updated 08:25 am EDT, Wed March 12, 2008
YouTube today announced that it has published the YouTube APIs, giving developers an opportunity to access parts of the application programming interface for the web video site that were previously available only to the company. The new flexibility allows programmers the opportunity to change the interface and not only allows different web front-ends (similar to Overlay.TV) but also entirely separate interfaces. Programmers can write dedicated applications for outside of the web or even special clients for other video-capable devices, YouTube suggests.
The new APIs also supply access to some of the back-end infrastructure and let either a web interface or a dedicated program upload videos, add tags and other metadata, and run searches that can be optimized to specific countries. Electronic Arts' upcoming life game Spore will let users capture video of their species and upload them directly to YouTube without having to leave the game, YouTube explains.
The entire interface kit is free and available immediately to anyone interested in implementing YouTube for their projects.
The open approach is likely to create added competition for Apple, which is one of the few device makers to have non-standard access to YouTube. The Apple TV, iPhone, and iPod touch all currently run custom front-end interfaces to YouTube that play videos and display metadata without using the web but would not longer be isolated. Most other non-standard devices that play or upload with YouTube either include rare, specially written YouTube applications or else rely on mobile versions of Adobe's Flash, such as Nokia's Nseries phones.
Adding the new programming set gives some of these devices makers their first access to tools for creating and sharing videos.