Shame on YouTube

/ 4 December 2008

Ick. I’ve embedded a lot of YouTube video on my blog and today, returning from Austria, I realized all of it was a lot uglier. The change seems to have happened last month. I don’t think YouTube fully grasps the responsibility it has to treat “embedders” well. We’ve trusted YouTube with a tiny corner of our own sites, we expect that corner to look decent, to be treated with respect. Now it has been turned into a “portal” or an ad even, an intrusion of YouTube into my site over and over and over again. Too bad they didn’t make this an opt-in feature of their player.

For a while now I’ve felt that Vimeo has had the better presentation of video in an embedded player. You be the judge. Note that any of these may change as the respective sites change the code these embeds run.

YouTube now:

YouTube as it was before this (note, just add “&showsearch=0” to the end of the video link in the embed to make the search bar go away):

Vimeo as it is now:

UPDATE: I’ve found this search and replace plugin for WordPress very helpful. With it I was able to do a global search of my content for &fs=1&showinfo=0" and replace it with &fs=1&showinfo=0&showsearch=0" so that all the search bars were taken out of my embeds. Now I just have to remember to do this myself in the future.

UPDATE: It looks like YouTube may be listening to its users, the search bar seems to be off by default now.

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