About a year and a half ago I took of my community’s website and rebuilt it from the ground up using the excellent program RapidWeaver. I wanted to create a site that was more flexible, could become an educational resource rather than just share facts and was easily updated in order to ensure that it was always relevant to my community. I also wanted to be able to share as many pictures and as much video as possible. The site was even built in such a way that when you go to it from an iPhone you are automatically redirected to an iPhone-friendly site. (It is amazing what some of the templates in RapidWeaver can do.)
One of the big, on-going frustrations since the iPad came out is that a site like ours loads beautifully but images and video that are embedded through Flash just leave big holes in the page. Well all that changed yesterday when Vimeo rolled out their new “Universal Player”. The new Universal Player
can automatically detect what kind of device is viewing the video and choose the optimum player based on the device’s capabilities. For example, it will serve mobile video to iPhones and Androids and HD to iPads and Desktops. On other mobile devices it can use the native player of the device or an optimized mobile Flash player with bigger controls. It also allows us to introduce new players as technology changes, potentially allowing us to do things like serve HTML5 to IE9 and WEBM video to Firefox.
It not only works but it works well and makes Vimeo, already an awesome service for hosting video, even better.
But it gets better. Vimeo also rolled out a new service called “Watch Later”. Watch Later adds a button to video that, when clicked, sends the video to a special album. Then, when you have time, you can go back and view all the videos you wanted to see but couldn’t at the time.
Finally, Vimeo has teamed up with Roku to bring “Vimeo on your HDTV”. That’s right, if you have a Roku player (I LOVE mine!) you’ll find a new Vimeo channel that will now let you watch all your videos on the big screen.
You can read all about the changes here on the Vimeo blog.