YouTube has been tinkering a bit lately with the design and interface of their video player. In fact, they seem to change things up pretty frequently, as far as redesigns go. But the embeddable playlist player has remained relatively unchanged for quite some time. That all changes today, as YouTube has released a brand new playlist player that much more closely resembles the latest version of the standard single-video player.
Playlists are a fantastic tool for anyone that needs to share multiple videos at once all in the same embedded player. You simply create the playlist in your YouTube account–you can even create playlists including videos beyond just those that you've made yourself–and then generate the embed code.
It's a great way to incorporate multiple pieces of video content, centered around a theme or topic, without the viewer having to do anything more than click the original "Play" button one time. Tons of people use playlists, so this new updated player ought to be a very welcome surprise.
Here… have a look (this is just an image, not a clickable video):
Notice the red toggle at the bottom of the player, which allows the user to have the rest of the playlist clips pop up with thumbnails.
The new player is available immediately to publishers who wish to use it. And it's retroactive too, if you want. All you need to do to turn on the new playlist video player is change the tail end of the URL string from "fs=1″ to "version=3″.
For now, YouTube is encouraging publishers and developers to test the new player. Should you find anything with it to be buggy or problematic, they're asking for your feedback over at the YouTube API Google Group. However, if you don't feel like being one of the guinea pigs, and would rather not edit a bunch of URLs… then just hold tight a few days. The new playlist player goes live on July 20 for everyone.