Yahoo (and others), get your act together!

Yahoo (and others), get your act together!

Summary: In this ubiquitous world of Web 2.0 there is simply no excuse for it...


In this ubiquitous world of Web 2.0 there is simply no excuse for it...and I'm fed up!

I go to Yahoo several times a day to check on news headlines and stock quotes, but I find myself getting more and more frustrated.

Anytime you find a link to view a video clip from one of their channels, you have about a 50/50 chance of not being able to view it unless you have Windows Media Player installed in your browser.



I'm a Mac user and Microsoft has decided to cancel all development of WMP for this platform...but even if I didn't use a Mac, I'm still forced to use this player on Yahoo. What really burns me is that Yahoo has the audacity to first make me watch a video advertisement (which plays just fine) before they tell me I can't view the selected video.




That's obnoxious.   

So I did a little digging and found something particularly puzzling.

If you click on the video from Reuters called The Update: Baghdad bridge bombing on Yahoo, you first get to watch an ad, and then they tell you you can't view the video.






If you go to Reuters and click on the SAME first get to watch an ad for Microsoft (how's that for a coincidence?)...and then ta da...the video plays...because it is encoded in Flash.




So why does the same clip from Yahoo...that originates from the same news organization...have two different video formats?

Can anyone explain that to me? 


Of the 18 channels currently available the following cannot be viewed on Yahoo without the WMP plug-in:

expanded books
talk to power
charlie rose
australia 7

I'm fed up with this! If you have a public site and you want my eyeballs and my business, you are going to have to start encoding your video in a format that can be seen by everyone. If not, I'm not patronizing your site anymore. There are plenty of options outside of Windows Media that don't discriminate...and if you can't get your act together, then you don't get my traffic.

If you want to have a private service that uses a proprietary technology to play your media, more power to you. But if you operate a public portal, then you need to step up and make your "public media" available to all...Windows, Mac, Linux...


Topic: Apple

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  • Me too!

    Thank you for this. I thought it was only me and my computer. I use Ubuntu Linux and Yahoo. I am also tired of the step-child treatment not only by Yahoo but others, too.
  • Yahoo has the right

    to put up video in any format they wish.
    You don't like it, go elsewhere.
    It is called free market economics.

    I will agree, however, that you shouldn't have to watch an ad before being told the intended content is unavailable.
    But like I said, you can vote with your feet and go elsewhere
    • Um...

      Didn't I just say that?

      Oh yeah...I did. I'm exercising my free market rights not to visit their site as long as they lock me out from content I assume they want me to watch. That's why it is public...or sort of public...
  • Right on.

    I have seen this too.

    In my case I don't want to power up the VM and look at the same stinking thing in
    Windows. Maybe someday Yahoo and others will cater to the oh.... 25ish million Mac
    users out there. You would think with that much market they would be more

    Especially when Mac users are far more likely to be educated and have broadband
  • Get a real computer or VLC

    Seriously with over 90% of the world using Windows why do people have to pander to the Mac users and the vanishingly small Eunuchs users? It really isn't going to effect revenue and instead creates even more problems in providing cross-platform stuff that has to fit the lowest common denominator - e.g. Linux with Firefox. Also I much prefer WM format to Flash which seems to stop a lot when playing.

    However, here's a solution.

    There is a cross-platform media player VLC - that supports WMV files. It's open source, it's free, so go get it and stop complaining.
    • VLC

      VLC does *NOT* have a web browser plug-in. Therefore, it wont work for that. Also, there are a lot of windows users that dislike WMP and would prefer to use flash anyway. So its not 90% of the world that is fine with flash.

      There is *NO* reason for them to use WMP when other cross platform alternatives are available, unless of course MS gives them a kick back for using it. Which with all the MS ad's they have, it would not surprise me.