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View embedded YouTube content on the iPhone

View embedded YouTube content on the iPhone

Although the iPhone can playback H.264-encoded YouTube content through the YouTube application, the device's Safari browser cannot pick up and display embedded YouTube content. When it encounters embedded YouTube media, MobileSafari simply displays a blue question mark, indicative of unrecognized media. Unlike Google Maps content, which is routed through to the Google Maps application, embedded YouTube content simply cannot be viewed in any fashion (by default) on the iPhone. This is one of the most frustrating aspects of browsing the Web on the iPhone.

A new bookmarklet from Joe Maller changes that. Here's how it works:

  1. Drag this link: iTransmogrify! to your Safari bookmarks bar under Mac OS X or Windows.
  2. Sync Safari's bookmarks to your iPhone through iTunes (under the 'Info' tab)
  3. On your iPhone, navigate to a page that contains embedded YouTube content (such as Joe Maller's page). You'll see the typical blue question mark.
  4. Now go to MobileSafari's bookmarks (on your iPhone) and access the "iTransmogry!" bookmark from step 1. Wait a few seconds, and the embedded YouTube content will show up on the page. Tapping it will launch the YouTube player and playback the content as long as it has been encoded with H.264 (try the panda bear clip on Joe's page)

This mechanism works thanks to the magic of bookmarklets. Essentially, bookmarklets entire sets of HTML and JavaScript in a bookmark by utilizing the data: URL. All page content is thus stored in bookmark data, and can be accessed when no network connection exists ? even if the iPhone is in Airplane mode. It can also, as in the case of iTransmogrify, be used to modify, on the fly, Web pages loaded in the MobileSafari browser.

Bookmarklets have also been used to implement a rudimentary Find function in the iPhone's Safari browser.

Feedback? info@iphoneatlas.com.