Yahoo! Launches Yahoo! Video: Half-Functional and Excludes Mac Users

yahoo video

For the PC users out there, this is perfectly fine. For the Mac users out there, this is more ridiculousness from Yahoo that I suppose should be expected by this point.

Yahoo! finally managed to roll out Yahoo! Video, which was previously Yahoo! Video Search, in a late-to-the-ballgame attempt to break into the online video market and join the ranks of YouTube and Google Video. Whether they can actually catch up to the major players yet, remains to be seen. For one thing, the videos linked at Yahoo! Video are more often than not simply screencaps that redirect to another website where the video is actually hosted. The few videos that are actually hosted by Yahoo! Video prompt a Mac user (and likely anyone using anything but Internet Explorer for the PC) to download “makeplaylist.dll,” enough to scare off users who wouldn’t know what that meant, and completely useless for the Mac users. Even the videos hosted on Yahoo! Video that are embedded flash that really should be able to play in any browser wind up crashing Firefox.

This isn’t to be completely unexpected though. Yahoo!’s front page redesign left Mac users out in the cold, as reported by iMacazine a few weeks ago:
[ Yahoo!’s New Look Not For Safari’s Eyes ]

So I suppose it’s just another Yahoo! move to leave the Macintosh users out in the cold. I understand, they’re only a minor percentage of the overall userbase, so they can be overlooked, right? Well, of course not-but here’s the greater question: Why would Yahoo! rush to production a half-done video service that doesn’t even bother to use the proven flash embedding technologies that so many other video hosting and streaming sites have already adopted? Did Yahoo! really have to reinvent the wheel on this one, and if they did, why didn’t they at least make the wheel roll? I don’t have the answers, and here’s hoping that they’ll at least make their embedded videos not crash your web browser when you try to view them and at most provide multi-platform support (if Mac users are in this situation, I’d hate to see what happens to Linux users when they’re prompted to download a .dll just to view a video) in the future. Until then, I’m not impressed, but the release is worth noting, if for not other reason than Yahoo!’s blunder.

[ Yahoo :: Yahoo Video ]

2 thoughts on “Yahoo! Launches Yahoo! Video: Half-Functional and Excludes Mac Users

  1. mcMAC

    er…i don’t know what your setup is like, but i’ve accessed a multitude of the videos (both embedded and streaming) on this page using both safari and firefox for Mac OS. one didn’t work…but other than that no problems.

    also, the new Yahoo front page works fine with firefox…

  2. Alan Henry Post author

    mcMAC, thanks for the comment!

    Perhaps it was just the videos that I was trying at the time; but I could definitely reproduce Firefox crashing repeatedly when I tried to open some of the embedded videos, and others trying to push a .dll download that of course our Macs would know nothing of what to do with. Looks like the .dll would supposedly open Windows Media Player on a PC, but that’s pretty bad form all around-embed the videos or offer downloads; trying to push content is a bad idea, at least in my opinion.

    Also, the problem with the new Yahoo! front page was never in Firefox; it was reported in Safari, as well as other browsers like Opera, where the page advised you to use a browser like Firefox of IE to see the new page, and otherwise would display the old one. I’m sure Yahoo! has been working on this since it was originally reported, but it seems that it’s Yahoo!’s motif to reinvent the wheel and turn out something worse than already on the market, or roll out products that are only partly compatible rather than spend the extra time testing to ensure all of (or at least most of) its users are happy.

    Speaking of which, I’ve noticed some not-so-nice reviews to some of the videos and comments over at the new Yahoo! Video that lend support to the site not being completely macintosh compatible quite yet-here’s hoping it improves with time, but until then I’ll stick to YouTube and Google Video.

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