The lack of Flash support on the iThings (i.e. phone, touch) and all but one Android device has made it rather difficult for Flash-based video sites to penetrate the ever-expanding smartphone video-consuming market. While YouTube has implemented a workaround for this problem (by encoding each uploaded video in both Flash AND as .mp4 files), other sites (arguably with less resources) have been much slower to rollout a fix while waiting for Adobe and Co. to get this mess straightened out.
That was, until today. Blake Whitman, Vimeo’s director of community, told CNET News earlier today that the popular video sharing site is rolling out support for both iDevices and Android, albeit on a limited basis. More specifically, Vimeo has re-encoded all of its staff picks and HD video showcase for playback on your iPhone/iPod touch/Android handset.
According to Whitman, “[Vimeo has] been working on it for the last few weeks. This is sort of the prelude of offering Plus members iPhone support; and in the future, an app.” At the moment, Vimeo’s editors handpick which members’ videos will get the mobile “treatment,” but over time the site will slowly allow its Plus users the option to transcode their videos to an iPhone/Android version.
Clearly, this is not an end all, be all solution, but it is nice to see (and probably a must for the site’s future viability) Vimeo make an effort to accommodate the surging iDevice/Android community. Although I was unable to see it, the mobile-friendly site should be ready to rock (er, become available) for iPhone/Android users today. Oh, and one last caveat – some videos that work on iThings may not work on Android at the moment.