YouTube Embraces HTML5!
I am a big fan of HTML5 and webm video. I was an early adopter here on the site, this is great news!
Ars Technica – by Ron Amadeo – “Everyone hates Flash, right? You have to install a plug-in, it’s resource intensive, it doesn’t work on mobile, and it causes all sorts of security problems. YouTube has been working on ridding itself of Adobe’s ancient Web plug-in for several years now, and while the whole site has been slowly transitioning away from Flash, today YouTube announced that it finally serves HTML5 video by default. Users of Chrome, IE 11, Safari 8, and ‘beta versions of Firefox’ will all have a Flash-less experience.
YouTube’s transition seems to have been pretty straightforward. Four years ago, YouTube laid out a laundry list of problems it had with HTML5, and today it has a blog post explaining how it has worked with the Web community to solve each issue.
MediaSource Extensions have enabled YouTube to add adaptive bitrate streaming, which can change video quality on the fly without having to stop and rebuffer the video. YouTube says this has reduced buffering by ’50 percent globally and as much as 80 percent on heavily-congested networks.’
YouTube wanted a standard video codec that was supported by all browsers, but the browser world is currently split between Google’s VP9, a codec that came as a result of the company’s On2 Technologies purchase, and H.264. Naturally, YouTube is in favor of VP9, saying it reduces YouTube’s (massive) bandwidth by 35 percent on average and that videos start ’15-80 percent faster.’
DRM is a key feature that many content creators demand, but it was something HTML5 Video couldn’t deliver for the longest time. This was probably the biggest reason YouTube stuck with Flash and Netflix stuck with Microsoft’s Silverlight. Encrypted Media Extensions added an API to HTML Video which allowed the video to be wrapped in whatever content protection the device supported.
WebRTC enables direct-to-YouTube recording and live broadcasting, the fullscreen API allows for immersive viewing, and YouTube is deprecating the use of a Flash object tag for embedding and recommends using the iframe API.
The move is yet another nail in Flash’s coffin. The platform will still be around for some surprising use cases, but hopefully we can all banish it from our browsers someday.”