“The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.” November 30, 2008 5:05 PM   Subscribe

How about updating the inline YouTube player to widescreen? Please?

(and add the headline/title to the MeTa preview?)
posted by blue_beetle to Feature Requests at 5:05 PM (16 comments total)

The embed code youtube still gives out is in 4:3. I'm not sure they even support 16:9 embedded players yet.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:01 PM on November 30, 2008

Yea, Youtube doesn't support embedded 16:9 (yet?). Google for it you'll find all kind of people complaining about it.
posted by jmd82 at 7:09 PM on November 30, 2008

As long as we're here, how about fetching the title of the linked video and displaying it as a tooltip/rollover? I rarely click on mystery meat youtube links unless some description is provided, and more often than not, it isn't.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:27 PM on November 30, 2008

I'm with George_Spiggott on this one. I've often wished that IMDB links would do this as well..
posted by davey_darling at 8:36 PM on November 30, 2008

George_Spiggott, that would require some crazy link indexing on our part. Any YouTube link that showed up in a post here would need to get a record in the db, we'd need to fetch the details via the API and store them. Then, when we print out posts for display, we'd need to look up that info and insert the titles on the fly. It's possible, but I'm not sure it's worth the effort. We could also ask posters to include that information when they post, but that's up to each poster.

The problem is that MeFi is not a link indexing service, it's a text blob posting service (if that makes sense). So it's harder to do things with individual links here than it is for a service like, say, delicious.com where each link is its own record.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:39 PM on November 30, 2008

YouTube Title Adder
posted by popechunk at 8:41 PM on November 30, 2008

pb, I realize it's not a small thing, but for purposes of discussion, couldn't it be fetched at post time and inserted into the A tag as a title attribute in the post/comment itself? Admittedly this involves annoying back-end curl-type fetching but it would only need to happen once.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:50 PM on November 30, 2008

I've often wished that IMDB links would do this as well..

I'm sure at one time there was a human-readable alternate to IMDB's excruciating mystery-meat URL scheme, but I'm damned if I can find any reference to it on the site itself. I really don't know what the hell they've been thinking all this time.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:01 PM on November 30, 2008

Part of the problem is that we don't parse the HTML people enter here, and trying to auto-insert attributes with regex-style string parsing would quickly break down. There are just too many ways to write a link. I like the hands-off approach of letting people write their own titles, and writing HTML in whatever style they want. If we had more structure, like a form with Link #1, Title #1, Link #2, Title #2, etc. (a la attachments at gmail) then it'd be easier to "add value" to links as individual entities. But as a part of a mass of text, even grabbing the info at post time and trying to rewrite the HTML is a recipe for failure IMHO.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:12 PM on November 30, 2008

I see your point about modifying the user-supplied A tag, but when you insert the youtube_yellow.png graphic, it appears that you add the A tag wrapper to that on the server side. You're in a position to write anything you want into that, including a title attribute. Just an observation. (And not to sound unappreciative of all the work you do already.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:21 PM on November 30, 2008

Sure, we can put whatever title we want into the YouTube player icon. But in that case we're back to parsing every youtube video ID, storing it in the db, and looking it up as we write the page here. We don't insert the player button into someone's text when they post. The YouTube player icons are inserted on-the-fly based on whether or not someone has that preference set, and the code simply passes the video ID from the link to the local player. (The code uses regular expressions to grab the ID, and we do have problems with that in some cases.)

It's not impossible to index every video ID that passes through. And adding extended info about videos to the player and player icons would be much less problematic than auto-editing post HTML.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:31 PM on November 30, 2008

Thanks for the thoroughness of the response. Probably not a high-priority request, especially since any user who wants it enough can add client-side code to userprefs.js or greasemonkey or something to do it.

(Or one cool idea is to add the javascript to the site. That way you provide the feature without the user having to be a user-agent wizard, but you offload the work of looking it up onto their browser and just serve the same javascript to everyone.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:36 PM on November 30, 2008

xkcd joked about adding audio previews to youtube comments and they added it shortly thereafter. Obviously we have this in the bag.
posted by empyrean at 11:03 PM on November 30, 2008

I know it's been mentioned before, but I still maintain that having an additional field in the "link" dialog would solve a lot of this:

Please enter the site you'd like to link
[ http://example.com ]
Please enter a title for the link
[ This is an example ]

Which would give you this.

I think a big part of the reason that few people use the title attribute is that it's either a hassle or they don't know how to do it. Giving them an easy way to plug it in right when they are making the link might mean having to deal with less of the mystery meat URLs when trying to decide if it's safe to click.
posted by quin at 8:04 AM on December 1, 2008

metafilter: it's a text blob posting service
posted by cowbellemoo at 8:23 AM on December 1, 2008

I love the quote titling this post.

That's all I'm here to say.

Oh, and the YouTube link parser is great, as long as you don't mind squinting to make out what word your favourite alphabet-soup poster was trying to spell entirely with links to YT videos. But I'll never click on a funny kitty video without prior warning ever again!

darned funny kitty videos aren't as innocent as everyone believes them to be....legs all splayed out, little mouths packed with spiny fangs...it's all a devious ruse, I tell you!
posted by batmonkey at 2:17 PM on December 1, 2008

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