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Google Earth Play Tour HINTS
Once Google Earth opens up you can use the MENU bar controls
to start an animated flyby tour.  Go to TOOLS, then to PLAY TOUR.

As you can see, you can also use
Control + Alt + P
to get the flyby tour started.


Alternate  PLAY TOUR control
Notice the standard video camcorder type buttons under Places. Clicking on the triangular button gets PLAY TOUR started.  (If you hover your cursor over the triangular button the words PLAY TOUR will pop up.)

Also note the SLIDER BAR to the left of the PLAY TOUR button.  By sliding it back way to the left during the animation you can see the red line disappear and in many cases the actual trail we were running on will be quite visible. Google Earth resolution for anywhere on the planet is just amazing!!

I found out another use for the SLIDER BAR.  If you hit the PAUSE Button (it appears in place of the PLAY TOUR button after the animation starts), then in many cases you cannot restart the TOUR by clicking on PLAY TOUR again.  However, I found that if the TOUR does not restart, then moving the SLIDER BAR a bit to the left gets it going again from the exact location where you paused.


Controlling the speed of the animation. 
If you feel the animation is happening very slowly you can change that
by going to TOOLS in the MENU bar and clicking on OPTIONS.

Next click on the TOURING tab and you will see the
DEFAULT PLAY TOUR animation settings
These settings make for a slow boring animation that seems to take forever.

My preferred PLAY TOUR animation settings

I also like a little more TILT ANGLE to get a better 3D affect and like being closer to the surface of the earth.  As you can see, I have speeded up the flyby by a factor of 4.

Be sure to Apply Settings before clicking OK.  Then test your new PLAY TOUR speeds.  
If not happy with it, come back to OPTIONS and change it again until you are satisfied.