show me the video!
July 11, 2008 5:45 AM   Subscribe

Nine times out of ten when I follow a link to a YouTube video, I get the message, "We're sorry, this video is no longer available." What am I doing wrong?

I know the video must be available, because people are discussing it and no one mentions it's been taken down. This happens to me whether it's an embedded video or I follow the link to YouTube's page. I'm using Windows Vista and IE, and the problem seemed to start after I installed Vista last month (never had the problem with IE & Windows XP), so I'm thinking it's a problem with my settings maybe? But then why do some videos play and others not? Anyone else get this problem? Help me to fix!
posted by Koko to Computers & Internet (23 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's usually videos that are copyrighted and have been removed or videos that were never intended to be internet sensations that the owners have taken down. A third option is that it breaks Youtube's guidelines for obscenity/nudity. Chances are if "people are talking about it" it's something sensational, funny, surprising, or otherwise noteworthy. Many times it's not the owner of the video promoting it.
posted by proj at 5:49 AM on July 11, 2008

Sometimes Youtube just doesn't load a video. It gives that message, even if the video is still available. It's confusing. Be sure that your internet connection is steady.
posted by LSK at 5:51 AM on July 11, 2008

I've gotten the "we're sorry, this video is no longer available" on videos that are available. I've always just refreshed the paged and that fixed it.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:01 AM on July 11, 2008

Response by poster: To clarify, when I say "people are talking about it", I mean comments in MeFi or MoFi threads, and the comments appear after the time I tried to view the video, so I know other people are able to view the video after I've tried to see it. So it's not a case that the video's been taken down; at least not in every instance.

I have a very good internet connection (super high speed DSL), and try to access the video again after I've verified the connection is working. Sadly, refreshing the page doesn't work.
posted by Koko at 6:08 AM on July 11, 2008

Windows Vista. Is there any problem it can't create?

My experience is like LSK's. It happens once in a while, definitely not nine times out of ten, and refreshing it solves it.
posted by Dec One at 6:25 AM on July 11, 2008

Use the search option. Sometimes a particular video is uploaded more than once. One might be taken down, and others will still be available.
posted by konolia at 6:29 AM on July 11, 2008

I get this as well. From work, i get about 90% failure rate as well, on video's i know are still up. At home, no problems.... No idea what is causing it. Using IE7 on an xp box when it fails...
posted by chromatist at 7:03 AM on July 11, 2008

MoFi threads

sorry, very curious: what is MoFi?
posted by milestogo at 7:14 AM on July 11, 2008


I get the "sorry, this video" message when I've opened a YouTube video, gone off and done something else for a bit, then come back to the video. Refreshing makes it work again.
posted by zamboni at 7:21 AM on July 11, 2008

Response by poster: Sorry; MonkeyFilter.
posted by Koko at 7:21 AM on July 11, 2008

4thing LSK, Dec One and zamboni. I also get this message and reloading the page brings up the video.
posted by nooneyouknow at 7:24 AM on July 11, 2008

Yeah, I think YouTube is just seriously on the fritz lately. One workaround is to download the video via KeepVid. Cut and paste the URL of the YouTube video into the KeepVid bar and it will give you a couple of links to download. Go with the .mp4.

This works around 75% of the time when a YouTube video refuses to load your video.
posted by MaddyRex at 7:45 AM on July 11, 2008

If you're viewing a video that's embedded in a page and not on youtube itself, it seems that the video will expire after a certain amount of time. This always happens to me - I'll load up a bunch of links, the last one will be a youtube video, by the time I get to it, the video is no longer available. All you have to do is refresh the page and it should work fine. I believe it's by design.
posted by ChefQuix at 8:04 AM on July 11, 2008

I get the same thing too, but only at work. Refreshing the page doesn't work for me; I still get the "sorry" message. I'm using Firefox on a Mac; I doubt it has anything to do specifically with your browser or OS.
posted by smich at 8:05 AM on July 11, 2008

I have this problem whenever I bring my computer out of sleep. Any page that had an embedded video won't be able to access that video until I refresh the page.

This may have to do with the time-out issue described earlier, but I think even if I sleep for a little bit I'll lose any videos that were embedded.
posted by heresiarch at 8:11 AM on July 11, 2008

It has nothing to do with Vista (I get it in XP and firefox and everything else), I think it's a recent YouTube thing, that cleverly makes videos not work at random. Sometimes going to the YouTube page helps, and if I load up firefox with tabs from a previous session, it seems more likely to happen.
posted by that girl at 8:12 AM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

ditto that girl. I get failures in XP, Windows 2000, IE, FF, etc. Clicking ON the video (and thus being directed to YouTube) rather than playing it from the embedded link, usually works.
posted by peep at 8:22 AM on July 11, 2008

Best answer: Try adding &fmt=18 or &fmt=6 to the end of the link (assuming it's already of the standard format link). It changes the quality of the video, and this has occasionally fixed the problem for me, but it takes quite a while to load.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:36 AM on July 11, 2008 [4 favorites]

Your workplace has a firewall which is interfering or blocking. The video is there and has nothing to do with the type of link or Youtube, etc. It happens here at work too.
posted by JJ86 at 8:53 AM on July 11, 2008

I get that sometimes, too. I usually get eventual success by both clearing out my cache and refreshing the page.
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:47 AM on July 11, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, flibbertigibbet - adding &fmt=18 did the trick!
posted by Koko at 10:04 AM on July 11, 2008

My computer suddenly started saying that almost all youtube videos were no longer available. I figured out that Google Accelerator was causing that. I uninstalled it and everything works now.
posted by artychoke at 8:07 PM on July 11, 2008

I code various stuff for youtube interfaces during the days, and since I get the same type of errors pretty frequently, I can state for certain that windows / browser / timeouts /firewalls do not cause it - or at least that there are other causes. Generally about 10% of videos that come off of their "recently uploaded" feed will then be unable to be referenced later. In those cases, I think various sex/copyright filters are being applied weirdly.

In your case, like many above said - it's just youtube being stupid. Try refreshing, clearing cache - and instead of changing the quality of a link like flibbertigibbet says, adding &alt=json might be better for you, so that you don't have to be changing the quality.

(setting it to json doesn't effect a video page, it changes the format of the feeds used by developers. And they definitely support it for every single video)
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:31 PM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

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