YouTube API Gets Better Playlist Support

Developer & Design

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Back in March, YouTube launched a new feature for the YouTube API that would allow people to include lists of videos in the player. It was great since it let users watch a continuous stream of content without ever leaving the embedded video player. The only problem is that the playlist wasn't readily available to the user at all times.

Google is rectifying that today with the latest update to the YouTube API. With a little HTML magic, users can now insert a parameter, showinfo=1, into the iframe. After that, clicking on the playlists button will bring up the playlists and they will remain permanently visible.

If you are unaware of the playlists feature, clicking on the button brings up a miniature sliding bar with all the videos currently in that playlist. Each slide has six videos on it with an arrow navigation tool to sift through the videos until you find one that you must watch next. It's seamlessly integrated into the embedded video so that it only appears when you move the mouse over the video.

Here's the example video from a recent Google Maps API Hangout that takes advantage of the new playlists feature. Play around with the playlist feature for a bit to see the improvements. YouTube API developers should appreciate how embedded videos now replicate more of the experience of watching a YouTube video on the site proper.

As always, check out the documentation to see more examples and ways to implement the new feature. It should have everything you need to know to get playlists up and running on your Web site or mobile application.