YouTube Videos Within SharePoint?


Do you create YouTube videos?  Would you like to embed them in your SharePoint pages?  Fortunately, there is a very easy solution that allows you to add videos to a SharePoint page so your visitors can view them. For some, this may provide an alternative to storing video files on your SharePoint site itself.  One of the key advantages of using YouTube is that it supports more video file formats that SharePoint and streaming of the video is taken care of by YouTube.  To assist you, let me explain the steps you need to display videos on YouTube on your SharePoint site.

First, you obviously must create your video.  Formats supported by YouTube include:

  •  WebM files—Vp8 video codec and Vorbis Audio Codecs
  •  .MPEG4, 3GPP and MOV files—Typically supporting h264, mpeg4 video codecs, and AAC audio codec
  •  .AVI—Many cameras output this format—typically the video codec is MJPEG and audio is PCM
  •  .MPEGPS—Typically supporting MPEG2 video codec and MP2 audio
  •  .WMV
  •  .FLV—Adobe FLV1 video codec, MP3 audio

YouTube requires a Gmail account to upload videos.  If you do not have a Gmail account or even if you do but want to keep your YouTube activity separated from your other Gmail accounts, simply go to http://www.gmail.com and sign up for a new account.  This article is not really focused on how to create your video or even how to upload your video to YouTube.  However, the following URL links to a video that provides an explanation on how to upload your videos to YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7iUiftbKU

To use a video on a SharePoint page, navigate to the YouTube video and click on the ‘Share’ button.  This button is to the immediate lower left of the video to the right of the like/dislike buttons as shown in the image below.

After clicking the Share button, an area appears immediately below the buttons with a short link to your video.  Right click the link to show the menu in the following figure and select the ‘Copy’ command.

With the URL of the video copied to your clipboard, open Notepad and paste it in so you can see the entire URL provided by YouTube.  You do not need the entire URL.  We only need the YouTube ID for the video.  To get only the ID, skip over the first part of the URL that begins with:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=

Or it may say:

http://www.youtu.be/

In the first case, the video ID begins immediately after the equal (=) sign and stops before the ampersand (&).  In the second case, it is everything after the final slash.  Because the ID is a combination of upper and lowercase characters and numbers, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between a zero (0) and the letter (o).  The difference between a lower case (l) and a number one (1) can also be subtle. Therefore, copy this ID back to the clipboard to use it later rather than struggling to interpret the characters.

Now with the ID code on the clipboard, go to the page where you want to place the video, sign in, and select Site Actions —> Edit Page.

(Note: If Edit Page does not appear at the top of the Site Actions dropdown menu, someone has checked out the page and they must first check it back in before you can continue.)

In the following illustration, we are going to place the video in the Zone 1 Web Part area.  To add a web part to a zone, click in the box: Add a Web Part for the zone you want to use.  You can also place a video in a Page Content area by first clicking in the Page Content area.  Then open the Insert ribbon to display the Web Part control button.  Notice from the image below that the You Tube web part is in the category GilesH Projects.

Oh, I forgot to mention, this YouTube web part is not part of the default SharePoint web part set, but can be found on CodePlex at: http://spyoutube.codeplex.com/releases/view/75322.  The good thing is that you can download not only the WSP file, but also an installer to make it easy to get started.

After adding the You Tube web part, configure it by opening the web part’s menu found on the right side of the title bar when you hover over it with your mouse and selecting Edit Web Part.

There are several parameters you typically want to change in the web part properties including:

¨ Title

¨ Chrome Type

¨ YouTube URL

¨ Video ID

¨ AutoPlay

In the Appearance property group, change the Title to something more appropriately describing the video or you can select ‘None’ under Chrome Type if you don’t want to display a title above the video.

Next open the property grouped named YouTube Properties.  In the first field, you can change the YouTube URL field to include an ‘s’ after ‘http’ if your SharePoint site runs under https.  If your site uses https, you must do this or users will get a message that the page includes unsecure data when they attempt to open the.  Otherwise, leave this address alone.  Then paste the YouTube Video ID that you copied earlier into the Video ID field replacing everything that may be there.  Leave the default settings for width, height, and playlist unchanged for now as shown below.  Of course you can use these properties to resize the video.  If you do not resize the horizontal and vertical size proportionally, part of the video will but cut off when displayed.

Unless you really want the video to begin playing when the visitor opens the page, remove the check in the box by Auto Play in the You Tube Properties group, but leave the Video Start value at 0 (zero) for now.

There are additional properties under the group You Tube Properties as shown in the following figure.  I recommend enabling only the following properties (but feel free to experiment):

¨ Show Player Controls

¨ Auto Hide

¨ Enable Full Screen

¨ Default HD

If the video has annotations, you may also want to check Load Video annotations.

There are other options under You Tube Properties—Accessibility.  However, unless you created closed caption text, you don’t need to enable this option.

Finally, do not make any changes to the properties under You Tube Properties—Developer.  Simply click OK at this point found at the bottom of the properties panel to close the panel.

Your page should now look similar to the following.

Remember to save your page after verifying the its look with the page preview option in the Page ribbon.  Be sure to test whether the video plays when clicked.  If everything checks out, check in your changes, publish and approve the page.

That’s basically all it takes to include YouTube videos on your SharePoint page.  Enjoy.

C’ya next time.

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9 comments on “YouTube Videos Within SharePoint?

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