Hate Inefficient Flash? Google Provides HTML5 YouTube Video Option

Thursday, January 21, 2010
By OP Editor

Google’s YouTube is proving an alternative video format to the resource intensive Flash videos. Users with certain HTML5 and h.264 supported browsers can try the new, more efficient HTML5 video format on YouTube.

Google Service YouTube, No Flash HTML 5 Video Option, Great for Apple Mac OS X

YouTube HTML 5 Video, A Better Flash Alternative

See below for the many reason to avoid Flash. Fortunately YouTube, the largest video site in the world, is taking steps to progress their video service toward the twenty-first century. Now, users can choose to have videos on YouTube.com served in HTML5 format instead of flash format:

  • Go to: www.YouTube.com/html5
  • Click “Join the HTML5 Beta,” the bold text would then indicate “You are currently in the HTML5 beta.”

Currently works on Apple Safari browser, Google Chrome browser, or Microsoft Internet Explorer with Chrome Frame installed (Chrome Frame overrides the non-standard compliant I.E. Engine with HTML5 engine).

Selection page, Google's YouTube, No Flash HTML 5 Video Option Great for Apple Mac OS X

YouTube account is not required. HTML5 video option is currently available on YouTube.com pages only, not available on embedded YouTube videos.

Why Not Flash

Flash is a proprietary video format made by Adobe that came to prominence in the 90s. Due to Microsoft’s fear of open video formats, Microsoft used its Windows monopoly to popularize Flash, in an effort to counter more modern, open video formats.

Often used for animated, distracting flashing ads, here are some reasons people don’t like Flash.

  • Flash is not search engine friendly, content wrapped in flash are not useful to the blind or those who use a screen reader.
  • Flash are basically browser-run virtual machines with their own problems and vulnerabilities.
  • Flash is resource intensive. The Flash virtual machines are inefficient and wasteful of system resources. Furthermore, Adobe did a very poor job (if any) of optimizing Flash for Mac OS X.
  • Flash encourages useless, gratuitous animation which are wasteful of laptop / mobile device battery life.

Thankfully there is a better option. HTML5 contains a new video standard that is open and much more efficient on bandwidth and CPU processing power. Hopefully more sites will start making HTML5 videos available.

Proponents of HTML5

Besides Google, which uses HTML5 technology in its web apps, another major, high profile proponent of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) HTML5 open standard is Apple.

Apple Google Heart HTML5 Love

Apple intentionally leaves out Flash on the popular iPhone / iPod touch mobile OS due to the above “Why Not Flash” reasons. On the iPhone platform, instead of Flash, Google’s YouTube videos have been served using MP4 H.264 since 2007. All iPhone and iPod touch support HTML5 videos as well.

Vimeo has also started serving HTML5 videos too!

Hate Flash on YouTube? Google now lets you see video in HTML 5 [9to5mac]


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  4. Microsoft Could Adopt Apple iPhone 4 FaceTime Video Chat Open-Standard
  5. Apple iPhone 4.0 iAd HTML5 Based, No Adobe Flash

Tags: Apple, HTML5, Technology, YouTube

One Response to “Hate Inefficient Flash? Google Provides HTML5 YouTube Video Option”

  1. Per

    Ogg Theora anyone?? Adobe are lazy but Apple are real bast***s! Giving Apple the power to control the video codec part of HTML5 would be terrible!

    Ogg Theora is our best choice here. Open source,, so we can count on a lot of work being put in on upgrading it making it even better.. Leaving this job to Apple is NOT a good idea! Why do you think Apple will be any better than Adobe?

    Im sure Ogg Theora would be the best choice for the users. With Ogg Theora there are no silly Apple-patents, and every skilled programmer can help with patching and developing.


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