YouTube’s HTML5 Embedded Video Bug and Workaround (Video)

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Some of you have been frustrated when trying to watch the YouTube videos embedded in Pocketnow articles on a mobile device. We’ve been investigating this problem and it turns out that it only happens with YouTube videos that have revenue sharing turned on. YouTube’s iFrame embed code is supposed to be able to detect the user’s browser and feed them a video in an appropriate format. On Windows Phone 7 and iOS 5, YouTube’s code doesn’t send the correct type of video. We’ve talked to the IE mobile for Windows Phone team and they’ve found that YouTube’s embed code tries to send a Flash-based video with advertisements anyway even though it should be simple to detect that the user has a device that does not support Flash. Interestingly, YouTube has programmed their iFrame embed code to recognize the Android browser and feed a playable video to those pages without ads.

The work around for you as a user is pretty simple. Zoom in a bit on the video and instead of tapping the play button on the video graphic, tap the title of the video on the top edge. On Windows Phone 7, this will open the video’s HTML5-based YouTube page (if you have your browser set to “mobile” view mode) which does correctly load an HTML5 video that plays perfectly in Windows Phone. On Apple iOS devices, you can do the same thing… just tap the title instead of the video’s play button and it will ask if you want to open the video in the YouTube app which will subsequently play the video perfectly. If you’re reading this on a mobile device right now, feel free to try the work-around on the video below.

If you’d like to contact YouTube to report this bug in the way they feed revenue-sharing-enabled videos on mobile devices, you can visit the YouTube support page here.

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About The Author
Adam Z. Lein
Adam has had interests in combining technology with art since his first use of a Koala pad on an Apple computer. He currently has a day job as a graphic designer, photographer, systems administrator and web developer at a small design firm in Westchester, NY. His love of technology extends to software development companies who have often implemented his ideas for usability and feature enhancements. Mobile computing has become a necessity for Adam since his first Uniden UniPro PC100 in 1998. He has been reviewing and writing about smartphones for Pocketnow.com since they first appeared on the market in 2002.Read more about Adam Lein!