Google Docs has just introduced support for video playback. Video files uploaded to the cloud storage solution can now be watched in place via the standard YouTube player. A number of formats are supported and most videos should already be available for playback. To date, while users can upload any file to Google Docs, only a few types could be previewed without downloading them.
"Happy New Year! We’re starting this year by making it easier to view memories from 2010 that you’ve uploaded to your document list directly in your browser. Just click on a video in a supported format and press play," Patrick Lacz, Software Engineer at Google, announced.
"Please note that some videos uploaded earlier last year might not have been processed yet and will be available soon. Also, newly uploaded videos may take some time to process before they are available for viewing," he added.
There are some caveats though. Many video formats are supported, but not all. Here are the video formats supported for playback: WebM (the VP8 video codec and Vorbis Audio for the sound), MPEG4, 3GPP and MOV (H.264 and MPEG4 video codecs and AAC audio), AVI (MJPEG for video and PCM for audio), MPEGPS (MPEG2 video and MP2 audio), WMV and FLV (FLV1 and MP3 audio).
Note that this is not an exhaustive list other combinations may be supported. The files can be up to 1 GB in size and the player can run videos as large as 1080p (1920x1080 pixels). Your existing video files should already be available for playback, though some may not have been processed yet.
Google's YouTube remains the destination of choice for anyone wanting to share a video with the world. But you can host and share videos on other Google products, Picasa expanded support, also via the YouTube player, last year and Docs now followed.