Why are movies embedded rather than linked?
January 20, 2005 10:17 AM   Subscribe

Why do sites show movies embedded in a tiny web page rather than linking to it so I can view it in the media player of my choice?
posted by Nelson to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
Best answer: So it doesn't download locally by default. An embedded movie is played by the plug-in and then discarded (yes, I know this is technically not always true, but it's "true enough"). A linked movie is treated by the browser as an external file that needs to be downloaded and then launched by its helper app.
posted by mkultra at 10:21 AM on January 20, 2005

It's also much easier to use MM Flash to display video these days. Flash is more universal, and lighter weight, than QT, WM, and Real. ESPN, ABC, etc are using flash to display video right on their homepage.
posted by rschroed at 10:26 AM on January 20, 2005

To annoy us. :)

In real, you can just right click to open the media in the real player.
posted by ascullion at 10:35 AM on January 20, 2005

Best answer: It's a captive-audience thing. They assume you don't want to watch their media, so they force-show it, rather than offer it for download.
posted by blueshammer at 10:40 AM on January 20, 2005


And I agree with rschroed, Flash is the most seemless way to integrate video onto a webpage-- it can play exactly where the thumbnail image was and can be skinned to match the page's look and feel.
posted by gwint at 10:49 AM on January 20, 2005

On a related note, is there a Firefox plugin that let's you right-click and save embedded movie and flash files?
posted by driveler at 10:59 AM on January 20, 2005

driveler, not that I know of, but you can go to Tools->Page Info and look at the Media tab. They'll show up as "Embed" type, and you can do a Save As from there.
posted by zsazsa at 11:36 AM on January 20, 2005

However, Flash movie interfaces tend to suck. (Especially ones that don't let you pause, etc.)
posted by thebabelfish at 12:12 PM on January 20, 2005

I agree with gwint on this one. It's all about displaying the video in a branded interface. It keeps the video being shown in context.
posted by ScottUltra at 12:29 PM on January 20, 2005

MediaPlayerConnectivity is a Firefox extension that allows you to launch embedded stuff in an external application.
posted by mr.marx at 12:30 PM on January 20, 2005

Best answer: Beyond branding there's the control issue. If a movie is embedded, it makes it a little harder for a user to download the entire thing to their hard drive, forcing them to return to the site to view the movie again. Also, with certain streaming media, you can prevent even an HTML aware user from downloading the file (forcing people to use capture utilities)
posted by alana at 1:04 PM on January 20, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers. I'm struck by how so many of these are reasons that are directly hostile to the customer viewing the video.
posted by Nelson at 1:15 PM on January 20, 2005

You can also select TOOLS/PAGE INFO and select the embedded media to save.
posted by zymurgy at 1:26 PM on January 20, 2005

Best answer: Also, often it has to do with copyrights. They don't want people to download the video/file and pass it around because they might get in (licensing)trouble/loose income/insert reason here if the films go all over the web. Like when that Tsunami video was easily downloaded from Dagbladet.no, who had secured the rights to it and would take care of the licensing for the amatuer photographer waiving their own fee, and donating all the proceeds to tsunami victims at the photographers request. presto it was all over the place and tsunami victims can kiss that particular earmarked money bye-bye. (extreme case I know) It was pretty shortsighted of Dagbladet not to encode a "© Dagbladet.no" in the film but frankly I doubt it would have made any difference.
posted by dabitch at 3:17 PM on January 20, 2005

what? have you never heard of the photographers copyright and licensing fees before? They donate every cent to a relief fund (instead of say, paying the photographer and chipping 5% off for their processing which would be normal). And you call them immoral for donating every dime? You lost me.
posted by dabitch at 10:19 AM on January 21, 2005

Response by poster: See also this subsequent MeTa discussion.
posted by Nelson at 1:05 PM on January 21, 2005

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