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Media Linux

Tired of Flash? HTML5 Viewer For YouTube 372

An anonymous reader writes "Instead of spending the next 10 years trying to find a Flash implementation for Linux or OS X that doesn't drain CPU cycles like there's no tomorrow, NeoSmart Technologies has made an HTML5 viewer for YouTube videos. It loads YouTube videos in an HTML5 video container and streams (with skip/skim/pause/resume) against an MP4 resource, and an (optional) userscript file can update YouTube pages with the HTML5 viewer. The latest versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are supported. Personally, I can't wait until the major video sites default to HTML5 and we can finally say goodbye to Flash."
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Tired of Flash? HTML5 Viewer For YouTube

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  • by Zantetsuken ( 935350 ) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @03:53PM (#30024424) Homepage
    Now will we be able to get hardware video acceleration through VDPAU, etc so that I can play it on my Zotac ION media center or low power laptop?
  • by Zantetsuken ( 935350 ) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @03:55PM (#30024442) Homepage
    No, one of the points of HTML5 is that it is controlled by the browser without plugins - the same way you've been able to choose to load images since almost forever...
  • Re:Only video sites? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 08, 2009 @03:59PM (#30024478)

    What we need is a tool to convert SWF into HTML. Now we have SVG and a much faster JavaScript in all the good browsers, I think HTML is now as fully capable as Flash. All we need is a tool to convert them.

  • by jonaskoelker ( 922170 ) <jonaskoelker&yahoo,com> on Sunday November 08, 2009 @04:03PM (#30024522)

    because nobody uses Flash for [list of uses of flash]

    By way of anal extraction, I arrive at the conclusion that 90% of the eyeball wall time spent looking at flash is spent looking at videos.

    (89% of those 90% being youtube + google video, another 0.5% being redtube).

    Once we get to HTML5 video being popular, flash will become much more a niche thing. There's a long way between "niche" and "dead", but I don't know that we need to cross that gap. Heck, I still see Java applets around (for Rubik's Cube animations; I think that's one niche where they're used well).

    On the other hand, if we RTFS:

    The latest versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are supported

    Note that IE is not on the list. Make an educated guess about the implications for the penetration of the video tag.

  • Yep, I recently discovered this myself. Unfortunately (as with this clever HTML5 hack), it only supports YouTube, so videos on other sites still require Flash.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @04:24PM (#30024730) Journal

    Same here, it didn't work. HTML5 videos work fine on other sites though.

  • Re:Only video sites? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 08, 2009 @04:39PM (#30024858)

    Modern flash is pretty much a rich graphics API wrapped around a cleaned up Javascript. It's a pretty nice language and environment, actually; but just inappropriately overused in many websites. I'm skeptical that html video extensions will replace it, because I don't think the html encoding will have nearly the versatility of a general purpose programming language. Will it be able to, for instance, stream recommended alternative videos or advertisements while the video is paused, for instance? It's not that I want that, but a lot of site owners do.

    Posting anonymously because slashdot's javascript is tweaking out, and not letting me log on right now. I get on, but it immediately forgets me.

  • Re:Only video sites? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by causality ( 777677 ) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @05:20PM (#30025218)

    You mention that Flash should be replaced by open video standards for video applications. However, I frequently find video and even more so video live streams to be very fragile when the browser uses the systems video player. I then often just download the video and play it externally, because the internal video player doesn't respond and I don't know why.

    Flash was introduced here because it just works. Come up with something that works for everyone. If you make it better than Flash (how?) websites will switch. And Flashs security issues and crashes in Linux will not bother them.

    It hasn't been my own experience that embedded video is fragile in the browser, though I don't doubt what you are saying of your experience. Personally, I prefer to have the browser load such video in an external player that treats it like streaming media, though stability isn't my reason. I like having the full controls of the external player available and I like being able to easily resize the window that plays the video.

    Just curious, what OS, browser, and video player are you using? The way you described it as the "system video player" made me think of Windows, as Linux generally doesn't have a particular "system" video player (though I suppose a specific distribution might choose to do things this way). Instead, the user normally installs one or more players of his/her choice but they are just applications like any other and are not built-in OS features. That you had Windows in mind is just a guess, of course. The desktop environment on a Linux system might use file associations to designate a particular video player as the default handler for a certain type of file (I.e. AVI or MPEG) and this could also be called the "system video player." I also wonder if there is a particular file format that seems to give you more problems than others, perhaps because of DRM and requirements imposed by it that are not strictly necessary for playing a video.

    It also occurred to me that maybe the problems you are experiencing with standard embedded video is because so many sites use Flash instead. If standard embedded video were more widely used, then problems like that might be more well-known and resolved. It seems to be the exception to the norm right now, and if that changed, I would expect it to improve more rapidly.

  • Re:Only video sites? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Thinboy00 ( 1190815 ) <thinboy00@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Sunday November 08, 2009 @05:29PM (#30025284) Journal

    Flash was introduced here because it just works.

    Come up with something that works for everyone.

    Presumably you use Windows. Flash is a clusterfuck on Linux. If you want something that "works for everyone" then Flash isn't it.

    If you make it better than Flash (how?) websites will switch. And Flashs security issues and crashes in Linux will not bother them.

    As for the how, I would describe "better" as something that won't crash on Linux while still working on Windows. That would be better. Of course, Adobe won't just take that sitting down. If something better does come out, they will probably pay YouTube/Google/Vimeo/what-have-you to continue using Flash.

    Finally, I would argue that <video> and HTML5 are much better than Flash because:
    1) It's an open standard; anyone can make an HTML5 renderer, but only Adobe can make a decent Flash viewer (yes other viewers exist, no they're not any good compared to Adobe Flash)
    2) Flash has such stupidity that it disables 3d acceleration [] if your client glx vendor string has "SGI" in it, because Adobe is too stupid to check for whether the card actually supports acceleration (supposedly they experienced crashes when doing a more reasonable test, but that just shows they don't care enough about whether the Linux drivers work well to actually fix or work around bugs). Binary blobs tend to have stupidity like this.

  • <Video> vs. <Embed> (Score:3, Interesting)

    by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @05:33PM (#30025316) Journal

    By all means, someone explain to me why the <Video> tag is in any way better than the <Embed> tag that's existed for 1.4.5 years now, and why it's going to rescue the world from Flash, which took over because people decided they didn't want to use <Embed> anymore...

    I'll just hold my breath...

  • by trouser ( 149900 ) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @06:55PM (#30026044) Journal

    The Flash plugin is closed source but Adobe has published the SWF specification []. There are third party tools which produce SWF output which will run in the Flash plugin. My favourite is haXe [], a Java like language which compiles to a number of targets including SWF.

  • by CSMatt ( 1175471 ) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @07:15PM (#30026222)

    The way to view the video is to use an external site (NeoSmart's site to be precise) to find the MP4 on Google's servers and display it using the video tag. All the script does is add a link to the YouTube page that redirects you to NeoSmart's viewer.

    A far better solution would be something like YouTube Without Flash Auto [] or YouTube Perfect [], both of which (among other features) locate the MP4 client-side and present the video right in the YouTube page using whatever plugin you assigned to play MP4 files. If this can be pulled off without involving any external sites, I see no reason that a conversion to HTML5 video tags can't be done the same way.

    Disclaimer: using those scripts to view YouTube outside of the Flash player violates the ToS.

  • Re:Only video sites? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Firehed ( 942385 ) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @09:22PM (#30027428) Homepage

    Handily, you can embed multiple src files in a video element (hell, you can even embed a flash-based fallback by effectively wrapping the original embed tag in a video tag).

    It's not ideal and you shouldn't have to export multiple video types to get cross-browser compatibility, but then again I shouldn't have to hack around the plethora of IE bugs to make my sites usable in IE6/7. Given that the former is fixed with a tiny shell script and the latter takes hours of guesswork and dumb luck, I consider it tolerable enough until one side gives in. Obviously though, that's a lot more practical for sites with one or two videos so storage isn't much of a concern than creating two or three different versions of every video uploaded to Youtube/Vimeo/etc.

  • Re:Impressive (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 08, 2009 @10:50PM (#30028056)

    Only uses ~8% CPU on safari vs ~30% for the same video through the safari flash plugin.

    I don't get it. All you guys are whining about how CPU intensive Flash is. A HQ Youtube video on my Windows 7 system (IE 8) causes a 2% CPU load.

    There may well be some good reasons to look at other video delivery systems than Flash but CPU load just isn't one of them. And there might be some problems with the Flash plugin in non-Windows environments but that seem like sloppy implementation rather than anything fundamental to Flash.

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