Picture of a judge's wigThis Is Not A BLOG!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 21/09/17

Now You See Them...

As part of his self-determined obligations to You, The Customer™, from time to time Yer Judge will go through all the embedded videos on the site (close on 300 as it stands right now) to make sure that they're still there. That is what I spent all yesterday evening doing.

This is often a frustrating task in any case, because scarcely a pass at this - which I do about four times a year - is devoid of dead links as clips have been removed either by the individual or organisation who originally posted them, or have been removed on the orders of some grasping corporation or other; or - which is more annoying still - have been geo-blocked so that I can't see them, although some of you in alternative 'territories' may be able to.

I found some in all of these categories last night, although I have to say that I did manage to find alternatives for some videos which had been removed at the time of my previous reviews, and for some which had disappeared since my last trawl through them.

This time, I also found some other bugbears.

For one, YouTube seem to have made a small but significant change in the format of the embedding code so that I had to go making a piddling change to a couple of dozen or so pages just to get them to work again.

Secondly, LiveLeak seem to have done much the same, but without it being in any way clear exactly what I needed to do to get the code to work. I figured it out eventually, but I can't get LiveLeak videos to play on two of my browsers here (Firefox and Internet Explorer 11), although they will play OK in Chrome. If you have the same problem, then clicking on the little LiveLeak icon at the bottom right of the video screen should take you to the video at LiveLeak itself.

There was, however, one video which I was unable to do anything with. Exasperatingly, this was the only one on the site made by my own fair hands. The Season's Greetings video which I made for Christmas 2008 is a Windows Media Video (.wmv) file, and at the time this would play within most if not all browsers. Well, these things move on, and there is now at best patchy support for embedded .wmv files. I tried converting the file into an .mp4 video, but that was not only much larger (and I'm running out of server space with my current webhost as it is), but I just couldn't get code that would, a) work properly in all three browsers I test on, b) contain valid HTML, or c) both. I also tried turning it into a WebM video, which is (so they say) the most modern way of doing it. The file wasn't quite as large as the .mp4 one, but browser support for WebM is not consistent, and I couldn't get the code for that to validate anyway. So I've had to pull the embedded video from the site and offer it merely as a download.

You see the things I do for you?