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Vimeo introduces HTML5 video mode, Chrome and Safari users rejoice

Hate Flash? Love Vimeo? Today's your lucky day, because Vimeo has introduced a new HTML5 video player, making almost all of its videos available in H.264. For those not familiar with H.264, a quick recap: this is one of the formats vying to become the new standard for HTML's video tag. If you watch videos on an iPhone, you've already seen it in action.

Okay: HTML5 video, so what? Well, for one thing, you won't have to wait for an entire video to load before you can jump to a specific part of it. That was one area where Vimeo was actually less user-friendly than YouTube. Not anymore! The player itself also loads right away, without showing you Vimeo's familiar spinner. Playback should also be smoother in H.264 mode.

Because of the ongoing debate over HTML5 video formats, you'll need a webkit browser (like Chrome or Safari) to take advantage of this new Vimeo feature. With H.264 in its repertoire, Vimeo just played some serious catch-up with YouTube in terms of features.

Tags: flash, h.264, h264, HTML5, player, video, vimeo, youtube