YouTube has already started transcoding video to the new WebM/VP8 codec but you can’t access it. Or can you? YouTube is already working on integrating WebM into their ongoing HTML 5 efforts and if you join in the fun you can experience it for yourself.

How to Watch WebM on YouTube:

  1. Get yourself a WebM/VP8 supporting browser. Currently there are only 2 options, a nightly build Firefox (meaning pre-release candidate or in other words, potentially unstable) or an in-progress Opera version which will also support it:
    • Google Chromium (the Developer version of Chrome’s core)
    • Firefox
    • Opera
    • Google Chrome – Currently supports both H.264 and Ogg. And obviously they will support WebM too…perhaps exclusively (which is doubtful).
  2. To get to some YouTube WebM/VP8 videos you can take a standard YouTube URL and add &webm=1 to it. What this does is tell YouTube to supply the content (if available) in that format.
    • Standard:
    • HTML 5 WebM:
  3. Laugh maniacally (optional)

You know what would be really cool YouTube, a button. Yes, a simple button, that gave us all the possible formats so that we could simply switch from one to another. Really, a drop down menu item would be great. Wouldn’t it? It would allow us to switch between formats at will.

Here’s a bigger look at the HTML 5 WebM YouTube: