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YouTube gets (unofficial) HTML 5 support

YouTube gets (unofficial) HTML 5 support

YouTube's video collection is now available without Adobe Flash, thanks to NeoSmart's HTML 5 video streamer.

The first solid use for the HTML 5 video embedding functionality has finally appeared in the form of a front-end to YouTube which allows videos to be streamed without the need for Adobe's Flash Player.

As reported by an anonymous SlashDot user, NeoSmart Technologies has gone live with a natty front-end to Google's popular video sharing site which streams the native MP4 - stored by YouTube for streaming to Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch platforms, which lack a native Flash player - via the video embedding functionality added to HTML 5.

While any HTML 5 compliant browser should support the video tag used by NeoSmart's front-end, Mozilla Firefox will need an MP4 decoder plugin before playback will work. While the video embedding system in HTML 5 was designed to work with playback functionality in the browser itself - without the need for plugins - the restrictive licensing on the MP4 codec meant that the Mozilla Foundation chose not to ship MP4 support with the browser as standard.

Despite this little setback, once Firefox is configured to play MP4 files - or an alternative HTML 5-compliant browser such as Opera is used - the system works like a dream: simply enter the URL of a YouTube video to get an HTML 5 video container returned, with full support for controls including skip, pause, and rewind.

If the thought of having to copy and paste URLs is turning you off the idea, the company also provides a neat script for GreaseMonkey or UserScript which adds a "View in HTML5" link to all YouTube pages.

With support for Flash on non-Windows operating systems sometimes hit and miss, especially on 64-bit editions, an alternative for YouTube is likely to be welcomed by all - with the possible exception of Adobe.

Do you think you'll be using the HTML 5 YouTube streamer any time soon, or is it nothing more than a neat proof-of-concept? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

17 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
mi1ez 9th November 2009, 15:17 Quote
Good idea, but no use to me.
proxess 9th November 2009, 15:21 Quote
Will it be possible for me to watch Youtube from work if I have the video link with this?

Not that I slack off at work or anything...
[USRF]Obiwan 9th November 2009, 15:45 Quote
I tried it but not working in ff3.5
reflux 9th November 2009, 16:02 Quote
Not working here in Opera 10.01.
UncertainGod 9th November 2009, 16:43 Quote
It's dead already.
Evildead666 9th November 2009, 17:01 Quote
If its MP4 it can be hardware accelerated and maybe even upscaled by the GPU ?
That would be sweet. no more blockies....
alpaca 9th November 2009, 17:24 Quote
nice idea, no use yet
Shagbag 9th November 2009, 17:25 Quote
Quote:
the restrictive licensing on the MP4 codec meant that the Mozilla Foundation chose not to ship MP4 support with the browser as standard.
Too bloody right. I am sick to death of proprietary video and audio codecs. The whole situation is a bloody mess and the sooner companies are forced into open codecs, the better it is for us consumers.

NeoSmart can go ahead with their silly font-end but it's not what should be happening. Video and audio codecs should be free so that anyone can get their content on the web without having to pay someone for the privilege. I really hope Google's acquisition of On2 goes in this direction. Google has the power to liberate the web from selfish proprietary interests.

I also don't want the security of my web browser to be compromised by a binary blob whose security patching is subject to the whim of a closed source company that doesn't see it as 'profitable' to patch ASAP.
scawp 9th November 2009, 17:35 Quote
"You must have an HTML5 capable browser."
Opera 10.01 :-S
proxess 9th November 2009, 17:37 Quote
The link is dead already.

Edit: Actually the whole neosmart website is down.
ffjason 9th November 2009, 18:13 Quote
Not working on FF3.6 either. Shame.

Edit: Site isn't down - don't know what you're on about.
flibblesan 9th November 2009, 21:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagbag
Too bloody right. I am sick to death of proprietary video and audio codecs. The whole situation is a bloody mess and the sooner companies are forced into open codecs, the better it is for us consumers.

NeoSmart can go ahead with their silly font-end but it's not what should be happening. Video and audio codecs should be free so that anyone can get their content on the web without having to pay someone for the privilege. I really hope Google's acquisition of On2 goes in this direction. Google has the power to liberate the web from selfish proprietary interests.

I also don't want the security of my web browser to be compromised by a binary blob whose security patching is subject to the whim of a closed source company that doesn't see it as 'profitable' to patch ASAP.

You sound like a Linux user...;)
thehippoz 9th November 2009, 22:04 Quote
alot of the stuff doesn't seem to work yet.. couldn't get it to go full screen or stream

least with firefox.. lemme look at the code some more- aye nm just wait till they fix it

screen.. looks like it will be just like using flash

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/4379/html5k.jpg
livesabitch 10th November 2009, 02:41 Quote
i think im going to have to try this on chrome! lets see!!!!!
perplekks45 10th November 2009, 08:08 Quote
I just download most stuff from YT anyway. HD MP4 ftw!
SomeoneNotQuite 10th November 2009, 12:52 Quote
So HD Youtube on ION? Sounds very promissing for those of us who are desperate for it and can't wait for Adobe to get its act together on the GPU front
Saivert 17th November 2009, 22:07 Quote
@fibblesan: I'm not a Linux user but I have to agree with Shagbag. Open video codecs and standards are for the best and I would like Mozilla to keep supporting only open and free video standards and never ever implement support for MPEG4 systems codecs.
Firefox is used by a lot of people so they might have some power to change how web sites are implemented.

Google plays both hands here by both supporting open codecs and going for MPEG4 because they have already bought into it heavily with all content on YouTube being encoded in MPEG4 (H.264 + AAC). They have the power to improve on the open and free video codecs if they still think MPEG4 is the best codec family.
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