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Vimeo trials HTML 5 video player

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 22 Jan 2010 7:53 User comments (1)

Vimeo trials HTML 5 video player Video-sharing site Vimeo has launched its own experimental HTML 5 video player. For users with the right browser, this means there would be no need for the Flash plug-in to play about 90 percent of the videos available on the service. However, Vimeo's staff blog was quick to point out that the new player is only in beta test phase, and suffers from several limitations, some related to browsers' handling of HTML 5.
Firstly, videos cannot be watched in full screen mode at the moment, due to browser limitations. Vimeo is working to at least offer full-window support within the next day or two. Users will not be able to embed the HTML 5 video player in external sites at the moment either. The player is also expected to be harboring some bugs for the moment too.

The positives that Vimeo highlights however are the immediate loading of the video player and instant seek abilities (no waiting for buffering). It should also provide smoother, less jumpy playback. In order to even test the HTML 5 player, a user would need to have the latest version of Google Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer with Chrome Frame installed.

To test the player, there is a "Switch to HTML5 player" link below most videos on the Vimeo website. The staff also addressed another contentious issue in the blog; the use of h.264 video as opposed to open source video technology like Theora.

"Almost every thread on the internet about HTML5 devolves into some kind of flamewar. Please don't comment here extolling the virtues of open source or unencumbered codecs. We know, it's our job to know, and that conversation has been had a million times," the blog reads.

"The simple fact is right now h264 allows us the most flexibility to display on many devices and many players with the same file. When that changes, so will we. That's all there is to it, thanks for your understanding!"

YouTube's announcement yesterday was followed with many comments about the use of h.264 with its new HTML 5 player as opposed to an open source alternative.

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1 user comment

122.1.2010 13:28

I upload videos on Vimeo and I've had some clients tell me they weren't able to view my videos (thanks to the buffering or jumpy video).
So this is good news for me.

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