youtube - what player?

Posted on 2011-10-06
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
what player is used behind youtube? like VLC or real or WMP etc
Question by:25112
    LVL 23

    Assisted Solution

    Youtube streaming is explained here
    LVL 38

    Accepted Solution

    Hi 25112

    There are hundreds of different "Flash enabled" multimedia "players" for the web.  Some are free to use and re-use wherever you like, others are incorporated into retail software (eg. that allow you to design pages with a player and playlists and upload everything to your web space, while others are retail but may also have limited free versions.

    Examples: (free and commercial versions) (free and "Pro" versions) (15 day evaluation) (free)

    Some are limited to what types of video files they will play, and other limitations may be whether there is a full-screen mode, etc, but essentially thay all have a "player" comprising a *.SWF file that downloads to your browser's cache from the page.  The playlist file is different for the various versions. Some download an *.XML based file that contains the settings for the player plus the target path of the video, while others may load all settings from JavaScript files that are made deliberately complex so as to hide the direct link of the video that is loaded.

    In some cases you have separate *.swf files in the form of skins, and you configure (eg. in the player's XML or other settings file) which one to display the player with.  Others use separate image files to supply the clickable buttons on the player in the web page.

    *.SWF files are loaded into web pages using what is referred to as an "Embed Code".  YouTube and other video sites usually provide a way to copy the embed code to have the video play inside your own web page or blog, but I am referring here to using your own web player from your own website to play your own videos within it.  The code in the web page can contain as many display and playback settings as the *.SWF player allows, so the code can be very simple or very complicated, depending on whether a separate "settings file" is used to load the player's configuration file.

    All players like this that I have seen require that your computer has the Adobe Flash Player plugin installed and enabled for your browser, and JavaScript also needs to be enabled for the embed code to work.

    As far as YouTube's actual "Player" is concerned, it is their own one and not something you can just copy and re-use from your own web server space.  You don't need to anyway, because all you need is the very simple YouTube embed code to load the player, the video, and associated files right into your web page.  (  Of course, if the content is removed from YouTube then it won't play in your own web page either.

    By the look of it, the YouTube Player (which is really just the frame into which the video is fetched using scripting, was cached as "watch_as3-vflBD1mO9[1].swf" from:
    It is likely that the name will be different each session.

    When you upload a video to YouTube it converts it into *.FLV (Flash Video) format or *.MP4.  When browsing YouTube videos the actual player is only cached once by your browser for re-use, and each FLV video is cached as files named something like "videoplayback" or similar (without the extension).

    You should also be aware that the same YouTube page is also loading *.SWF files to display loosely in the page on their own for adverts, and also being loaded may be another player eg. will be playing DoubleClick Instream Advertising content.

    I hope this answers your question.

    LVL 5

    Author Comment

    very v helpful.. i'll keep this as a reference for the future,Bill.
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Thank you 25112

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