Video sharing site Vimeo has taken the HTML5 plunge one step further with a brand new “universal” embeddable player aimed at mobile devices like the iPhone or the iPad.
Vimeo’s new “Universal Player” is actually capable of serving several different kinds of video formats, but it uses a script to check the browser’s video capabilities. Depending on what the browser can handle, Vimeo may display an HTML5 player, a Flash player or a platform-native player. For users, the playback experience and user interface are the same, regardless of the player being used.
The new embed code, now the default throughout the whole Vimeo site, still serves Flash to desktop browsers, reserving the native options for iPad and iPhone users. But eventually, Vimeo plans to let desktop users in on the HTML5 fun — including perhaps serving WebM videos to Firefox, Chrome and Opera users.
So, if you’re reading this post on an iPad or an iPhone, this movie will launch in a native player wrapped inside the browser’s skin:
WORDS from Everynone on Vimeo.
Interest in HTML5 video is reaching a fever pitch. It’s being fueled mostly by the iPad and other mobile browsing devices that can’t play Flash. Also, the recent launch of the new WebM video format, and the HTML5 video capabilities being built into the latest browser releases have publishers and video services exploring non-Flash alternatives for their viewers.
Vimeo’s new player builds on the HTML5 video player the company first launched as a beta project back in January. But the rapid growth of HTML5 video on the web has urged Vimeo to push this new player to the fore. Other video sites, most notably YouTube, have also launched their own site-wide non-Flash experiences in the last few months. But in most cases the only way to use the native web video players is to visit the actual website. Vimeo is the first to offer an embeddable native player by default.