Saturday, December 17, 2011

Introducing the Yahoo! Web Player - a cool evolution...!

TBH, the topic regarding this blog-post might not be breaking news per-say, and I'm probably (more-likely: "definitely") not the first to mention the following in a blog-post - but for a couple months back (last August, to be exact), the people at Yahoo! have given their Yahoo! Media Player a major overhaul!

Their player has now evolved into the Yahoo! Web Player, and not only can it now also handle playing videos, Yahoo also claims that it's: "The easiest way to add video and audio to your site"...!

First of all, "i-Whatever"- and Android-developers can stop reading this posting now, as this player does NOT work on handheld-units (explaination follows), but otherwise will work on virtually all browsers - that is if certain requirements are met!

First of all, the Yahoo! Web Player needs JavaScript to be installed and enabled to function.

And be advised that according to the latest stats from, almost 37% of the World's Internet population could be considered as either not having Javascript enabled - or flat out do not have it installed! (Something worth keeping in mind, IMHO...)

So in other words, if JavaScript is disabled (or not installed) on a user's browser, the Yahoo! Web Player will not appear (obviously); furthermore, the Yahoo! Web Player currently employs some Flash to work (which explain the lacking "i-Whatever"-support) - thus requiring the users have to have Flash installed for the player to work, too.
However, Yahoo! claim to be working on removing this limitation in a very foreseeable future.

But is it really "The easiest way to add video and audio to your site", as Yahoo! claims? Well, if we're dealing with adding and integrating media to a site or blog with one line of code, then the answer is: "Yes"!

All you have to do is add one line code like this:
<title>My Website</title>
<script type="text/javascript" src="">

What happens then is when a page loads, the Yahoo! Web Player scans the webpage's contents and adds play buttons next to ‘playable’ items (for example links to mp3-files or links to YouTube videos).

Once clicked, a play button will open an in-page player in the lower left-hand corner that will stream all the detected playable items in one unified playlist - just like it's predecessor, the Yahoo! Media Player (except the Yahoo Web Player now also supports videos, too).

You can try and see it work in full-effect by clicking on the screen-shot below:

As an added "bonus", it can also easily be added to some of the already existing blog-services out there, such as WordPress, Blogspot and Tumblr, too!

There might be some readers out there that might be already asking themselves, if this blog-poster would use the Yahoo! Web Player himself?

And the answer to that would be a "Yes" and "No" - as it "...depends", where I'd use it and if there are any design- and other technical considerations involved!

For the record, I think the Yahoo! Web Player is a vast improvement compared to their previous endeavor, the Yahoo! Media Player, on all accounts; and yes - admitted - it is a v-e-r-y easy affair to implement!
And it works immediately out-of-the-box, too...!

However, I'm personally not too keen on a solution´that relies on a plugin-topology, which statistically isn't supported by up to approx. 37% of the everyday web-users out there (BTW, I am NOT a Javascript-hater); nor does the Yahoo! Web Player work on mobile devices (as of yet)...

And design-wise I'm not too sure about placing things down in the lower left-hand corner of things, neither; although this reservation that I might have got could change, as the Yahoo! Web Player is to evolve, based on user-input and -suggestions!
That being said, if one needs an easy to implement, quick-and-dirty media integration solution that works out-of-the-box, than look no further; the Yahoo! Web Player is definitely better than it's predecessor, and should seriously be taking into consideration - regardless of my own minor hangups with (potentially) using it!

Thanks for reading this...



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