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Create a search shortcut to find YouTube WebM videos from your browser

Ever since the WebM project was launched, YouTube has been encoding videos uploaded at 720p or higher resolution in the WebM format. Today, there are millions of WebM encoded videos on YouTube including the one million most popular videos of any size. But finding these videos is a little tricky.

Until now, users had to use a URL parameter when searching for WebM YouTube videos. To find a WebM video, you have to add the add &webm=1 to the end of the URL. For example,

If you find this approach rather clumsy, Google has provided some new instructions that allows you to create a special search shortcut in your browser to quickly find WebM videos on YouTube. Of course, you will need a browser that supports WebM for HTML5 videos. At this point, Firefox 4 Beta, Chrome 6 dev channel and Opera 10.60 or higher are the only ones offering WebM support. You will also have to be enrolled in the YouTube HTML5 beta by going to and clicking “Enter the HTML5 Beta”.

Creating a WebM Search Shortcut

Firefox 4 Beta:

  1. Select Bookmarks > Organize Bookmarks. A bookmark manager dialog opens.
  2. In the left column, choose a location for the new bookmark you’re creating. Next, choose Organize > New Bookmark (on MacOS click the gear icon). The new bookmark dialog opens.
  3. In the Name box, type WebM.
  4. In the Location box, type
  5. In the Keyword box, type webm.
  6. Click Add.

Google Chrome Early Release Channel:

  1. On Windows and Linux, click the Chrome wrench icon in the toolbar and select Options. On MacOS, select Chrome > Preferences.
  2. On the Basics tab, click the Manage button in the Default Search section.
  3. On Windows and Linux, click Add. On MacOS X, click the plus (+) button.
  4. In the Name box, type WebM.
  5. In the Keyword box, type webm.
  6. In the URL box, type
  7. Click OK.

Opera 10.60 and later:

  1. Go to
  2. Right-click in the YouTube search box at the top of the page and select Create Search. On MacOS, use Ctrl+click if you don’t a secondary mouse button enabled.
  3. In the Name box, type WebM.
  4. In the Keyword box, type webm.
  5. In the Address box, type
  6. Click OK.

Now whenever you want to find a WebM video, use the newly created search shortcut to find them. When watching a video, look for the HTML5 WebM indicator in the player control bar. If it’s there, your shortcut is working.


[via WebM Project]


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