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YouTube Now Makes Use of HTML5 Player by Default, Drops Flash

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There's no need to install those annoying plug-ins anymore as YouTube has dropped Adobe's Flash and will be using the HTML5 player by default.

Armed with support for Adaptive Bitrate (ABR), which Flash lacked and utilizes less buffering time and enables the viewing of more videos, YouTube has finally transitioned from Flash in favor of a Flash-less experience via HTML5.

Now, thanks to YouTube bridging the technical gaps, users of Internet Explorer 11, Chrome, Safari 8, as well as beta versions of Firefox, will benefit from YouTube in HTML5 by default.

The transition from Flash to HTML5 has been in the works for a while now. In January 2010, Google announced the launch of the HTML5 video player, which was being tested out at the time.

That same year, the Google-owned company revealed YouTube HTML5 video players' improved performance when compared to Flash. The company even enhanced the embed code, the popular means of distributing YouTube videos. The ensuing years did not see YouTube divulge much information; however, there was an inkling that changes were in the pipeline.

Now with the HTML5 player finally replacing Flash plug-ins, certain technologies have played a pivotal role in paving the path.

For instance, YouTube is deploying the VP9 codec that provides a higher resolution quality for videos. Moreover, the bandwidth used is reduced by an average of 35 percent.

Additionally, YouTube will be able to offer users an immersive experience of viewing in fullscreen mode with the standard HTML user interface. This has been made possible by the fullscreen APIs in the HTML5 player.

YouTube is not only defaulting the HTML5 player to the web but is also getting rid of the "old style" Flash embeds for objects, as well as the Flash API. Users are encouraged to deploy the iframe instead, which can acclimatize itself to the browser and device being used.

"These advancements have benefited not just YouTube's community, but the entire industry," noted Richard Leider, YouTube's engineering manager. "Other content providers like Netflix and Vimeo, as well as companies like Microsoft and Apple, have embraced HTML5 and been key contributors to its success."

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