Vimeo launches Flash-free Universal Player for iPhone, iPad

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Video sharing site Vimeo has launched a new embedable HTML5 video player aimed at Apple's iPhone and iPad.



Vimeo adds embedded 'Universal' playback



Vimeo launched an HTML5-based video playback site at the beginning of the year, but it is now enabling users to embed its videos with a new Universal Player that can detect the viewer's client and provide optimized video that is compatible with it.



Embedded Vimeo videos previously required Adobe Flash for playback. Using the new Universal Player, Vimeo can now deliver lower bandwidth videos to mobile clients, and send H.264 video to HTML5 devices such as Apple's iPhone and iPad.



In order to serve mobile video to iOS users (or other mobile platforms such as Android or the Palm Pre), Vimeo users must have a paid Plus account (which costs $60 per year) and activate mobile versions of their videos. Vimeo Plus accounts also provide 5GB of storage, higher quality video encoding, HD video embedding, ad-free videos, and other premium features.



A report by USA Today cited Vimeo vice-president of product and development Andrew Pile as saying the effort took nearly five months. "The videos will be playable in any browser," Pile said, "And work with future platforms as well."



Apple's Flash disruption



"While it was relatively easy to build an HTML5 player that worked on Vimeo.com," the company says, "making an experience that could live and work anywhere is actually a big undertaking. For example, we had to write several new video players to replace what used to be just one: behind the scenes there is a new Flash player, new Flash mobile player, new iPad player, new iPhone player, and new HTML5 player. And we expect to add more.



"It used to be you could rely on Flash to perform the same way everywhere, but now HTML5 and embed code act very differently from browser to browser and device to device. We've spent the past few months evaluating different options and testing quite a lot."



Google's YouTube brought Flash-free video playback to the iPhone in 2007 through Apple's bundled YouTube app, but its HTML5 web-based videos arrived only earlier this year, just days before Vimeo. Embedded Google videos can play without Flash using ClickToFlash on the Mac desktop, and play through Apple's YouTube app when encountered on iOS devices like the iPhone.



Google has backpedaled on its ambitious plans for HTML5 and H.264 playback somewhat after buying On2 and releasing its VP8 video codec as WebM. It has also cozied up to Adobe to prominently promote Android and the forthcoming Chrome OS as a Flash-compatible platforms.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    Wow, you guys have been late lately. I read about this over 12 hours ago on another site. A few of your stories this week I've read on other sites 12-24 hours earlier and some stories you still don't have. Is this site run by a group of dedicated writers or is it like Digg and articles are user created/submitted?
  • Reply 2 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post


    Wow, you guys have been late lately. I read about this over 12 hours ago on another site. A few of your stories this week I've read on other sites 12-24 hours earlier and some stories you still don't have. Is this site run by a group of dedicated writers or is it like Digg and articles are user created/submitted?



    It's not like it's THAT important. Maybe they got something good for us coming?...hopefully...
  • Reply 3 of 33
    bsenkabsenka Posts: 799member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post


    Wow, you guys have been late lately. I read about this over 12 hours ago on another site. A few of your stories this week I've read on other sites 12-24 hours earlier and some stories you still don't have. Is this site run by a group of dedicated writers or is it like Digg and articles are user created/submitted?



    I've noticed this too. I haven't seen any news that was broken here first for a long time. Several other sites do seem to consistently have that 12-24 hr jump that you mention. Too bad, this used be the go to source for me.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    Glad that HTML5 is slowly turning into an alternative .



    Youtube, Vimeo, and now both of them in embeds, what isn't there to like?
  • Reply 5 of 33
    I wish there was a single video format that worked on all devices, autodetected bandwidth for top performance, and didn't eat up CPU. A way to have the video in an auto-adaptable resolution would also be nice, but I'll settle for compatibility across platforms. Today when you cut something together and export it, you're still not done. You've got to export it several ways and it eats up time and space like a black hole.



    Think about how much more room google would have on YouTube's servers if it didn't have to carry like 12 versions of every inane video they have. They could spread the Bieber fever pandemic without consuming all the resources that it takes for all the disk space (and back up disk space) that YouTube has and consume far less electricity to keep all those bad boys running. I know they mostly run renewable power, but does Vimeo? Not trying to hate, I love Vimeo.



    While I'm happy that html5 is being offered now, I hope it becomes universal soon so this business can stop. It's pretty pointless if you think about it.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dreamsburnred View Post


    Glad that HTML5 is slowly turning into an alternative .



    Youtube, Vimeo, and now both of them in embeds, what isn't there to like?



    Wait, the Web is based on HTML. how is it the "alternative"? Videos are shot and recorded in MPEG-4...
  • Reply 7 of 33
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,200moderator
    Quote:

    It used to be you could rely on Flash to perform the same way everywhere, but now HTML5 and embed code act very differently from browser to browser and device to device. We've spent the past few months evaluating different options and testing quite a lot.



    This is why Flash exists in the first place, because the standards committees take too long to decide on how best to make their spec and it ends up with things missing anyway.



    If it was decided that Webkit was the new standard then the problems wouldn't exist because everyone would see 100% W3C compliant rendering and content publishers would target a single engine instead of 5 or more.



    But Adobe choosing not to make a suitable Flash player for mobile devices for over 3 years has forced publishers to develop alternate players, which is a hugely beneficial thing. Over the next year or two, Flash will stop being that comfort-zone that people cling on to so they can delay moving to HTML 5.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    The way I read this is that HTML5 is not all it is cracked up to be and that everyone's favourite iDevice may not work with Youtube.



    Meanwhile, on the good ship Android, with captain Froyo at the helm, the Chief Steward, Flash 10, continues to look after all the passengers.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    The way I read this is that HTML5 is not all it is cracked up to be and that everyone's favourite iDevice may not work with Youtube.



    Meanwhile, on the good ship Android, with captain Froyo at the helm, the Chief Steward, Flash 10, continues to look after all the passengers.



    Then you read it wrong. And flash player lite, on my HTC Android phone works for about yen percent of flash content. Flash video playback is awful.



    Html5 isn't new technology it's a new standard for an existing coding language. People seem to misunderstand this. All you need to create html5 content is a basic text editor. It is a newly emerging standard, it is free and anyone can learn it.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    d-ranged-range Posts: 396member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    The way I read this is that HTML5 is not all it is cracked up to be and that everyone's favourite iDevice may not work with Youtube.



    Meanwhile, on the good ship Android, with captain Froyo at the helm, the Chief Steward, Flash 10, continues to look after all the passengers.



    You mean the 2 or 3 Android handsets that somewhat run Flash content but don't magically make content designed for mouse+kb interaction usable on a touchscreen device? All but a few carefully picked Adobe demo's I have seen of Flash on a phone have been outright terrible, just watching people trying to control typical Flash applications on a video makes me cringe. Which leaves only non-interactive content (=banners) and video (=only served using Flash because of historical reasons) as 'good' arguments for having Flash on your phone.



    Just have a look how full-screen or embedded HD H264 video from Youtube or Vimeo runs on an iPad/iPhone, then make that same judgement on how HTML5 is not all that cracked up compared to Flash Video. There's no reason Android handsets couldn't benefit from the same smooth video content that is perfectly integrated into websites, instead of loaded through some kind of binary plugin controlled by Adobe. Flash is holding everyone back when it comes to online video, including Android and other mobile OS's
  • Reply 11 of 33
    HTML5 video is a developing technology. While it may be the future, it is far from being the current standard. YouTube has explained the difficulties in using the video tag on their blog. Both they and Vimeo have done a phenomenal job in creating HTML5 alternatives for the crippled iDevices.



    Apple doesn't even use a straight implementation of HTML5 video on their website, because they know it isn't up to par yet. Rather they use a combination of JavaScript and object tags that implement the QuickTime plugin. They also don't have a consistent implementation of rendering HTML5 video between the iPhone and iPad, although I'm sure this will change when iOS4 is released for the latter.



    I agree that Adobe has been slow to develop in the mobile space, but they have proven to have come up with some great technologies in the past year, including Device Central, HTML5 tools in their Creative Suite and last week they released hardware acceleration in Flash video on Mac OS X. It's a shame that Apple doesn't want to let developers, but more importantly designers, take a hold of these technologies in their mobile space. God forbid if Apple were to ever adopt Flash on their mobile devices that the whole Apple community (including AI) would backflip and praise the decision like they did with Intel processors. Now with companies like HTC, Samsung, Motorola, LG and Sony adopting Android (not to mention alternative OSs such as HT/Palm and Meego), the iPhone is sadly looking more and more like it could potentially become the niche product that the Mac became ten years after its launch. I hope this won't be the case.



    To say that YouTube's HTML5 solution "arrived only earlier this year" is more than a little harsh. To convert all their content to mp4 in that time was quite a feat. To convert it all again into VP8 is phenomenal. Unfortunately I have only recently realised that AppleInsider is a source of news that is biased, lacking in information and slow to report on news. I will continue to love and buy Mac-based products, but for now I can't justify buying an Apple mobile device and I can't bear to continue visiting this website on a regular basis.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    bedouinbedouin Posts: 331member
    Die flash, die.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    str1f3str1f3 Posts: 573member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by simantic View Post


    I agree that Adobe has been slow to develop in the mobile space, but they have proven to have come up with some great technologies in the past year, including Device Central, HTML5 tools in their Creative Suite and last week they released hardware acceleration in Flash video on Mac OS X. It's a shame that Apple doesn't want to let developers, but more importantly designers, take a hold of these technologies in their mobile space. God forbid if Apple were to ever adopt Flash on their mobile devices that the whole Apple community (including AI) would backflip and praise the decision like they did with Intel processors. Now with companies like HTC, Samsung, Motorola, LG and Sony adopting Android (not to mention alternative OSs such as HT/Palm and Meego), the iPhone is sadly looking more and more like it could potentially become the niche product that the Mac became ten years after its launch. I hope this won't be the case.



    The problem with your statement is that Adobe has only been working with Google on this. What about Palm, RIM, Nokia, & WM? This is what happens when something as important as media formats is in control by one company.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by simantic View Post


    To say that YouTube's HTML5 solution "arrived only earlier this year" is more than a little harsh.



    I think you're reading too much into the word only.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by simantic View Post


    HTML5 video is a developing technology. While it may be the future, it is far from being the current standardn





    There is no such thing as html5 video. Html is a mark up language for web development, It is not a media encoding/compression technology. Why don't people understand this? Html5 does not exist to replace flash. It is simply the next standard undergoing ratification of the coding language that forms the basis of all web pages.
  • Reply 15 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,973member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nkhm View Post


    There is no such thing as html5 video. Html is a mark up language for web development, It is not a media encoding/compression technology. Why don't people understand this? Html5 does not exist to replace flash. It is simply the next standard undergoing ratification of the coding language that forms the basis of all web pages.



    I think if Apple came out with a really cool web development tool for designers that created HTML5 (iWeb Pro?) and allowed the integration of H264 video with drag and drop ease creating player / playback features with equally simple drag and drop design the way forward would be smooth.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    Meanwhile, on the good ship Android, with captain Froyo at the helm, the Chief Steward, Flash 10, continues to look after all the passengers.



    That's what they said on the Titanic too.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,584member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    The way I read this is that HTML5 is not all it is cracked up to be and that everyone's favourite iDevice may not work with Youtube.



    Meanwhile, on the good ship Android, with captain Froyo at the helm, the Chief Steward, Flash 10, continues to look after all the passengers.



    What have you been smoking? Try again. The first version of flash for mobile JUST came out and DOES NOT work on all Android devices, when it works at all. It works on just a couple/few of the newer models with more power. This is because flash is still a pig. Free the web! Kill flash!
  • Reply 18 of 33
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,584member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by simantic View Post


    HTML5 video is a developing technology. While it may be the future, it is far from being the current standard. YouTube has explained the difficulties in using the video tag on their blog. Both they and Vimeo have done a phenomenal job in creating HTML5 alternatives for the crippled iDevices.



    Apple doesn't even use a straight implementation of HTML5 video on their website, because they know it isn't up to par yet. Rather they use a combination of JavaScript and object tags that implement the QuickTime plugin. They also don't have a consistent implementation of rendering HTML5 video between the iPhone and iPad, although I'm sure this will change when iOS4 is released for the latter.



    I agree that Adobe has been slow to develop in the mobile space, but they have proven to have come up with some great technologies in the past year, including Device Central, HTML5 tools in their Creative Suite and last week they released hardware acceleration in Flash video on Mac OS X. It's a shame that Apple doesn't want to let developers, but more importantly designers, take a hold of these technologies in their mobile space. God forbid if Apple were to ever adopt Flash on their mobile devices that the whole Apple community (including AI) would backflip and praise the decision like they did with Intel processors. Now with companies like HTC, Samsung, Motorola, LG and Sony adopting Android (not to mention alternative OSs such as HT/Palm and Meego), the iPhone is sadly looking more and more like it could potentially become the niche product that the Mac became ten years after its launch. I hope this won't be the case.



    To say that YouTube's HTML5 solution "arrived only earlier this year" is more than a little harsh. To convert all their content to mp4 in that time was quite a feat. To convert it all again into VP8 is phenomenal. Unfortunately I have only recently realised that AppleInsider is a source of news that is biased, lacking in information and slow to report on news. I will continue to love and buy Mac-based products, but for now I can't justify buying an Apple mobile device and I can't bear to continue visiting this website on a regular basis.



    Bye bye!
  • Reply 19 of 33
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I think if Apple came out with a really cool web development tool for designers that created HTML5 (iWeb Pro?) and allowed the integration of H264 video with drag and drop ease creating player / playback features with equally simple drag and drop design the way forward would be smooth.



    All they need to do is update iWeb. Professional web developers use textedit and maybe a tool like coda (maybe with a bit of dreamweaver thrown in). HTML5 isn't some sort of magic, it's just code that can be done in any texteditor. People are thinking this is something brand new and magical, it's just code that's been in development for a long time and continues to evolve towards a standard as html4 currently is. The "magic fixes" as regards a standard in media encoding etc are not gonna happen because of html5, nor will html5 "kill" flash. There have always been coding alternatives to flash, the end site user uses whatever is simple and happens automatically - the average user doesn't care/know/understand if the site he's visiting is html3, flash or in urdu - as long as it works.



    Another point to make is that poor scripting can slow down your browser whatever technology is being used - a poorly coded site will give poor performance and can lead to application/tab crashes. It's not flash that's the culprit nine times out of ten, it's poorly developed flash. Poorly developed jQuery/ajax (or whatever) can do exactly the same.





    I think a lot of the flack aimed at Flash is based on misconception. Flash is something which helped revolutionise the web and was the right solution at the time to help with several requirements. That the flash plug-in is now a processor hungry piece of bloatware is a fair criticism, but the basic tenet behind flash is nothing to be flippantly dismissed.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by simantic View Post


    Unfortunately I have only recently realised that AppleInsider is a source of news that is biased, lacking in information and slow to report on news. I will continue to love and buy Mac-based products, but for now I can't justify buying an Apple mobile device and I can't bear to continue visiting this website on a regular basis.



    Let me guess, you're a stupid Mod from Macrumors?
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