Yahoo Launches WebPlayer Beta

Yahoo has delivered a beta of its new Yahoo WebPlayer, a Web-based media player written in HTML and JavaScript.

Yahoo has announced the beta release of its Yahoo WebPlayer, a new Web-based media player written in HTML and JavaScript.

The Yahoo WebPlayer supports a variety of video and audio media formats and services, such as Yahoo Video, YouTube, MP3 or WMA (Windows Media Audio). Yahoo officials said the new WebPlayer is an easy way to add video and audio to Web pages. Yahoo WebPlayer is the next generation of Yahoo Media Player.

In an Aug. 4 blog post about the release, Alex Sirota, director of Media Web Apps at Yahoo, said any publisher, blogger or developer can easily add the Yahoo WebPlayer to their site with just one line of code. "After the player is added to a site, when a page loads, the player scans the page contents and adds play buttons next to -playable' items," he said. "Playable items could be references to supported media or specific recognized terms, such as movie titles. Once clicked, a play button will open a slick in-page player that will stream all the detected playable items as a unified playlist."

He added, "We take all the complexity out of embedding various media players, supporting different formats, remembering special syntaxes or even having to find relevant videos to go with your content, Sirota said. "All you need to do is to link to a piece of media or mention a recognized term, and we do the rest automatically, allowing your visitors to conveniently play everything as a playlist right there on your pages."

Sirota offered some examples of the playable items on WebPlayer:

  • To play a YouTube video, just link to the corresponding YouTube page, such as Mike Relm vs. Zoetrope (links to

  • To play an MP3 file, for example this Awesome Yodel, just link to it ( on the page.

  • To automatically find and play the most appropriate trailers and clips for a specific movie, just link to the movie's Yahoo! Movie page, for example TRON: Legacy (links to You don't need to manually go and search for individual video clips. Yahoo WebPlayer does that automatically for you.

  • To automatically find relevant terms such as "Cowboys & Aliens" on a page and make them playable, just enable the "term detection" mode when grabbing the Yahoo! WebPlayer code. In this case, it's enough to merely mention a quoted movie title, and Yahoo! WebPlayer will do the rest. It will highlight the term, add a play button, and then find and play the most appropriate videos for that term.

And Yahoo will add support for additional formats over time. You can see these examples live on this page, Sirota said.

In addition, Yahoo will provide an API for the Yahoo WebPlayer that will enable programmatic creation of mash-ups, mixed-media playlists and much more, Sirota said.

For more information on the Yahoo WebPlayer beta, click here. For additional documentation of how to setup and use Yahoo WebPlayer, click here.