Tuesday, December 23, 2008

YouTube Goes Wide

Is bigger better? YouTube has expanded its page width to 960 pixels, to accomodate larger 16:9 videos: "This new, wider player is in a widescreen aspect ratio which we hope will provide you with a cleaner, more powerful viewing experience."

But what does this mean for all those previously uploaded 4:3 videos? YouTube assures they "will play just fine in this new player," but users are reporting problems, ranging from pixelation to sputtering.

At minimum, current videos (like ours) will have annoying vertical black bars on both sides, since few will have the patience or inclination to reformat and re-upload their work.

One thing we know for sure. Given the complete lack of consistency in video presentations, the Web is yearning for someone to come along with a viable standard player, platform and format that will work for all media outlets. Only then will they be able to syndicate and share video content (as opposed to simply embedding YouTube players into blog pages).

In the near future, it should be as easy for media outlets to distribute and share videos as it is for them to share text and still photographs. Who's working on that problem?

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