How to Use Google Takeout and YouTube Time Watched Calculator to Measure Your Video Consumption

Question:

What is the best method to calculate the total duration of videos watched on YouTube?

I have downloaded my Google Takeout data, but the watch history file does not show the length of each video. I am using Solid Explorer on my mobile device to open the file, but it only displays the titles and the legal notices. Is there a better way to access this information?

Answer:

YouTube is one of the most popular video-sharing platforms in the world, with billions of hours of content uploaded and viewed every day. Many users may wonder how much time they have spent watching videos on YouTube, either for curiosity or productivity reasons. However, finding this information is not as easy as it may seem.

One possible way to access your YouTube watch history is to download your Google Takeout data, which is a service that allows you to export a copy of your data from Google products. However, this method has some limitations and drawbacks. First, you need to request and wait for your data to be ready, which can take hours or days depending on the size of your data. Second, the watch history file that you receive does not show the duration of each video that you watched, only the title, URL, and timestamp. Third, if you are using a mobile device to open the file, you may encounter some compatibility issues with the file format, which is JSON. For example, you may need to use a third-party app like Solid Explorer to view the file, but it may not display the content properly.

Therefore, a better method to calculate the total duration of videos watched on YouTube is to use a web-based tool that can parse your watch history file and extract the relevant information. One such tool is [YouTube Time Watched Calculator](https://youtubetimewatched.com/), which is a free and easy-to-use website that can estimate your total watch time based on your watch history file. To use this tool, you need to follow these steps:

  • Go to [Google Takeout](https://takeout.google.com/) and select only YouTube and YouTube Music from the list of products.
  • Click on “All YouTube data included” and deselect everything except “history/watch-history.json”.
  • Click on “Next step” and choose your preferred delivery method, file type, and frequency.
  • Click on “Create export” and wait for your data to be ready. You will receive an email notification when it is done.
  • Download and unzip your data archive and locate the file “history/watch-history.json”.
  • Go to [YouTube Time Watched Calculator](https://youtubetimewatched.com/) and upload your watch history file.
  • Wait for the tool to process your file and display your estimated total watch time, as well as some other statistics and charts.
  • Using this method, you can get a more accurate and detailed estimate of your total duration of videos watched on YouTube, without having to manually calculate the length of each video. However, keep in mind that this method is not perfect and may have some margin of error. For example, the tool may not be able to recognize some videos that have been deleted, made private, or changed their title. Also, the tool may not account for the time that you skipped, paused, or replayed some parts of the videos. Therefore, you should treat the result as an approximation and not as an exact measurement.

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hope you found this article helpful and informative. If you have any feedback or questions, please let me know. 😊

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