Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 16/01/20

Unembedded Media

At something of a loose end at the start of the year, I decided that it was high time I went through all the video clips embedded on this site to see how many needed replacing (there are always some, due to zealous - often over-zealous - actions either by YouTube or by the self-described 'owners' of the content, i.e., some of the biggest corporations in 'entertainment').

Starting off way back in 2003, I found that - inevitably - there were some clips which had indeed been spirited away into the online media Memory Hole. But I soon discovered another problem.

More than once when I clicked on the embed, I found this:

Screenshot of an embedded YouTube video saying, 'Video unavailable'

This was not historically unusual in itself, but what was was going directly to the YouTube page itself and finding that the clip was, in fact, still there.

Reading around a bit, I found that YouTube seems to have changed the rules again so that uploaders and freeloaders alike could prevent 'their' vids from being embedded. Charmless, but it's their show. Equally charmless was that when I tried to click on the link in the embed, it presented me only with an image like the one shown above for a completely different clip from the one previously linked to, with no way - short of copying and pasting the URL directly from the page code into the browser - of going to the one I wanted.

This presented me with a dilemma of sorts: I could just put up with it and accept that this was going to happen; or I could do something 'pro-active' (and I apologise for the crude talk).

I was so pissed off about this that I decided on the latter course: I would replace all the embeds with a simple graphic upon which You, The Reader™, could then click to go to the YouTube page itself. So it is that this symbol now appears on nearly all the pages which had previously had embedded clips on them:

YouTube loco

Even setting to it with a tooth-gritting will, it took a few days to go through them all, which included trying to find alternatives or replacements for ones which had vanished for one reason or another. There are at this writing (as I believe they say in the Untried Stiffs of America) some three hundred pages with video links on them, and they all had to be gone through to replace the embed code with the simple logo and link.

In the process of all this, I found that the clips - mercifully few - which I had linked to on Liveleak had all gone. This was a relief in two ways: firstly because the embed codes for them had stopped working properly years ago (see the sixth paragraph here); and secondly because by all accounts Liveleak has been taken over by right-wing crackpots in recent times. I managed to find most of the ex-Liveleak clips on YouTube, but sadly not all of them. Further diligence needed at some point to track them down, I fear. And a handful of clips generally have been Clementined i.e., "Lost and gone forever".

Other clips which had been at one destination on YouTube have now been replaced with ones which will work at the moment.

Having finally completed the recoding of all the relevant pages - and happy in the knowledge that I wouldn't have to keep faffing about with the codes in response to any future fucking about with them by YouTube - I had to set about validating them all. This was a pain in the arse and no mistake, because the html validator page at W3C will only validate one file at a time, and I kept losing track of which ones I had done and which still needed doing.

That job having been done, I have now uploaded all of the revisions in the hope that I haven't forgotten anything. Happy watching!