Nothing ruins the experience of watching a YouTube video like Magic of Rahat more than seeing the dreaded buffering wheel, which is why we're always working to make videos play smoothly in the best quality possible. And when you can't see what you want, when you want, it’s important you know why.

Starting today, if you’re in the U.S., you can use the Google Video Quality Report to see the level of video quality your Internet service provider can play YouTube. If you’re regularly seeing videos buffer, this report can give you a better idea of why, as well as tips to make YouTube play better. You can also see the video quality other ISPs in your area are delivering, based on these levels:

  • HD Verified: If your provider can consistently deliver HD video, a resolution of at least 720p, without buffering or interruptions--it’s HD Verified.
  • Standard Definition: If you can watch videos at a resolution of at least 360p, your provider is delivering Standard Definition.
  • Lower Definition: If videos load slowly or frequently buffer, even at resolutions lower than 360p, your provider is delivering Lower Definition performance.

Want to see our methodology? Check out the geeky details, and learn how videos get from us to you with this video.

7 ways to improve your video quality

Making sure you can watch YouTube in HD from anywhere, anytime is a shared effort among us, your Internet service provider and even you. So, to make sure you're getting the best video quality possible, check out these seven tips you can use right now:

And for those of you not living in the U.S. or Canada where the report is also available, we’ll be bringing it to more of your countries in the coming months.

Jay Akkad, Product Manager, YouTube, recently watched “Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos - Episode 1.”

Trololo! YouTube turned 9 this May. And what multitudes are contained in that vast near-decade of video?

To call out just a few highlights in YouTube history, there are more than 120,000 videos inspired by “Let it Go” (based on videos posted with that title), half a million by “Gangnam Style,” and a stunning 1.5 million videos by “Harlem Shake” (that’s a lot of motorcycle helmets). These inspired riffs got us thinking about those magical moments when songs become bona fide trends—and people all over the world start remixing, covering, parodying, dancing, and lip-dubbing.

So to celebrate this year, we pay homage to the music you've made on YouTube. We got a bunch of your favorite performers together to cover some of the most memorable musical moments in YouTube’s history. The result is a mashup called YouTube Birthday Karaoke Night, featuring familiar faces like The Gregory Brothers, Chester See, Cimorelli and more (see if you can spot all 18).

Now raise your Cups ... ’cause Here it Goes Again. Call us Maybe?

Claire Stapleton, YouTube Culture & Trends, recently watched (and crooned along to) the playlist Nine Classic Hits Celebrating YouTube’s Ninth Birthday.

Nine-time Grammy Award winner John Legend. Dubstep violinist Lindsey Stirling. The most popular dancers on YouTube, Les Twins. On their own, these artists have topped charts, gone platinum and generated more than a billion combined views on YouTube. Tomorrow night, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. will host these artists and more to perform on its iconic stage.

Tune-in tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. ET at for “YouTube OnStage Live from the Kennedy Center,” a celebration of art, technology, and culture that unites stars who are building global fan bases worldwide on YouTube.

Whether it’s the vintage cover artists Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox, or the Playing for Change movement that helps connect the world through music, all the performers featured in the event have found a global platform and audience for their creativity on YouTube.

Visit the Kennedy Center’s YouTube channel for the full rundown of the night, artists’ videos, and a replay of the event after it airs live. And if you’re in D.C., head down to the Kennedy Center for free tickets tomorrow evening.

Ali Rivera, West Coast Head Artist Label Relations, recently watched "Dude, what? This ramen sucked."