While there are some videos currently embedded on Wikipedia pages–according to this category, 244 of them–Wikipedia isn’t really known as a place where people upload and watch videos. The problem is that Wikipedia’s old video player only played Ogg files. Which is fine, because we’ve got YouTube and other services for that, but there are a lot of articles where creative-commons licensed video could make a huge difference. Which is why it’s great that Wikipedia is finally pulling their HTML 5 video player out of beta. Your Wikipedia is about to get a lot more multimedia.

Wikipedia is using Kaltura’s HTML5 video player and tools to add video content to Wikipedia article and Wikipedia Commons. The software plugs into Wikipedia’s MediaWiki platform as an extension called TimedMediaHandler, which is a pretty great piece of work: it can pull freely licensened content from YouTube, it does server-side transcoding, and it works really well with subtitles in all languages. Most importantly, it works really well with Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is asking for donations now, and based on this great work (and the fact that you probably use it 10 times a day) you should give them a few bucks.

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