Google has shared its views on the struggle between HTML5 and Adobe Flash when it comes to handling video on a blog at YouTube. Google says that it is excited about HTML5, but that Flash is still numero uno.

Through the YouTube API blog Google attempts to answer the question if the HTML5 <video> tag will replace Adobe Flash Player for playing videos at YouTube. They acknowledge the greatness of HTML5 as an open standard, but concludes that Adobe Flash is the best platform for YouTube today.

It discusses fullscreen playback of video, which is kind of problematic with HTML today, and technology for users to record their own YouTube videos through you browser and web camera, something only Flash can do today.

While HTML5’s video support enables us to bring most of the content and features of YouTube to computers and other devices that don’t support Flash Player, it does not yet meet all of our needs. Today, Adobe Flash provides the best platform for YouTube’s video distribution requirements, which is why our primary video player is built with it.

Google mentions the open video standard WebM as an alternative to H.264, which is currently used to encode videos. The WebM project is based on the VP8 codec, which is supported by Google, Mozilla, Opera, and even Adobe who will bring in support for the codec in a coming version of Flash Player.

How long YouTube will stick to Adobe Flash as the primary format is uncertain, but it has now made it very clear why it is not going to switch to HTML5 completely, or any other format for that matter.


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