YouTube makes videos 'Feather' light

Dec 03, 2009
YouTube webpage. YouTube launched an experimental "Feather" feature on Thursday that slims down online videos for delivery to places where the Internet is unable to handle heavy data traffic.

YouTube launched an experimental "Feather" feature on Thursday that slims down online videos for delivery to places where the Internet is unable to handle heavy data traffic.

"One of our priorities is ensuring that videos always load and playback quickly," engineer Chris Zacharias said in a blog post.

"Let's face it: in this age of instant gratification, even several seconds of loading time can feel like an eternity."

YouTube recently began serving high-definition videos rich with data that could slow play if Internet bandwidth or computer processing power is low.

The world's most popular online sharing service pointed out that there are countries where Internet bandwidth is tight, slowing downloads.

YouTube Feather is an "ultra-light watch page" launched at the Google-owned firm's TestTube "ideas incubator." Feather limits features available to viewers and trims the amount of data downloaded by computer browsers.

"All of this results in a user experience that aims to keep things simple and the videos loading and playing quickly," Zacharias said.

"If we see adoption go up along with improvements in latency, we'll look to roll this out of TestTube and make it more widely available."

People were invited to try Feather at youtube.com/feather_beta.

(c) 2009 AFP

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