(PhysOrg.com) -- YouTube is the major video-viewing site on the Internet, and it is constantly working to maintain its edge over competitors such as Hulu, and to present the video-watching experience its users demand. YouTube recently demonstrated an HTML5-based video player, and users have asked it to do more with HTML5. In response, YouTube has now announced that a new experimental video player supporting HTML5 is going live.
According to YouTube, HTML5 is a new web standard rapidly gaining in popularity. It has many new features to provide a rich user experience, such as support for vector-based graphics and animation, geolocation, and drag-and-drop, but the feature of most interest to YouTube viewers is its support for audio and video playback without the need to download an Adobe flash player plug-in for the browser. With no need for a flash player, playback of video and audio are significantly faster.
At present, few browsers currently support HTML5, but YouTube lists Internet Explorer with Chrome Frame installed, Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari (version 4+) as being compatible, but other major browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Opera are not yet compatible. There are other limitations, such as a lack of support in HTML5 for videos with user-created captions, annotations or adverts, and full screen viewing is not yet available, but YouTube says it will soon be expanding the capabilities of the HTML5-compatible player.
If your browser is compatible, you can use the new video player at TestTube, but you will first need to opt-in to the HTML5 program. (If you are already signed on for other experiments at TestTube, you may not get the HTML5 video player.) Another option is to visit Feather Watch, which YouTube promises will give you a faster and even simpler video-viewing experience.
HTML5 is an open standard, and YouTube says it is “very excited” to be getting behind the new web standard and helping to push it forward.
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-- Google blog: youtube-global.blogspot.com/2010/01/introducing-youtube-html5-supported.html
-- HTML5: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML5