With the aim to move the world's largest and most used video sharing site further away from the Adobe Flash platform, Google recently gave a very public release to an experimental YouTube player, which would use HTML5 video tags.
The new player was announced yesterday by Google in a post on the company's official blog, and, as opposed to expectations, it does not embrace the open and license free Ogg Theora codec. Rather it stays with the H. 264 codec which is used by current version of the website. Among many other things, this means that the redesigned video-pages will not work with Opera or Firefox.
The new YouTube will only be supported by Microsoft's Internet Explorer, if users transform it into a Google browser by installing the company’s controversial Chrome Frame plug-in.
"Support for HTML5 is just a TestTube experiment at this time and a starting point. We can't comment specifically on what codec we intend to support, but we're open to supporting more of them over time. At the very least we hope to help further this active and ongoing discussion", the spokesperson said.
There are some who have criticized Google for making the redesigned pages' access limited. But the company has been quick to say that it is "the most open company on Earth", but "commercial limitations" sometimes require it to take some difficult decisions.
The new project has been christened "HTML5 on YouTube" by Google, and it lets users view videos without a Flash plug-in.