Monday, June 13, 2011

The next step in embedded videos: HD preview images and a logoless option

(Cross-posted from The Official YouTube Blog.)

It may be hard to imagine but YouTube’s video preview images represent to many the ultimate deciding factor as to whether or not they watch a video. If a preview image looks interesting, it can mean the difference between someone pressing the play button. In addition, your site and the videos on it represent to you polished masterpieces. Yet, your videos’ preview images can appear lower in quality, and sometimes you don't want a logo in your player. So today we're rolling out new features for both situations: HD preview images and the option to remove the logo from your player.

HD preview images
Video resolutions have been increasing across YouTube, and the sizes of your embedded players are bigger than ever. But until now, video preview images in today’s larger players (e.g. the image that appears before you click “Play”) haven’t kept up with your high-quality and larger videos.

Any new video uploaded to the site in a resolution of 480p or higher will have an HD preview image wherever the player is embedded. The difference is even more striking with larger embeds (which don’t fit on this blog), so try it out yourself and see what we’re talking about. Here’s an example:

Before:


Now:


We’ll also automatically give HD preview images to older videos in the next few weeks, as long as they’re 480p or larger.

A note for partners, if you’ve uploaded a custom preview image for your video, you’ll need to re-upload a new one for your videos in order to upgrade it to HD (1920 x 1080px, 2MB max).

Logoless player
Many of you have asked us for a version of the YouTube player without a YouTube logo, so the video plays without any branding nearby. We’ve now added a simple option to do it. At the end of the video URL in your embed code, just add the code ?modestbranding=1 and the player will show without the YouTube logo in the control bar. Note that a small “YouTube” text label will still show up in the upper-right corner of a paused video when you hover over the player. We’ve published the full list of the player’s possible parameters, and here’s an example:





We hope these features help you show your videos the way you want them to be seen.

Kevin Wilson, Software Engineer, recently watched “I'm Yours (ukulele)” and Ravi Kanodia, Software Engineer, recently watched “Candy BBQ - Epic Meal Time.”