Yahoo turns on WebPlayer; makes online videos look fancy

Yahoo has launched the beta version of its new online media product, WebPlayer.

Yahoo was serious when it said it wanted to be a major digital media player, and the the introduction of WebPlayer is definitely evidence of that.

Basically, this application can make YouTube videos (among others from different online sources) look fancier on your browser window. Thus, it's not really a YouTube competitor as YouTube is one of the potential sources for content.

Using this tool on a site actually sounds more complicated than it is. Publishers and developers can add add the WebPlayer to a particular site with one line of code. Once that is done and the page loads, the player scans the page's contents and automatically inserts an obvious play button next to supported and playable items. (That's usually links with movie titles, etc.) After clicking on the play button, the WebPlayer slides out at the bottom of the browser window for playback.

For a better idea, check out the sample below, or view some of the samples that Yahoo has posted.

The idea here is that it should be much easier for bloggers, publishers, or whoever that wants to publish digital media on their websites on a regular basis as all they really need a line of code and a link rather than copying over a giant embed code from YouTube.

Dubbed by developers as a "flexible and universal media player," this Web-based media player is written in HTML and JavaScript, and it supports a variety of video and audio media formats, including MP3 and WMA.

WebPlayer is still in beta mode only, so there are surely going to be some quirks and incompatibility issues until the full version is ready.

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