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Player only supports a few browsers now, Firefox not included

The top video destination online is YouTube by a large margin – other video watching sites like Hulu are much further behind YouTube in the number of users. YouTube is constantly working to improve its service to keep its edge and help bring in more advertisers.

YouTube already showcased HTML5-based video player demo, but the video site reports that users have been asking it to do more with HTML5. To give the viewers what they want, YouTube has announced a new experimental HTML5 supported video player.

YouTube engineers wrote on the official YouTube blog, "HTML5 is a new web standard that is gaining popularity rapidly and adds many new features to your web experience. Most notably for YouTube users, HTML5 includes support for video and audio playback. This means that users with an HTML5 compatible browser, and support for the proper audio and video codecs can watch a video without needing to download a browser plugin."

There are a few caveats to the experimental player right now. The biggest is that there are a relative few browsers that support HTML5 at this time. YouTube lists Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer running ChromeFrame as being compatible. The capabilities will be expanded later to include new capabilities. The new video player can be used by visiting TestTube if your browser is compatible. Other issues include the lack of support for videos with ads, captions, or annotations.

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RE: Death to flash!
By Alexvrb on 1/21/2010 9:43:44 PM , Rating: 2
Don't the licensing fees apply to web sites that are providing the H.264 streams? In other words, the licensing is for the content providers like Youtube and Hulu, and not for playback software and codecs (such as Divx 7, Flash, etc)? So really... there shouldn't be such a restriction on HTML5 standardizing on H.264, and any browser should be able to add support any time they want.

Omnicronx's explanation makes more sense. Unless what you actually mean to say is that they didn't want to standardize on H.264 because it would place a financial burden on anyone who wanted to put up H.264 streams.

But that would still be silly. Because if that was the case they could have simply standardized on BOTH - meaning supporting H.264 and Theora, and nothing else. That way any HTML5 videos would work out of the box, but content providers would have the choice. That would have been a better solution than the one they chose, which is "Good luck nubs have fun lawl".

RE: Death to flash!
By heffeque on 1/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: Death to flash!
By Alexvrb on 1/22/2010 9:36:34 PM , Rating: 3
Why can't they just package a free H.264 decoder with the browser installation? End users could opt out and use their own if they want. Heck Win7 can decode H.264 out of the box. I read through a bunch of MPEG LA licensing info, and I didn't see anything about fees on the playback side. But whatever, I guess you're right and they're all too worried about getting dragged into court. My bad.

This is how open standards crumble, and why things like Flash become ubiquitous. OpenGL fell behind, and HTML5's video support was pissed on by Google, since they own Youtube and want to save every ounce of bandwidth they can.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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