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Four years ago, we wrote about YouTube’s early support for the HTML5 <video> tag and how it performed compared to Flash. At the time, there were limitations that held it back from becoming our preferred platform for video delivery. Most critically, HTML5 lacked support for Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) that lets us show you more videos with less buffering.

Over the last four years, we’ve worked with browser vendors and the broader community to close those gaps, and now, YouTube uses HTML5 <video> by default in Chrome, IE 11, Safari 8 and in beta versions of Firefox.

The benefits of HTML5 extend beyond web browsers, and it's now also used in smart TVs and other streaming devices. Here are a few key technologies that have enabled this critical step forward: 

MediaSource Extensions
Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) streaming is critical for providing a quality video experience for viewers - allowing us to quickly and seamlessly adjust resolution and bitrate in the face of changing network conditions. ABR has reduced buffering by more than 50 percent globally and as much as 80 percent on heavily-congested networks. MediaSource Extensions also enable live streaming in game consoles like Xbox and PS4, on devices like Chromecast and in web browsers.

VP9 video codec
HTML5 lets you take advantage of the open VP9 codec, which gives you higher quality video resolution with an average bandwidth reduction of 35 percent. These smaller files allow more people to access 4K and HD at 60FPS -- and videos start 15-80 percent faster. We've already served hundreds of billions of VP9 videos, and you can look for more about VP9 in a future post.

Encrypted Media Extensions and Common Encryption
In the past, the choice of delivery platform (Flash, Silverlight, etc) and content protection technology (Access, PlayReady) were tightly linked, as content protection was deeply integrated into the delivery platform and even the file format. Encrypted Media Extensions separate the work of content protection from delivery, enabling content providers like YouTube to use a single HTML5 video player across a wide range of platforms. Combined with Common Encryption, we can support multiple content protection technologies on different platforms with a single set of assets, making YouTube play faster and smoother.

WebRTC
YouTube enables everyone to share their videos with the world, whether uploading pre-recorded videos or broadcasting live. WebRTC allows us to build on the same technology that enables plugin-free Google Hangouts to provide broadcasting tools from within the browser.

Fullscreen
Using the new fullscreen APIs in HTML5, YouTube is able to provide an immersive fullscreen viewing experience (perfect for those 4K videos), all with standard HTML UI.

Moving to <iframe> embeds
Given the progress we've made with HTML5 <video>, we’re now defaulting to the HTML5 player on the web. We're also deprecating the "old style" of Flash <object> embeds and our Flash API. We encourage all embedders to use the <iframe> API, which can intelligently use whichever technology the client supports.

These advancements have benefitted not just YouTube’s community, but the entire industry. 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. By providing an open standard platform, HTML5 has also enabled new classes of devices like Chromebooks and Chromecast. You can support HTML5 by using the <iframe> API everywhere you embed YouTube videos on the web. 

Richard Leider, Engineering Manager, recently watched, “Ex Hex - Waterfall.”

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A billion people watch zillions of hours of YouTube video on devices all over the world. Underneath the hood, the magic that makes YouTube isn’t really magic at all—it’s serious engineering at unparalleled scale.

To bring you closer to the people and projects that make YouTube tick, we’re launching the YouTube Engineering and Developers Blog. About once a month, expect to see behind-the-scenes explanations, tools and tips for developers, and explanations of the most fundamental and interesting technical challenges at YouTube.

We look forward to hearing what you think about these topics, so please let us know in the comments or with a video!

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With the new YouTube WatchMe for Android project, you can easily integrate YouTube Live Streaming into your Android app. YouTube WatchMe brings your app the same live broadcasting capabilities that you've seen in great apps like Live on YouTube – by Xperia™ and Re – by HTC.



YouTube WatchMe for Android is an open-source project that uses the YouTube Data API v3, YouTube Live Streaming API, Google Play Services and Plus API. You can customize it for your app, and you can also contribute to the project by filing merge requests for new features or submitting bug reports.


How to start using the app
  1. Sync the Github repo
    1. Enable the Youtube Data API v3 and Google+ API.
    2. Create a client ID for Android, using your SHA1 and package name.
  2. Include cross-platform compiled streaming libraries.
Either
  • libffmpeg.so under src/main/jniLibs/armeabi,
or
  • another streaming library with modifying VideoStreamingInterface

Main Activity
Main Activity
YouTube player
Live Streaming Activity
This App is still experimental, so stay tuned here and subscribe to the YouTube for Developers channel to keep up on the latest.


Cheers,

Ibrahim Ulukaya, and the YouTube API Team

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If you’re already using or migrated to the YouTube Data API v3, you can stop reading and go watch this instead.

If you haven’t yet migrated from the previous API version (v2), we wanted to remind you it will be unsupported as of April 20, 2015, and shut down soon thereafter. To make it fast and easy for you to migrate, check out the new Migration Guide. It’ll help you identify the v3 API methods and parameters that correspond to the functionality that you've been using in the v2 API. It also points out new features that the v3 API supports.

Screenshot_9_17_14,_4_10_PM.jpeg

The guide also lists functionality that is yet to be migrated as well as v2 features that will or might be deprecated, so you can check any feature your current app may be using and share feedback with us.

Once you’re done with that, join the rest of the folks who’ve migrated, kick back and enjoy this.

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When news breaks, it's critical to have immediate, unfiltered access to information about the unfolding developments. During events like the Ukrainian protests and the Arab Spring, people are uploading firsthand, breaking news stories to YouTube. The YouTube Data API (v3) makes it easier to find those videos by supporting the ability to search for videos within a given radius of specified latitude/longitude coordinates. By using this feature in conjunction with the specific Freebase topic filter and upload date with time, you can discover up-to-the-minute breaking news material from people witnessing important world events.


To see an example, check out this web app that uses the new YouTube location search feature and Google Maps APIs. The app is used by news agencies to find legitimate footage and allows them to filter videos based on location, keywords, and upload time.


To search for geotagged videos, set the latitude and longitude to specify the center of a circular geographic area to be searched and the location radius to define the size of the circle. The radius can be in meters, kilometers or miles with a max size of 1000 KM.  

Don’t have the latitude and longitude? Not a problem. The Google Maps API can geo-code search terms (e.g., “Boston”) and return the appropriate geographic coordinates. The Google Maps API also lets you create interactive maps to plot the results of the search. For your convenience, we’re publishing the code as open source for all to use.

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Since the launch of the new YouTube for Developers site, you’ve been able to access API resources, see the showcase apps and hear the stories of successful YouTube Developers. With today’s addition of four new demos, you’ll be able to play with the APIs and find use cases you can easily adapt into your own application.


The Upload Widget demo uses the YouTube Data API, resumable uploads, YouTube Upload Widget, and the YouTube iFrame Player API. Inspired by globalfeed.org, it lets visitors upload videos in which they answer a few questions. On the first page, users can also see answers uploaded by others.

Upload Widget
Via the Freebase API and the YouTube Data API, the Topic Explorer helps visitors find videos related to queries using the Google Knowledge Graph. After the initial query search on Freebase, users can select the exact entity on the Google Knowledge Graph and find videos related to the entity rather than to the simple search term. They can then watch these videos in a player that uses the YouTube iFrame API.
Topic Explorer
By using the YouTube Analytics API, viewers can see the geographic distribution of viewers for Google Developer videos during Google I/O 2013. They can slide through different dates to change the statistics. They can also hover over continents to find the exact viewcounts and the most popular videos for that continent for the selected date.


Analytics
With the power of the YouTube Live Streaming API and the YouTube Data API, visitors can see the most popular YouTube live streams right now. They can click the titles of streams to watch them in a player, which uses the YouTube iFrame API, or simply click one of the empty time slots in the last row to schedule their own broadcasts in the calendar.

Live Widget
Stay tuned here and subscribe to the YouTube for Developers channel to keep up on the latest.

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Over the years, we have seen many amazing applications built using the YouTube APIs. These applications span different verticals and extend YouTube to a broader audience. We invited four developers to share their stories and give you inspiration for your work.

Fullscreen

Fullscreen helps creators and brands supercharge their online presence by building tools on top of YouTube data.





Tubular Labs


A great video is nothing without an audience. Tubular helps YouTube creators and marketers grow their audience and take them to the next level.





Capella Systems


Using the power of YouTube, Capella builds live streaming software that makes broadcasting a breeze.





Kamcord


Kamcord helps mobile gamers capture their favorite moments and share them with the world via YouTube.




Stay tuned for more YouTube developer stories in the future, visit YouTube.com/developers to learn more about YouTube APIs and start your own story.

-Amanda Surya and the YouTube for Developers team