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YouTube new format: ASCII Video

YouTube April Fool - ASCII Video


Today, April 1, YouTube decided that it was the perfect day to take the important step of offering a new way to experience YouTube: ASCII Video, a text-only mode, or TEXTp (appending "&textp=fool" to most video URLs).

TEXTp is the result of months of intense transcoding efforts by our engineers, who toiled for weeks to ensure that a large chunk of videos on the platform could be reduced to their most basic elements. By replacing the images in the video with a series of letters and numbers, the videos are far less taxing on our system — and have the added benefit of promoting literacy!

For every person who selects TEXTp and keeps it on while you watch a video, you save YouTube

YouTube April Fool - ASCII Video


Today, April 1, YouTube decided that it was the perfect day to take the important step of offering a new way to experience YouTube: ASCII Video, a text-only mode, or TEXTp (appending "&textp=fool" to most video URLs).

TEXTp is the result of months of intense transcoding efforts by our engineers, who toiled for weeks to ensure that a large chunk of videos on the platform could be reduced to their most basic elements. By replacing the images in the video with a series of letters and numbers, the videos are far less taxing on our system — and have the added benefit of promoting literacy!

For every person who selects TEXTp and keeps it on while you watch a video, you save YouTube $1 a second, resulting in potentially billions of dollars of savings for us. So if you care about YouTube, you’ll use TEXTp today. 

http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2010/03/textp-saves-youtube-bandwidth-money.html

Click on the above picture to see an example of ASCII Video.

Update (April 2, 2010): After the April Fool's Day, YouTube has disabled the "textp=fool" option, though many people are commenting in the original blog article that it should be re-enabled… :-) Meanwhile, you can still see a similar "effect" from ASCIImeo (ASCII Vimeo): the same CRS4 new logo video is http://www.asciimeo.com/10559569

a second, resulting in potentially billions of dollars of savings for us. So if you care about YouTube, you’ll use TEXTp today. 

http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2010/03/textp-saves-youtube-bandwidth-money.html

Click on the above picture to see an example of ASCII Video.

Update (April 2, 2010): After the April Fool's Day, YouTube has disabled the "textp=fool" option, though many people are commenting in the original blog article that it should be re-enabled… :-) Meanwhile, you can still see a similar "effect" from ASCIImeo (ASCII Vimeo): the same CRS4 new logo video is http://www.asciimeo.com/10559569