Friday, January 13, 2017

Safari Can’t Play New 4K YouTube Videos

Mike Wuerthele (via Rosyna Keller):

The shift appears to have taken place on Dec. 6, according to a Reddit thread delving into the issue. Google has been pushing the open and royalty-free VP9 codec as an alternative to the paid H.265 spec since 2014, but has never said that it would stop offering 4K video on the YouTube site in other formats, like the Apple-preferred H.264.

Videos uploaded to the service prior to Dec. 6 in 4K resolution can still play back in full 4K resolution on Safari from the YouTube homepage. Additionally, Mac users utilizing Chrome still have the ability to play back new videos in 4K, as Safari is the only holdout among the major browsers that doesn’t support the codec.

Update (2017-01-23): Rob Griffiths:

Google seems to now be using the open and royalty-free VP9 codec for 4K videos viewed on its YouTube site, but reverts to the H264 codec when those same videos are embedded on other sites.


I installed a bunch of browsers (some of which I’d never heard of before), and tested each to see which supported VP9 and which did not.

5 Comments RSS · Twitter

I think at this point, were it not for iOS, it’s difficult to believe that Safari would still exist. On the Mac, the set of those who have tried Chrome and yet still use Safari is seems to be quite small.

As a counterpoint to Allan, I have tried Chrome -- I use it for a few small things (Flash, primarily), and otherwise use Safari. Why? Because Chrome is made by Google, which means that its primary purpose is to collect information about me that they can use to sell my attention to other people. That bugs me.

I don't think there are any stats on how many Mac users use Safari, but if you compare the Mac's global market share (~ 7.4%) to Safari's global desktop browser market share (~3.5%), it's pretty clear that a lot of Mac users simply stick with Safari as their default browser.

So, is Firefox just chopped liver? No google tracking. No Safari non-standardness. Look, I know I'm a freak, but still. (Hell, they're even still supporting Snow Leopard for another couple of months...)

Bryan Pietrzak

Firefox 48.0 stopped supporting 10.6 and requires 10.9+

And this coming release is the last one that supports NPAPI plugins.

A lot of large org and edu environments are going to have to get cozy with the ESR releases soon.

That said, I support about 19,500 Macs in a public school system and the default browser is Safari. Both Firefox and Chrome are also available to our staff and some switch away from Safari. Fwiw, I'd say that Chrome is easily the worst.. some sites have issues with its PDF support and its performance is terrible (eats up memory and battery like candy).

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