What are the YouTube API changes that threaten incremental video in all versions of SuperMemo?

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SuperMemo 17.3 uses the newest YouTube API


In the recent SuperMemo release notes a statement was made in the "warnings" section that changes to the YouTube API threaten the future of incremental video processing in all versions of SuperMemo.

What API changes are causing the issue? How significant is the risk to incremental video? I am planning to use incremental video to process many full-semester class lecture playlists on YouTube but now I'm not sure if this is a viable long-term strategy.


  • Keep learning. If there are API issues, at worst, you can follow the link to your video with the start marker set in SuperMemo. If you try something similar with other services, not supported by SuperMemo, you will notice it is "survivable" as long as you work in larger portions (above 5-10 min.). If you cut out seconds long pieces of a tennis match for a training video, this would indeed be a disaster
  • We will investigate technical difficulties and costs of support of the new API.
  • There are tools called "youtube downloaders". You could read about those too for possible reassurance for the worst case scenario
  • When the old API is off, the likely result is: (best) video will not show, (worst) pop-up message with error will show. In the latter case, you will apply a template that clears the video component and just use the HTML component to access the video via references


It still isn't clear what YouTube API changes referred to in the SuperMemo release notes. In the article What's new with SuperMemo 17? you have the following very dire warning:

YouTube-based incremental video may soon stop working due to changes in YouTube API. This problem will affect all SuperMemos!

I'm trying to find out what API changes are mentioned here. Thanks.

Follow up: The edit made above still does not answer the question: What specific YouTube API change is threatening the future of incremental video learning in SuperMemo? Giving a workaround like the above is *not* reassuring at all, when SuperMemo is marketed as having this feature and suddenly it "may" go away due to unspecified "API changes" without any details.

Can you provide a link to a specific page from YouTube that details the API changes? The only information I can find regarding API changes was a change from v2 to v3 of the API, and v2 was retired in 2014. So what "YouTube API changes" specifically are we talking about here? Thanks.


The deprecated API involves embedding a Flash object. The new recommended API relies on IFRAME and HTML5. This basically means that the video loading mechanism has changed. If Google retires the deprecated API, even though the new API mirrors the old one (upon preliminary method name scanning at least), the video will simply not load. The users will need to click the "go to source" button on the navigation toolbar to see the video.

See also

See also: