YouTube Cosmic Panda

July 9, 2011 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, YouTube 

YouTube tests a new interface code-named Cosmic Panda. There are many cosmetic changes: videos are centered, player’s controls are now black, video thumbnails are a lot bigger, suggestions are displayed below the video, profile photos are displayed next to the comments, channels and playlists have a completely new layout.




Probably the most interesting thing about the new interface is a Chrome-only feature that lets you play a video in the background while you visit a channel. YouTube is more fluid and I expect to see a similar feature when you perform a search and when you click “view all comments”.




The new interface can be enabled and disabled at youtube.com/cosmicpanda.

{ Thanks, Jason and Greg. }

YouTube Tests a Black Player

June 26, 2011 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, YouTube 

A few readers spotted a new YouTube player with a redesigned control bar that uses a black background. The current control bar doesn’t stand out so that you can focus on the video you are watching.


A YouTube user says that he “would really appreciate a way to go back to the normal player, with its more obvious progress bar and less ugly/hyperactive popup controls”. I really like the bigger pause button, but YouTube should also change the action buttons below the player to better integrate in the new design.

{ Thanks, Josh and Jon. }

YouTube The next step in embedded videos: HD preview images and a logoless option

June 15, 2011 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, YouTube 

It may be hard to imagine but YouTube’s video preview images represent to many the ultimate deciding factor as to whether or not they watch a video. If a preview image looks interesting, it can mean the difference between someone pressing the play button. In addition, your site and the videos on it represent to you polished masterpieces. Yet, your videos’ preview images can appear lower in quality, and sometimes you don’t want a logo in your player. So today we’re rolling out new features for both situations: HD preview images and the option to remove the logo from your player.

HD preview images
Video resolutions have been increasing across YouTube, and the sizes of your embedded players are bigger than ever. But until now, video preview images in today’s larger players (e.g. the image that appears before you click “Play”) haven’t kept up with your high-quality and larger videos.

Any new video uploaded to the site in a resolution of 480p or higher will have an HD preview image wherever the player is embedded. The difference is even more striking with larger embeds (which don’t fit on this blog), so try it out yourself and see what we’re talking about. Here’s an example:

Before:

Now:

We’ll also automatically give HD preview images to older videos in the next few weeks, as long as they’re 480p or larger.

A note for partners, if you’ve uploaded a custom preview image for your video, you’ll need to re-upload a new one for your videos in order to upgrade it to HD (1920 x 1080px, 2MB max).

Logoless player
Many of you have asked us for a version of the YouTube player without a YouTube logo, so the video plays without any branding nearby. We’ve now added a simple option to do it. At the end of the video URL in your embed code, just add the code ?modestbranding=1 and the player will show without the YouTube logo in the control bar. Note that a small “YouTube” text label will still show up in the upper-right corner of a paused video when you hover over the player. We’ve published the full list of the player’s possible parameters, and here’s an example:

It may be hard to imagine but YouTube’s video preview images represent to many the ultimate deciding factor as to whether or not they watch a video. If a preview image looks interesting, it can mean the difference between someone pressing the play button. In addition, your site and the videos on it represent to you polished masterpieces. Yet, your videos’ preview images can appear lower in quality, and sometimes you don’t want a logo in your player. So today we’re rolling out new features for both situations: HD preview images and the option to remove the logo from your player.

HD preview images
Video resolutions have been increasing across YouTube, and the sizes of your embedded players are bigger than ever. But until now, video preview images in today’s larger players (e.g. the image that appears before you click “Play”) haven’t kept up with your high-quality and larger videos.

Any new video uploaded to the site in a resolution of 480p or higher will have an HD preview image wherever the player is embedded. The difference is even more striking with larger embeds (which don’t fit on this blog), so try it out yourself and see what we’re talking about. Here’s an example:

Before:

Now:

We’ll also automatically give HD preview images to older videos in the next few weeks, as long as they’re 480p or larger.

A note for partners, if you’ve uploaded a custom preview image for your video, you’ll need to re-upload a new one for your videos in order to upgrade it to HD (1920 x 1080px, 2MB max).

Logoless player
Many of you have asked us for a version of the YouTube player without a YouTube logo, so the video plays without any branding nearby. We’ve now added a simple option to do it. At the end of the video URL in your embed code, just add the code ?modestbranding=1 and the player will show without the YouTube logo in the control bar. Note that a small “YouTube” text label will still show up in the upper-right corner of a paused video when you hover over the player. We’ve published the full list of the player’s possible parameters, and here’s an example:

YouTube’s Pages for Blogs, Now Available

June 12, 2011 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, YouTube 

The YouTube feature I mentioned a few days ago is publicly available: YouTube automatically generates pages that list the most recent videos embedded in a blog.

“By crawling web feeds of sites that have embedded videos, we’ve built dedicated pages that highlight your embedded videos. This means that there is now a place on YouTube to find videos mentioned on your favorite blogs & sites,” explains YouTube’s blog.

You can find pages for blogs like Engadget, Boing Boing, Google OS and the nice thing is that the URL is easy to guess. Unfortunately, the pages don’t have feeds and you can’t follow them.

For now, you’ll find links to these pages next to some videos in a section called “as seen on”. Instead of linking to a popular page that embeds the video, YouTube now links to a page with the most recent YouTube videos from the site.


YouTube @ Google I/O: All About Captioning

June 5, 2011 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, Google, YouTube 

Google I/O 2011 may be over, but we’re continuing our series of blog posts recapping the great developer material covered at the event. We previously covered our talk on the iframe Player API, and the next presentation we’re highlighting is “The YouTube Caption API, Speech Recognition, and WebVTT captions for HTML5”.

The session features Jeff Posnick from the YouTube Developer Relations team, Naomi Black from the Accessibility Engineering team, and Cynthia Boedihardjo, a Live Stream Program Manager. As the session’s title suggests, a number of different topics were covered, with video accessibility and captions the common theme throughout.

The material covering the YouTube Captions API, including a sample application that demonstrates using the API from Python, will be of particular interest to the YouTube API developer community. The talk also includes some early WebKit demos of WebVTT implementations for the <track> element in HTML5 as well as more information and stats about the Live Caption gadget launched at Google I/O. The gadget provides captions alongside streaming video.

The full video of the session is embedded below, and the slides from the talk are available as well.

Creative Commons Videos on YouTube

June 5, 2011 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, YouTube 

YouTube added a new feature that lets you change the standard video licensing and switch to the Creative Commons Attribution license, which allows other people to reuse your videos. “Others may copy, distribute and create derivative works from your video — but only if they give you credit.”


The new feature is used in YouTube’s video editor, which lets you search for Creative Commons videos and use them to create a new video. YouTube says that there are already more than 10,000 videos from organizations like C-SPAN and Al Jazeera, but that’s just the beginning.


YouTube will certainly become the largest library of Creative Commons videos, but it’s strange to see that it took so long to add a license that encourages creativity. The first Google service that integrated with Creative Commons was Google Web Search (2005) and it was followed by Picasa Web Albums (2008) and Google Image Search (2009).

If you want to find Creative Commons videos on YouTube, click “Filter & Explore” after performing a search and select “Creative Commons”. You could also add “, creativecommons” to your query and search for [paris, creativecommons].

YouTube Reactions

June 5, 2011 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, YouTube 

YouTube tests a new feature that allows users to express their reactions without posting silly comments. They can just click one of the six buttons (LOL, OMG, EPIC, CUTE, WTF, FAIL) and instantly tag the video.

YouTube already highlights tags that use Internet slag words (“#LOL”, “#FAIL”, “#CUTE”) from the comments and places links to a list of comment search results.


Blogger has a similar feature, but blog authors can edit the list of reactions. “With Reactions, readers can easily respond with one click, increasing feedback on posts.”

{ Thanks, Ron. }

YouTube @ Google I/O: The iframe Player API

June 1, 2011 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, Google 
Google I/O 2011 may be over, but all the great developer information lives on! We want to start our recap of YouTube-related I/O activities by highlighting our developer presentation entitled “YouTube’s iframe Player: The Future of Embedding”.
The session features Jeff Posnick and Jarek Wilkiewicz from the YouTube Developer Relations team, and Greg Schechter, one of the engineers who works on the iframe Player and its API. Topics covered include the development of the iframe Player, challenges related to exposing an API on an iframe element, differences between the ActionScript 3 Player API and the iframe Player API, and real-world example applications that use the new API.

The full video of the session is embedded below (using the iframe Player, of course), and the slides from the talk are available if you’d prefer to read along with the presentation. Be sure to check out the sample web application (along with its source) that illustrates iframe Player API usage as well!

Playlists in YouTube’s Drop Down Menu

May 17, 2011 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, YouTube 

YouTube’s drop down menu at the top of the page now includes a list of all your playlists and makes it easier to access your favorite videos, your liked videos and the videos added to the “Watch later” playlist.


“You will now see a different set up when you click on your username in the upper right hand corner of any page. In addition to showing the same links to access your Account, My Videos, etc. you will be able to click on thumbnails to automatically load your playlists, Liked, Favorites, and Watch Later lists. The songs in your playlists will be accessible in the strip across the bottom of your screen — so you can easily navigate to different videos in the playlist you are watching,” explained a Google employee.

Another way to access your playlists is to expand the small bar displayed at the bottom of the page, click “Options” and select “Load a different playlist”.

{ Thanks, Andrew. }

YouTube: ClientLogin #FAIL

April 3, 2011 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, YouTube 
The YouTube API supports a number of authentication schemes—AuthSub, OAuth 1 and 2, and ClientLogin—but
it’s that last method, ClientLogin, that is in many ways the most
problematic. This blog post will cover some of the ways ClientLogin
attempts can fail, and when possible, provide ways of working around
those failures.

Before
we get into that, though, a bit of a public service announcement: given
all the ways that things can go wrong when using ClientLogin, please
consider using one of the alternative methods of authentication that the
YouTube API supports! AuthSub and in particular OAuth 2 are
straightforward to implement and aren’t susceptible to the issues that
we’ll cover with ClientLogin. Even if you’re writing a small script for
personal use, obtaining one long-lived AuthSub or OAuth 2 token and
reusing that for authentication is preferable to hardcoding a login name
and password for ClientLogin. And just because your code doesn’t have
access to a web browser doesn’t mean that ClientLogin is your only
option—this guide covers techniques for using OAuth 2 in such scenarios.

With that out of the way, let’s investigate some failures!

Scenario 1: A user with an unlinked YouTube account attempts ClientLogin.
This scenario won’t actually lead to a failure as of right now, but it will in the near future. As was recently announced on the main YouTube blog, all YouTube accounts must be linked to a Google Account or else logins will start fail—the current plan is to disable logins for unlinked accounts towards the end of April.
The only workaround is to have your users link their YouTube account to
a Google Account. If they login from a web browser, either at www.youtube.com
or using AuthSub/OAuth, they’ll be taken through the steps to link
accounts. It’s important to note that while we are requiring linked
accounts, we will continue to accept either a YouTube username or a
Google Account email address as the Email parameter in the ClientLogin request.

Scenario 2: A user who has enabled to OpenID federated sign-in attempts ClientLogin.
Federerated sign-in using OpenID
is a new method of authenticating Google Accounts that correspond to
email addresses on specific email providers (currently Yahoo! and AOL).
It is currently being offered on an opt-in basis, so for the time being,
just because someone’s Google Account is associated with an @yahoo.com or @aol.com
address does not mean that they are using Federated sign-in. For the
users who have opted-in, ClientLogin will no longer work at all. With
Federated sign-in, all login requests need to be processed by the
identity provider, and Google’s ClientLogin servers cannot relay the
credentials to a third-party server on the user’s behalf. Because
AuthSub and both versions of OAuth are web-based, users can log in
directly on the identity provider’s site and have that redirect back to
Google’s servers to issue the appropriate AuthSub or OAuth token.
Migrating off of ClientLogin to AuthSub or OAuth is the only way to
provide authentication that works with OpenID accounts.

Scernario 3: A user who has enabled 2-step verification attempts ClientLogin.
This scenario, and the reasons why it will result in a failure, is covered in detail in an earlier blog post. The important takeaway is that a user with 2-step verification enabled needs to generate application-specific passwords
for each application that requires ClientLogin, and provide that
password instead of their normal Google Account password. Alternatively,
using AuthSub or OAuth allows you users to log in using their two
factor credentials directly, leading to a better user experience.

Scenario 4: A user encounters a CAPTCHA when attempting ClientLogin.
This is not a new failure scenario, but it’s often overlooked by developers who don’t properly handle it. The ClientLogin documentation
includes recommendations for how your application should handle CAPTCHA
responses from ClientLogin attempts. If you’re using AuthSub or OAuth,
your application does not need to worry about logic for handling
CAPTCHAs—it’s taken care of for you by the standard AuthSub and OAuth
login process.

This
may seem like an exhaustive list of failure scenarios, but as we
continue to iterate on the login experience for YouTube and Google
Accounts, chances are more “gotchas” will crop up in the future. We’ll
do our best to keep our developer community informed, but the best way
to future-proof your application is to stop using ClientLogin!

—Jeffrey Posnick, YouTube API Team

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