video August 31, 2012 6:45 AM   Subscribe

Why don't we have in-line video for non-members? I typically avoid sending posts with great videos in them to (like this) to non-members because they will just see a wall of text without being able to play videos in-line. Would it be possible to add the in-line video player for everyone who visits metafilter?
posted by rebent to Feature Requests at 6:45 AM (29 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

*(like this)
posted by rebent at 6:46 AM on August 31, 2012


Why not just send the video to your non-member friend?
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:49 AM on August 31, 2012


Is THAT what that is? I thought it was just a little "hey, it's a video" notification icon.

You can CLICK it?

whoa. /keanu
posted by tilde at 7:02 AM on August 31, 2012 [15 favorites]


I recently discovered that inline viewing tricks youtube into thinking your mobile device is a non-mobile device, allowing you to watch videos that're set up to be blocked for mobile viewing. I doubt this was an intentional piece of coding, but nonetheless: stick it to the man!
posted by item at 7:07 AM on August 31, 2012 [17 favorites]


item: "I recently discovered that inline viewing tricks youtube into thinking your mobile device is a non-mobile device, allowing you to watch videos that're set up to be blocked for mobile viewing. I doubt this was an intentional piece of coding, but nonetheless: stick it to the man!"

Holy shit! That's awesome. Thanks for mentioning it. Never would have known.
posted by zarq at 7:09 AM on August 31, 2012


Lemurrhea: "Why not just send the video to your non-member friend?"

Because of the good posts (like the first comment) that have multiple videos in them
posted by rebent at 7:10 AM on August 31, 2012


The inline player is one of those things that takes a little extra processing on our end. Usually it's not that much extra processing. But threads with over 1000 comments start to throw sparks, and certain posts have a lot to process. So while we'd like to be able to share the inline player with everyone we view it as a perk of membership.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:17 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Your friends don't know how to click links?
posted by DU at 7:17 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


allowing you to watch videos that're set up to be blocked for mobile viewing

Why do they do this? It's like they don't understand the internet!
posted by ryanrs at 7:18 AM on August 31, 2012


So you do understand why they do this.
posted by Mitheral at 7:19 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


So Google is really good at computers and networks, but doesn't understand the internet. That actually sounds pretty accurate.
posted by ryanrs at 7:29 AM on August 31, 2012


zarq: "Holy shit! That's awesome. Thanks for mentioning it. Never would have known."

If you've got android device, you can download the Dolphin web browser, and there's an option in the setting to make websites think you're on a Desktop, and then you can see all those videos, too.

I've been told it works well with things like redtube, not that I'd know anything about that.
posted by Grither at 7:40 AM on August 31, 2012


Membership has it's privileges. /smug

Item, thanks for the tip. Count me as another person who didn't know that.
posted by arcticseal at 7:49 AM on August 31, 2012


I wonder if it might make sense to enable the inline video player on FPP links but not in comments? (Would that mitigate the issue you're bringing up, pb, or are you saying the long threads are already throwing sparks, even for non-logged in readers, and so the bit of extra processing for any potential video links on the top of the page would still be a meaningful detriment?)
posted by nobody at 7:56 AM on August 31, 2012


(Just realized I wrote that only because the thought crossed my mind. I don't really care about the issue. I'm not even sure what I'm doing here.)
posted by nobody at 7:59 AM on August 31, 2012


I want nobody's advice

(I was about to post the same question actually)
posted by rebent at 8:17 AM on August 31, 2012


People use the in-line video player? Why? On my iPhone the Youtube player is better, in my opinion at least, and on a computer I want to open the video in a new window or tab so I can keep browsing while it plays. (Am I distractable? ooohhh, look at that bright shiny thing.....) Anyway, I have never understood the appeal of the in-line video player. Perhaps I am missing something?
posted by caddis at 8:18 AM on August 31, 2012


Grither: " If you've got android device, you can download the Dolphin web browser, and there's an option in the setting to make websites think you're on a Desktop, and then you can see all those videos, too. "

Heh. I've been avoiding installing it.

I own a samsung phone which has a really weird installation bug related to Dolphin. If you install the browser, the Dolphin installer package places an icon on your front page. But if you don't have room for that icon, the installation program tries to put it there anyway and that permanently crashes the built-in launcher. (TWLauncher) So your phone crashes and then refused to finish the boot sequence when you restart. There's no way to bypass. To solve this problem, I had to go to the Google Play Store using a computer, remotely install an alternative launcher (Go Launcher Ex) to the phone blindly and then try and reboot. It then asked me which one I wanted to use, and I got my phone back.

It's made me irrationally nervous about the program. But I guess it won't hurt anything now that I know what to look for. Thanks. :)
posted by zarq at 8:24 AM on August 31, 2012


nobody, I'm just saying that the inline player adds time to process the page. Most of the time it add milliseconds. In the case of certain posts like those I linked, and in the case of threads with over 1000 comments it adds seconds to the page. Most of the time the inline player is not a problem. In some cases it is one factor of many that slows things down.

The ratio of members to non-members viewing the site is something like seven to one. So when you're looking at the whole system, those extra milliseconds start to add up.

We're ok with having some features that are just for members and the inline player falls into that group.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:25 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


caddis: "People use the in-line video player? Why? On my iPhone the Youtube player is better, in my opinion at least, and on a computer I want to open the video in a new window or tab so I can keep browsing while it plays. (Am I distractable? ooohhh, look at that bright shiny thing.....) Anyway, I have never understood the appeal of the in-line video player. Perhaps I am missing something?"

If people are using it and you do not understand why, then by definition you are missing something.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:29 AM on August 31, 2012


Well, it could always be sort of ineffable zen exercise wherein the point is the lack of any concrete motivation or reasoning, and using the inline player is a way of embracing the existential void spiritually.

Or they just like skipping an extra page load or new tab.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:59 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's also a cost factor. It's probably cheaper to shell out $5 for each friend you want to show cool stuff online than it is to pay pb to make it happen and then purchase the requisite additional processing power/hosting space.

You know you can gift memberships, right?

Websense says faq.metafilter.com is Proxy Avoidance. WTF?
posted by carsonb at 10:14 AM on August 31, 2012


The ratio of members to non-members viewing the site is something like seven to one.

This? Or the other way around?

If this, then I would think you could save the milliseconds by making inline videos a non-members-only privilege.

But I bet it's the other way around, which only goes to indicate MetaFilter's enormous upside potential (7x$5, same as in town).
posted by chavenet at 10:33 AM on August 31, 2012


Oh yeah, sorry, we have way more non-members reading the site.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:34 AM on August 31, 2012


nobody, I'm just saying that the inline player adds time to process the page. Most of the time it add milliseconds. In the case of certain posts like those I linked, and in the case of threads with over 1000 comments it adds seconds to the page. ... when you're looking at the whole system, those extra milliseconds start to add up.

I don't want to do the alpha nerd thing, but just as curiosity about the considerations in running a site at this scale -- are you guys making a choice to avoid javascript for this kind of thing? I mean, you could add the inline player with something like
$('a[href*="youtube.com/"]').each(function(){
  if(m=this.href.match(/v=([^&]+)/)){ 
    $(this).after('<a href="/yt.cfm?yt='+m[1]+'" title="Play Video" class="vid" target="_self">
<img src="http://d217i264rvtnq0.cloudfront.net/images/mefi/youtube_yellow.png" 
border="0" width="11" height="12" alt="yt"></a>')
  }
});
I know the actual code is a little more complex, but not much, and the processing time on your end would go down to zero. It seems to make particular sense to do it this way given that the inline player is a nice bonus rather than a core feature, and only useful to people with javascript anyway. Are there reasons it ends up making sense to do the processing on the server? Or is it just not a big enough deal to mess with?

(If anyone actually wants to run that code for whatever reason, you have to take the linebreaks out of the html bit, and run $("body").on('click','a.vid',function(){var a=$(this).attr("href");$("#lightbox").load(a,"",showModal);this.blur();return!1}) to catch the events.)
posted by jhc at 10:45 AM on August 31, 2012


We recently discussed offloading this to clients exactly like this, jhc. But keep in mind we have wide range of types of clients. Everything from IE6 on desktops to mobile devices. So while most desktop clients could parse over 1000 comments worth of text easily, they won't all be able to.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:53 AM on August 31, 2012


allowing you to watch videos that're set up to be blocked for mobile viewing

Why do they do this? It's like they don't understand the internet!


It's actually an older restriction that is no longer available (but still exists for older content/deals).

Now there are only 2 restriction options for uploaders: you can disable embedding, and for monetized videos you can disable "non monetized platforms".

Android and iOS count as "monetized platforms" so restrictions for those would be for legacy content/deals.

(Basically had to do with having just Mobile and Web at one point where Mobile wasn't monetized, now there are like 12 different clients with a complicated matrix of stuff)
posted by wildcrdj at 1:15 PM on August 31, 2012


If you've got android device, you can download the Dolphin web browser, and there's an option in the setting to make websites think you're on a Desktop, and then you can see all those videos, too.

Funny, I use Dolphin and have that plug-in but never realized that's one of its uses. Honestly I don't really know why the hell I have the plug-in. For watching stuff like Hulu and other non-mobile friendly sites, I've been using an app called "Flash Video Browser" that I may or may not have gotten from the Blackmart Alpha bootleg app. I say 'may or may not have' because I really can't remember right now and I'm not on a mobile device at the moment, but if anyone wants an, errm, interesting app that 'unlocks' a certain amount of 'potential' from your Android device, feel free to e-or-memail me and I'll see what I can do.
posted by item at 4:10 PM on August 31, 2012


Everything from IE6 on desktops

Well, at least I'm not the only one who has to support that.
posted by davejay at 8:42 PM on September 1, 2012


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