The video sharing site is experimenting with a player based on HTML 5.
Dailymotion has taken the lead by offering the Ogg Vorbis and Theora open formats, with YouTube now also getting on the HTML 5 band wagon. This will allow users who don’t have a browser with the required plug-in installed, notably Flash, to still be able to watch the videos of their choice.
To do this though you will need a browser which supports HTML 5, something which Internet Explorer does not yet do, or you will need to have the controversial Chrome Frame plug-in created by Google installed. The biggest surprise with this experiment being conducted by YouTube is that Firefox is for the time being part of the incompatible browsers group.
YouTube has provided an explanation on their site: "Our support of HTML 5 is an experiment, and there are still some limitations. YouTube notes that you'll miss out on a few things if you do: for one thing, there are no ads, the beta lacks fullscreen video, closed captioning, and videos encoded in H.264."
Translation: for the time being Google Chrome and Safari are the only fully compatible browsers, to which you can add Internet Explorer if Chrome Frame has been installed. Will the experiment be a success then?
Below you will see the conventional YouTube Flash player on the left, while on the right is the HTML 5 player:
Note: YouTube has already made some HTML 5 videos available online. To participate in the test you will need visit the TestTube site: HTML5 Video.