In the Internet age, some companies hold big press events to highlight new releases and some slip them in quietly and wait for people to notice. Such is the case with YouTube, which hasn’t issued a press release since June, 2009. It’s currently transitioning its videos to a more attractive and more useful player, but hasn’t mentioned the fact even on the company blog.
The new player isn’t strikingly different from the previous one, and some viewers may not even notice the change. There are important improvements, though, including a volume slider that expands sideways so it doesn’t cover the screen, and a progress bar that minimizes into a thin red line by itself.
The new player isn’t useful for content creators yet, as it can’t be embedded and it doesn’t work with ads. Viewers, however, will appreciate the new right-click options. Right-click on a video to call up streaming information, so you can see how strong your stream is. You can also right-click and choose to halt a video’s downloading completely, so that even the buffering stops.