YouTube switches to iFrame embed, broken in WLW

    YouTube iframe embed black square

    Along with YouTube’s new front page (when logged in), they also made an important change to how the embed code is handled. Traditionally embedding YouTube videos used the <embed> tags, but now uses <iframe> instead. There’s one big problem with this, support. Not all websites enable iFrame embeds, actually some actively prevent it.

    More importantly for Windows Live Writer users, the iFrame code simply doesn’t work. Pasting in the new code..


    .. results in a black box being inserted (pictured above), not the video. As a workaround there is still an embed option to use the old embed code which solves the issue.. for now.


    While this workaround gets the job done, it is an extra, annoying step in the process of sharing YouTube video. I’d like to see an option to use the old embed code by default, rather than have to remember each time. As for Google’s reason for making the switch in the first place, that’s all part of their push towards HTML5.

    If you use the new embed code style, your viewers will be able to view your embedded video in one of our Flash or HTML5 players, depending on their viewing environment and preferences.

    An additional benefit of the new embed style is that it will eventually allow embeds to work on mobile devices, which typically use a built-in player instead of Flash or HTML5.

    In effect, this change has exposed the fact that even the latest 2011 version of Windows Live Writer isn’t HTML5 compatible. Admittedly a brand new standard that is yet to gain mass adoption, that said the Windows Live team need to release an update to remedy this soon and be ahead of the curve. YouTube may just be the first of many video sharing sites to make the switch and wether we like it or not, HTML5 is coming. Its disappointing the once promised <video> tag still won’t solve the embedding issue.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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