BBC finally embedding video

BBC embedded Flash playerSteve Herrman, writing on the BBC’s Editors blog, is absolutely right: the move to video embedded on the page is ‘quite a significant moment’ for the Beeb’s website. Except that, judging by the first visible example, it’s got issues. It’s either failing to buffer, or returning an error message.
As explained in more detail on the Internet blog, the move to Flash video means faster processing for them, better quality for international users, and better usability for everyone. Clips will all have their own ‘permalink’ pages on the site, which makes for easier linking – but if you’re thinking of embedding clips on your own site, you’ll be disappointed.
It’s a welcome improvement from the Beeb: the News site’s use of video was starting to look ridiculously dated, when compared to the iPlayer… or indeed, to competitors like Sky, who went down this route almost a year ago. But I think Sky still has the edge in terms of usability. The Beeb’s pages already feel too long to me; I doubt many people ever read to the bottom of a story. By embedding video at the top of the page, as they seem to be doing, it pushes the text content even further down. Sky’s ‘rich sidebar’ treatment gives the best of both worlds.

7 thoughts on “BBC finally embedding video”

  1. The first example has certainly failed to ever play over the last few days on a Mac/Firefox (which happily consumes the iPlayer stream) but always works ok over on an XP PC/IE …

  2. Can anyone help me? I need about 50 names of persons who died within the past years or two in Darfur. It’s a project I am doing to increase awareness of this tragic and ongoing genocide. Thank you. Please send to [email protected]

  3. Please have a Flash bypass (you do not have it now) as there are many businesses, mine included, that will not allow Flash. Without the bypass we will not be able to see your videos.
    Flash tracks, by IP address, every use of it and puts the information together into a report for its subscribers. Please show some respect for the intelligence and privacy of your readers.
    I am glad to see you finally got rid of the 3cm wide blank band near the top.

  4. I think using Flash for inline media is going to be the standard, if it’s not already, propelled by YouTube and the like. I doubt there will be a bypass, though if anyone would do that it would be the BBC.
    I’m not sure what you mean by Flash tracking users by IP address. Any web page, whether it has Flash on it or not, is capable of doing that. Most hosts offer stats packages that can show each user’s IP address and breaks down their activity on your site.

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