering in the background.

Is there any way to prevent youtube from automatically starting the playback, while still allowing the video to be buffered? My browser of choice is Firefox so extensions would also be valid solutions.

I would be especially interested in any solution that will allow me to choose the quality in which the buffering will be performed - for example, a solution that will allow me to always set videos to the highest quality mode available up to and including 720p, while still starting them at "pause" mode.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I know you asked for Firefox explicitly, but if you were to move to Chrome you could use the Stop Autoplay for YouTube extension (which stops playback yet allows buffering) combined with the Auto HD for YouTube to automagically select your preferred quality levels.

Both plugins can be found on Google's Chrome Extensions.

EDIT:
For FireFox, you could install GreaseMonkey and use this script which does what you want (and supposedly blocks adverts as well): http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/49366

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With Firefox you can use YouTube Control Center open source add-on to configure autoplay behavior, buffering and much more.

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