Vimeo’s Cost-Cutting Cock-Up?

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Video hub Vimeo has a problem with their subscriber's embedded video, resulting in the widget unable to play but instead giving a message, “Sorry. This video cannot be played on this site.”

That's why none of my Vimeo-hosted tutorials are functioning, either until Vimeo sort it out or I use my YouTube, Viddler or Metacafe channel instead.

UPDATE: Vimeo flicked a switch and all video is working. They did that pretty fast too. Very impressive support. All video back up and tickety-boo!

So what did I do wrong?, after months using Vimeo, I wanted to know. Maybe you do too?

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Here's an example. If you see a video, the problem is solved.

Video: Can You See This Video?

Watch the video for a better idea of how to do this.

Guv's on YouTube at

Heading over to Vimeo, in the help section there was a piece talking about copyright issues. Well, seeing as these videos are either mine (about 95%) or used with permission, that didn't stack up.

Besides, isn't it good practise to send an email first, asking, especially when the videos are branded the same as the site. I'm sure both they and this site mention Guvnr somewhere!

I don't think that's the problem.

In the Vimeo forums, it looks like I'm not the only one. There are hundreds of people ditto'ing the problem, and all the messages are fresh. That could equate to tens of thousands of sites actually affected, most of whom don't yet realise it.

It's worth mentioning, Vimeo have been trying to save on server costs very recently. For example, a couple of weeks ago they mentioned they were dropping the option of retaining the original uploaded user video – for non-Plus members – to save space. Hey, fair play, I thought. In fact, I didn't even know they kept that before!

.. so there's a clue.

In the forums, everyone's talking about bugs. But it doesn't sound like a bug to me.

It sounds like they've moved to a different, cost-saving set of servers, but haven't configured the paths properly, else maybe are just waiting for some settings to propagate. If so, either issue could have been avoided but, hey, we all make mistakes.

So while my first instinct was to change all my embeds to pick up my YouTube channel videos, I figure I'll wait and see, and give Vimeo the benefit of the doubt.

Hopefully the kind folks at Vimeo will send us a notice today, when they wake up in, er, I think they're based in Portland, Oregon. Would have been nice to have had one of those before, but I can only assume they didn't think anyone would notice whatever they've done.

.. unless it is a bug and they can't placate Vimeo users, quickly. In which case, I suspect, Vimeo are about to see their users moving in their droves. Maybe they deserve that, but it would be a shame because Vimeo has provided a superb free service, and I rate it as my favorite for video embeds. (YouTube takes that prize for community, usability, searchability, diversity and stats.)

And, besides, who could blame Vimeo for trying to save on costs. Damn, watch the news!

So come on Vimeo, let's see that announcement, post haste. And in future, maybe a little transparency will garner a little extra confidence.

All that said, Vimeo, up to now you have been magnificent. Only fair to say that. Thank you.


About the Author:

Olly Connelly (yeah, that's me) blogs at, polices WordPress security at and helps noobs build web servers at, so if you've got sleeping problems you know where to come.

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