Youtube please

Youtube is one of those websites I can’t live without. A few years ago it used to be hip to declare that you didn’t own a TV. I do own one but I rarely use it; I watch most of my movies / TV shows / music videos on my computer. Not owning a TV today simply means “I couldn’t care less for cable content or a big screen.” I would guess that at least two thirds of the video content I consume on a daily basis comes from Youtube.

Naturally I share some of this content on Twitter. Over the past couple of years I’ve become increasingly irritated as my friends in different countries tell me that a particular video cannot be seen in their country / region. The explanation given by Youtube is as succint as it gets:

Youtube-not-available-in-your-

Of course I’m fully aware of the reasons for this, and as much as I disagree with this policy of segmenting the internet by country borders that is not the point of this post. Rather, I’m asking for something much more straightforward:

Youtube: I want to know at a glance whether a video has no global viewing restrictions of any kind, or is available only in certain countries. In the latter case, please let me know what countries it’s available / not available in. At the very least let me check if it can be seen in a given country (e.g. Argentina, Spain, the US or the UK where most of my friends live).

Make it part of the api if you must, I will build an app on AppEngine if necessary. I don’t care.

If you enjoyed this rant, follow me on Twitter so I can share awesome videos with you 🙂

Edit: Thanks to walrus from hacker news for this tip:

curl -s https://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/videos/eAfyFTzZDMM?v=2 | xmllint –format – | grep media:restriction

shows:

 <media:restriction type=”country” relationship=”allow”>BD BE BF BG BA BB WF BM BN BO BH BI BJ BT JM BW WS BR BS BY BZ RU RW RS TL RE TM TJ RO TK GW GU GT GR GQ GP GY GF GE GD GB GA SV GN GM GL GI GH OM TN IL JO HR HT HU HK HN VE PR PS PW PT PY IQ PA PF PG PE PK PN PL PM ZM EH EE EG ZA EC IT VN SB ET SO ZW SA ES ER ME MD MG MA MC UZ MM ML MO MN MH MK MU MT MW MV MQ MP MS MR UG MY MX VU FR SH FI FJ FK FM FO NI NL NO NA NC NE NG NP NR NU CK CI CH CO CN CM CL CA CG CF CD CZ CY CR CV CU SZ SY KG KE SR KI KH KN KM ST SK KR SI KP KW SN SM SL SC KZ KY SG SE SD DO DM DJ DK VG YE DZ US UY YT LB LC LA TV TW TT TR LK LI LV TO LT LU LR LS TF TG TD TC LY VA VC AE AD AG AF AI IS IR AM AL AO AN AQ AR AU AT IO IN TZ AZ IE UA QA MZ</media:restriction>

2 thoughts on “Youtube please

  1. I could see one of the reasons here – if they would publicly show a list of countries where the video is available, that would probably encourage a lot of users to look for a proxy associated with that country. But this is simply an assumption.

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