If you’re like me and cannot resist watching YouTube videos in High Definition or High Quality whenever the option is available, you might also get a bit disgruntled that no-one ever seems to link directly to these versions – or might not know how to.
I’ve not seen it documented anywhere on YouTube’s site (maybe you’re told when you upload a video – I’ve not tried), but you can link directly to High Quality and High Definition versions of a video by adding or altering a single argument on the URL string.
For example, take a normal YouTube link:
If you add fmt=18 to the end of the URL, you’ll automatically view the High Quality version:
If a High Definition version is available, add fmt=22:
If you want to embed higher quality versions of the videos through the YouTube player though, you’ll have to use two arguments like so:
The HD videos on YouTube’s site play at 854 x 505 pixels by default (including the player chrome), but these 720p videos will support up to 1280 x 720 pixels.
You can edit the dimensions of the player in the embed code you’re provided with. So your final HD embed code will look something like this:
<object width=”854″ height=”505″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/ikqg99Q4FAw&hl=en&fs=1&ap=%2526fmt=22″></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/ikqg99Q4FAw&hl=en&fs=1&ap=%2526fmt=22” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”854″ height=”505″></embed></object>
Another thing, you can also jump straight into a specific part a video by adding #t parameter and specifying the time value like so:
These arguments can be paired of course, for example, the same in High Quality:
I recently found out you can do this with Spotify URIs, too:
Albeit formatted differently, it does the same job. Note this only works with Spotify URIs, it won’t work with the HTTP links.
It would be nice to see a standard adopted for such features, but it’s really up to the platform developers to decide upon the mechanism.
Anyway, I think YouTube should definitely make their quality selection easier. These parameters tweaks feel like code hacks. It would be much nicer if YouTube allowed you to specify ‘quality=HD’, or something similar, to any video link.