HTML5 Player: Let’s Get Video on Wikipedia!

As the world’s largest online encyclopedia, free Wikipedia has been working hard to bring registered users new features of videos uploading. This could almost be true now, due the cooperation of Wikipedia, Google and Kaltura. Wikipedia video has taken years to realize this  with  the launch of TimeMediaHandler.

In 2010, a campaign called “Let’s Get Video on Wikipedia” launched by the Open Video Alliance aiming to encourage users uploading relevant educational video content to Wikimedia Commons.

Wikipedia-Wikipedia Video-HTML 5

Earlier in 2008, Wikipedia began the partnership with open source video platform provider Kaltura for getting Wikipedia video-supportive. Actually, Wikipedia Theora Player has been put in to application since 2007; however, till now only about 15500 videos shown on Wikipedia, it still remains largely text-based.

To provide better video uploading service, there are problems mixed with technical and licensing issues, which finally delay the launch of such function. 1. Proprietary technology for video such as Flash is not the perfect option, HTML5 enables video playback right straight in the browser. 2. Wikipedia’s changes have to be consensus of tens of thousands of volunteers.

Thus the transition towards video playback absolutely is a main change. Kaltura is developing encoding and uploading tools for the HTML5 video player to make it possible for video playback in Wikipedia. In addition, to successfully get through the transition gap, Wikimedia collaborative video editing tools like sequencer by Kaltura is applied. This, meanwhile changes the internet video as static medium, with numerous volunteers’ editing and improving.

Thanks to the player’s WebM support, freely licensed videos from YouTube can be uploaded to Wikipedia. This function seems to be much intentioned to educational videos as Wikimedia Foundation said last Friday: "A new video player has been enabled on Wikipedia and its sister sites, and it comes with the promise of bringing free educational videos to more people, on more devices, in more languages."

Will the existence of HTML5 video player finally give Wikipedia a new outlook? Hopefully, this will improve and enrich the text-based Wikipedia in a vivid way. Let’s get HTML5 video player on Wikipedia!Soon, this will be available on mobile phones.

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