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Vimeo Rolls-Out Universal Player, Introduces New 'Watch Later' Feature
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IPTV Feature Article

August 18, 2010

Vimeo Rolls-Out Universal Player, Introduces New 'Watch Later' Feature

By Jayashree Adkoli, TMCnet Contributor

Vimeo, an online video sharing site and an operating business of IAC, announced the roll-out of its Universal Player, which enables people to watch embedded Vimeo videos on mobile devices such as Apple’s (News - Alert) iPhone or iPad using HTML5. The site has also added a new “Watch Later” feature into all versions of its player that facilitates viewers to mark a video for future viewing.

Vimeo's new Universal Player is an embeddable player. It can detect the capabilities of the browser and deliver the optimum player version (Flash, HTML5, or native) with the appropriate video definition (HD, SD, mobile) and then playback codec (h.264, webm), accordingly. At the same time the player also maintains a set of customization and privacy features.

For illustration, the new Universal layer will serve mobile video to iPhones and Androids and HD to iPads and Desktops. On other mobile devices it can use the native player of the device or an optimized mobile Flash player with bigger controls, the company said.

Since the company rolled out the HTML5 player in January, people were clamoring for an embeddable version, especially for iPhones and iPads. So the company rolled out Universal Player, said officials with the company in a blog.

According to Vimeo, the new Universal Player is as easy to use as the old embed code, just a lot more compatible. Instead of being a direct link to a Flash player the new Universal Player can automatically detect what kind of device is viewing the video and choose the optimum player based on the device's capabilities.

"With the latest generation of browsers and devices, we've had huge demand for an embeddable player that works with HTML5 and on devices like iPad and iPhone (News - Alert)," said Andrew Pile, vice president of Product and Development for Vimeo. "The new embeddable code is highly scalable and allows us to continue to add support as new browsers and devices are released, for example serving HTML5 to IE9 and our Flash mobile player to Android (News - Alert) phones running Flash 10.1."

Apart from launching Universal Player, Vimeo also announced Watch Later which is a one button solution that lets people save videos for later viewing.  The company has built the Watch Later button into every version of the Vimeo player.

With the help of Watch Later feature, users can access their Watch Later videos by going to the Watch Later album on, the Vimeo channel on their Roku box or the Vimeo mobile site. In other words, it is an easy way to queue up a high-quality playlist to enjoy when people have more time.

Officials with Vimeo said that the Watch Later feature will also be added to Vimeo's API.

Jayashree Adkoli is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jayashree's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Ed Silverstein

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