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Vimeo pushing out HTML5 video player

Video site Vimeo will begin rolling out support Thursday for HTML5 with a new player that runs natively in current generation browsers.

It's HTML5 week in video land, and the latest entrant is Vimeo. Less than a day after competitor YouTube announced that it would begin rolling out an HTML5 video player to videos on its site, Vimeo is doing the same.

Beginning Thursday, the site will be offering its users the option to play videos without the need for Adobe Flash--a plug-in that was previously required to watch videos on its online player. The new option to switch to the HTML5 player will appear as a link below each video. The site will then remember a user's preference from session to session.

Browsers that Vimeo will be supporting from the get-go include the latest versions of Apple's Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer with the Chrome frame installed. Other browsers will simply not show the HTML5 link.

To toggle the HTML5 player, users will need to click on this link, which appears below the video. CNET

Vimeo says that the new HTML5-friendly version of its player will work with 90 percent of Vimeo's library that has been uploaded within the past year. That number should grow higher going forward.

The move to HTML5 comes a little more than two months after Vimeo began offering a limited selection of mobile phone-friendly videos. These clips could be played outside of Adobe's Flash player container. But more importantly this opens up Vimeo's content (and site) to what could end up being a much larger number of devices that may not be able to run Flash, but will be HTML5 video-friendly.

Coming up next from the company is support for 1080p uploading and playback, which is due by the end of this month.