About a year ago I blogged about how the URL created for sharing of a YouTube video would not work in the Insert Video dialog in Windows Live Writer. Well it turns out that between now and then Google has changed things again, hence this blog post.
If you want to insert a YouTube video via the URL you have to use the long version of the URL and not the short version which is the default. Once you have found the video you want to embed in your blog post on the YouTube site click on the Share button.
Next check the Long Link button.
This will change the link from something beginning with “http://youtu.be” to beginning with “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=”. Copy that longer URL and then paste it into field on the From Web tab in the Insert Video dialog.
Recently there has been an uptick in the number people asking about how to embed videos from YouTube into Windows Live Writer so that you can include the video in your blog post. The problem stems from the fact that YouTube is using <IFRAME> as the default for their embed and Liver Writer is not really happy about the <IFRAME> tag in the Source view or pasted into the Insert Video dialog. There is a couple of reasons for this but one of the main reasons is that not very many blog servers support IFRAMEs and if you were to publish with one it would just get stripped out of the source and that might cause data loss for you. Off of the top of my head Blogger is the only one I know that lets you add an IFRAME in their blog editor. This post is about how to help you add a YouTube video to your blog so let’s move on.
If you are on the YouTube site you should be able to just copy the URL from your browser and paste it into Live Writer and it should convert it to a video and the location you have pasted. Alternatively you can select to Insert a Video from the web and paste the web address.
A problem can occur when you want to use the embed created from within a YouTube web page. The embed can contain more options beyond what you get by just pasting the web address into the Insert Video dialog. You used to be able to just copy that embed and paste it onto the Insert Video dialog or change to Source view and paste it there. Since YouTube has gone to IFRAME by default in the embed instead of an OBJECT tag this no longer works but there is a quick way to get it working with Live Writer.
When you click on Embed on the YouTube page check the check box to “Use old embed code” and this will switch the embed source from an IFRAME to an OBJECT which Live Writer can work with. This way you can paste it right into the Insert Video dialog in Live Writer or into the Source view. As you can see you have a lot of flexibility when pick the embed option in YouTube. You can pick a specific size for the video or elect to play the HD version as examples.
If this was helpful for you please leave me a comment in this post.
Last week we came across a tweet where a user of Windows Live Writer was crashing when trying to install a YouTube video. Through a few back and forth tweets we realized he had Adobe Flash installed only for the Chrome web browser. Adobe has a different install for Internet Explorer than it does for Chrome. Installing Flash for IE fixed the problem. Ideally you should not need Flash at all but of course you will just see a placeholder of the YouTube video without it but in this case Live Writer needed it to be installed. We think this will only happen on 64-bit Windows 7. This also does not look to be a problem in our Wave 4 Beta.
We have seen other crashes with YouTube and Live Writer when Flash was really out of date or has had its install corrupt. If you have issues with YouTube and Live Writer check your install of Flash for IE it might save you some time working through the issue in the support forum.
This is by far my favorite feature that just works in Live Writer and you might not even think about. The feature is when you type or paste URLs from many different sites that point to a video Live Writer just converts the URL to the embedded video.
For example “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdTWf8oWjdg” is the URL to video that I took on my cell phone of Mike McCready of the band Pearl Jam playing the US national anthem at a Seattle Mariners game. When you type or paste the URL into Live Writer it will just convert it to the video itself since Live Writer knows about the format of the URL for YouTube.
Try it out with any URL on YouTube or your favorite video hosting site and see if it works. Add a comment if it does not work for your favorite video hosting site and we can see if we can add it to the list.