Sunday, February 1, 2015

YouTube Now Defaults to HTML5 Video

Richard Leider (via John Gruber):

Four years ago, we wrote about YouTube’s early support for the HTML5 <video> tag and how it performed compared to Flash. At the time, there were limitations that held it back from becoming our preferred platform for video delivery. Most critically, HTML5 lacked support for Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) that lets us show you more videos with less buffering.

Over the last four years, we’ve worked with browser vendors and the broader community to close those gaps, and now, YouTube uses HTML5 <video> by default in Chrome, IE 11, Safari 8 and in beta versions of Firefox.

Web video is getting better, but the situation remains difficult with older Macs. My grandmother’s Mac mini can’t run anything later than Snow Leopard. She is constantly running into problems with YouTube because her Flash Player is too old. It seems unable to update itself automatically. I wanted to set her up with Chrome, which has its own Flash and its own auto-updater. It works on 10.6 but only if you have a 64-bit Mac. Meanwhile, YouTube wants Safari 8, but Snow Leopard can only run Safari 5.

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