Search on the iPhone YouTube interface… sucks

Has anyone else noticed that searching for video on the iPhone through YouTube just sucks? You find a LOT more data and results (i.e. you get some) when you use the web interface. Here’s an example:

Search for “yegge” in YouTube (I was hoping to find a cross post of the OSCON presentation he gave – but it’s in BlipTV as it turns out). You get zero results on the iPhone. Through the web interface on my desktop I see 8. What’s up with that?

Published by heckj

Developer, author, and life-long student. Writes online at

5 thoughts on “Search on the iPhone YouTube interface… sucks

  1. Since the iPhone can’t play flash movies, the only stuff that can be returned to the iphone is h264 (on youtube). So it only returns results that are encoded as such. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of those.

    However, if you search for “SRV”, there’s at least one good video… šŸ™‚


  2. That doesn’t quite jibe with what I’ve heard about the youtune system. From what I understand, the video os being stored in its upload format and its transcoded on the fly as needed … including to h.264 codec for the iPhone.


  3. Gus is right. See — “To achieve higher video quality and longer battery life on mobile devices, YouTube has begun encoding their videos in the advanced H.264 format, and iPhone will be the first mobile device to use the H.264-encoded videos. Over 10,000 videos will be available on June 29, and YouTube will be adding more each week until their full catalog of videos is available in the H.264 format this fall.”

    In other words, wait a little bit longer and they’ll all be available….


  4. Thanks for the link. I guess I’ll just have to wait it out… darnit. That’s got to be some impressive storage too, if they’re transcoding and storing the whole new format for shipping. Undoubtably they’ve got it with the Goog though.


  5. YouTube app on iPhone still has grossly limited search results compared to YouTube’s own site. I’d hoped the problem would disappear with 3.0 upgrade, but no improvement whatsoever. Tons of people out walking with iPhone cannot see vast majority of videos via search.


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