Yesterday, YouTube launched a redesigned look for their video player, a much cleaner and more modern-looking interface. The big change is the shrunken and altered timeline, showing your chronological position in a video. Instead of a big red in-your-face bar, it’s now a collapsible, thin line that only enlarges to allow for movement when you mouse over it. When you move your cursor away from the video, the controls seem to melt into the background–really they’re just fading from gray to a lighter gray, but it’s a nice effect. Besides that, the volume is now horizontal instead of vertical (better, I suppose, since it doesn’t block any part of the video now), and, well, that’s about it.
YouTube still isn’t the best-looking streamer around. I’d give that award to either Hulu or Vimeo. But it’s definitely an improvement, and it’s nowhere near the bottom of the barrel (I’d have to give that Golden Raspberry stinker award to MTV’s buggy and super ugly interface–the only time it works perfectly is when it’s showing an overly long commercial break while I’m trying to catch up on The Real World/Road Rules Challenge). It’s part of a new effort to simplify the oft-busy YouTube video page, which is a considerable but worthwhile effort.