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Summary:

YouTube is experimenting with a new form of embeds that will play on an iPad right within a web page, making it unnecessary to launch the iPad YouTube app every time you want to watch a video. However, the new format isn’t ready for prime time.

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YouTube is experimenting with a new form of embeds that enable iPad users to play embedded videos right within a web page. The new embeds use iframes to switch between a Flash and an HTML5 version of the video, depending on the user’s device. The experiment was announced today on the YouTube API blog, but the site’s software engineer Toliver Jue didn’t make any direct mention of the iPad. Instead, he just vaguely promised that this method will “eventually allow embeds to work on mobile devices.”

However, we were able to confirm that at least the test video used for the announcement already plays on the iPad’s Safari browser, as shown in the screenshot below:

It’s probably a little early to swap out all your YouTube embed codes. The new method of embedding videos is dubbed “a preview” by YouTube, and there are a number of downsides:

  • Videos with ads can’t be shown as HTML5 and are instead shown via Flash by default.
  • There’s no way of automatically generating these new embed codes on YouTube just yet, which means you’ll have to manually change the code for each video you want to embed.
  • The Next Web reports that changing the width of the embed will break the player.
  • Firefox and Opera users will only get to see HTML5 videos if the source video is available in WebM, which apparently isn’t the case for every YouTube video just yet.
  • Users have to opt into the Testtube HTML5 trial to see any HTML5 videos at all, which means that most users will still get Flash by default, even when using the new embed code. iPad users that haven’t opted into the Testtube trial just see a black box instead of the video.

Still, if you’re a developer or webmaster of a site with lots of iPad traffic, you might want to take a stab at it and play with the new embeds.

Related content on GigaOm Pro: HTML5’s a Game-Changer for Web Apps (subscription required)

  1. [...] New YouTube Embeds Work on the iPad 07/23/2010 Leave a comment Go to comments New YouTube Embeds Work on the iPad [...]

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  2. ЯONALD ЯIVEЯTON Saturday, July 24, 2010

    The more HTML 5 and the less Flash the mo betta fo sho.

    I absolutely hate Flash with a passion. It has done more to clutter and clog up the interweb tubes than any other app evah.

    Flash is a CPU, GPU and Battery HOG of epic proportion !
    It is time to slay that Adobe beast ASAP.

    I am glad to see Google embracing HTML5 for advanced platforms like the iPad and iPhone. Hopefully the smarter dev shops will follow suit.

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  3. He didn’t mention iPads because iPads have always been able to play embedded videos right within the webpage. It’s awesome and has worked since day 1 of the iPad. You can easily make the video full screen by a pinch zoom on the video, and you can go back to the embedded video on the webpage by doing a pinch zoom out. The video continues to play the entire time. it’s very cool, but like I said, it’s always been this way….it’s nothing new.

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  4. The gadget will definitely change many other things we look .. it has started the way with you tube.

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  5. [...] insertados, embeddados o como lo querámos decir para poder disfrutarlo a nuestro antojo, esto ya ha cambiado afortunadamente. El anuncio es que han comenzado a experimentar la posibilidad de conseguir este código usando la [...]

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  6. Just FYI, I viewed YouTube videos embedded in my blog shortly after the iPad was released and they played directly in the web page. This was at a gathering by Warner Crocker to check out his new iPad, and I don’t have an iPad of my own to check now, but they worked back then but not on other sites. I believe it’s the video encoding, not the HTML coding, that determines whether a YouTube video will play embedded in a web page on the iPad.

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  7. [...] La guerra entre Google y Apple no ha sido tan severa que aún son socios en grandes cosas como en mapas, buscador y YouTube, aún tenemos esa maravillosa aplicación en nuestros dispositivos de Apple o desde la versión móvil ingresando desde Safari Mobile, en esta versión móvil es en la que me quiero enfocar, ya que uno de los grandes problemas que hasta hace unos días poseía iOS en relación con YouTube es que antes no era capaz de reproducir algunos de los vídeos incrustados, insertados, embeddados o como lo querámos decir para poder disfrutarlo a nuestro antojo, esto ya ha cambiado afortunadamente. [...]

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  8. So, “iPad users that haven’t opted into the Testtube trial just see a black box instead of the video” but “still, if you’re a developer or webmaster of a site with lots of iPad traffic, you might want to take a stab at it and play with the new embeds.”

    Seems like a very strange leap of logic.

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