I could have sworn that I was going crazy at first, but after reading what Phillip Defranco over at sxePhil had noticed it as well, I knew that it may not just be the fact that this was the first time I had been on a mac in almost 2 years. I could have sworn that I have seen this particular video player before back when I enrolled in the youtube beta program to help them test out their new UI. So I’m guessing that this is just a slight modification of that beta video player. The odd thing here is just how much space is being wasted still, and perhaps equally important is that videos that are off a channel are still using the old player.
But what bugs me is that they have essentially given even less video space than they had before by simply adding that bar from being inline with the video options menu to on top of it, and having it auto hide to a smaller bar after a couple of seconds. I just find it strange that they would aim for even less screen realty. Of all the big video sites [Hulu, etc], youtube was probably the one in most need of an update to their UI. They have been running around with that old bar system that looked like it spent its last couple of years vacationing in old geocities hangouts picking up that somewhat terrible and generic grey to white gradient that no one likes. So if nothing else, at least the somewhat alpha transparency player is an upgrade in the colors department, and moves youtube from “Web 2.0” to web 2.5 or whatever the hell else we are calling it these days. I also imagine that because of the fact that the majority of youtube’s users are also the type to complain every time that facebook moves a bar from the left to the right, that their in boxes are being filled with mix reaction [I suppose I could include mine in this] talking about how horrible a choice it was to move to this new system, and how they are going to totally not use youtube for like the next… 5 hours.
Although honestly, if you want to lodge a complaint against the youtube department, there are plenty of places they would not only be logical, but probably needed. This of course includes their choice to bow down to the music industry and just kind of sit there and take it with the copyright law thing. If any company on the planet was capable of actually bringing some sense to the matter, it was Google, and they seemed to just want to back down and try to eliminate all instances in which a song might be played because it would just hurt the children so very much, and the poor artist aren’t making an arm and a leg over it, Even though Viacom or any of the others could have simply said “Yeah, you’re an advertising company? How about you give us the advertising dollars made of those videos?”. It’s a double win for a few reasons. The first being that these videos stay up and everyone gets to watch them, or listen to them, or whatever it is that you use youtube for these days, and the second being that they are making money that they would have never seen anyway. I mean lets face it, it’s not like the people who are watching these youtube videos saw the DMC notice and were like “Oh man, what a terrible human being I have been, I shall wonder off to the store and purchase this fine video in full quality”. They went to youtube to find it in the first place, I don’t think that perfect compression ratio’s or the beautiful 1080 HD display was their first objective anyway.
Really that’s youtube’s problem, is that it went from a nifty idea to internet standard in only a matter of years, and the concept isn’t something that plays well in the real world. Sure the homemade videos and the likes are of course a nice idea, but its a video library of sorts, and the potential for abuse is beyond reality in terms of Technological IP. And now that google has taken the reigns they have only made the site worse as they continue to bow down to various request and take down notices. It is this attitude that truly concerns me, that google only sees this massive bandwidth hog as a venture capital exploit, and the only way to recoup the loss of that much bandwidth isn’t going to be made up for in ad space. So you can fully expect that we will start seeing the idea of premium content of the likes here before long, as google starts to realize that the multi billion dollar bandwidth bill probably won’t pay itself. In fact I’m curious which requires the most bandwidth: Youtube; Wikipedia, or the Google Search engine [all of which google host]. But until that point, they will continue to make these slow gradual changes to youtube [the addition of ads, the change of the UI, etc] until eventually they find a way to make it profitable.