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How to Add YouTube Videos to the Thesis Theme MultiMedia Box

Want to learn how to add a YouTube video to the Thesis MultiMedia Box?

You’re in luck, partner.  Adding a movie to a single blog post is easy using the custom video input.  Welcome to another free Thesis WP theme tutorial from the Mules.

Step one is identifying the Youtube video you wish to embed into your Thesis blog post.  Naturally, you love mules — so you poked around and decided to pick this one.

Or perhaps you have your own YouTube channel and want to share videos of your boring human babies, which take fully two years learning to wobble about on chunky legs.  This is insulting to Thesis, but do what you must.

We cannot control your poor judgment.  What we can do is say that the important part is to get to the page where YouTube displays the video you want to embed in your Thesis site.

Your browser address bar will display a link (URL) much like this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1sfDlLluJY

At this point, notice the “Embed” text input area to the immediate right of the YouTube video you have selected.

1. Copy the embed code

2. Paste it into the Thesis “Multimedia Box Video” section*

3. Save. Publish. You are done.

Fun time is over.  Get back to… whatever it is humans do.

*Image shows Thesis Multimedia Box Video section with embedded code

Advanced YouTube Movie Options:

Additional controls for embedded video using the Thesis theme.

So that’s the easy way to embed a video into Thesis. There are, however, quite a number of video embedding that can be tinkered with, both in the YouTube area and afterwards.

YouTube will let you choose whether or not to include related videos, a border, and whether or not to slap a YouTube cookie on your visitors’ computers.  How nice of them!  You can also pick a variety of color themes and different sizes of the video.  Those of you who get this far, the mules presume you can read and interpret images, as this is the “advanced” section — so direct your forward-facing eyes at the image here to aid your memory later.

The code from the embed video, with no selected options or extras, looks like this — more or less. The mules have created line breaks and removed confusing ampersands (&) to clarify YouTube video and Flash player options:

<object
width="425"
height="344"
data="http://www.youtube.com/v/J1sfDlLluJY
hl=en
fs=1
type="application/x-shockwave-flash">
<param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" />
<param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" />
<param name="src"
value="http://www.youtube.com/v/J1sfDlLluJY
&hl=en&fs=1&" />
<param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" />
</object>

What in Tarnation is that hunk of Flash video command gibberish?

It’s easier than it looks, even for novice Thesis users.

Width and height can be adjusted manually. The Thesis theme’s MM box has padding and sizes that, for Thesis themes version 1.5 onwards, are pixel and em settings you chose at installation and setup.

The ability to scoot in the saddle is nice. By way of example, the Mules chose 400×310 as our YouTube setting seen top right… even though this was not among the options presented in the “extras” panel and is not technically a correct aspect ratio when compared to the original.

That is because Mules do not use calculators.  Those things don’t hold up under the lightest of hooves, and honestly, Mules don’t care.

For perfectionists who managed to fail grade school maths but demand anamorphic exactitude, there are free online aspect ratio calculators you can use. You’d enter the original dimensions in the top two fields, your desired width in the bottom, hit calculate, and there’s your new video height to match your width, pretty as you please and within a pixel.

Note that Flash player often has redundant settings — if you change the width and height of your Thesis MM box movie, be sure to check that you didn’t change it in one spot and miss it in another.

Update… the Mules have reduced the size of the video example to such a degree the video’s controls overcome the video itself… this change made given the constraints of a shiny new Mule site design that places a very small Multimedia Box — the MM Box would typically be in the top-right or top-left of one or both sidebars — above our navigation menu. In short, our example video looks like a load of steaming horse apples. Yours should look just dandy.

Back to the code blob — HL is the language, and FS is “fullscreen” toggle, yes or no.  Default is yes, where no will remove the FS selector from the control bar at the bottom of the video.

There are a number of YouTube Embedded Player Parameters, where control items of interest include autoplay (yes or no), loop (yes or no).  Of special use when referencing long-winded videos, where you want to isolate a point made 8 minutes in, there is “start” — expressed as a number of seconds, e.g. 65 would begin buffer and play at 1:05 into the video once the video begins to play.

For those who dislike the YouTube “star rating” initial display, there is showinfo to toggle.  No more stars.  Border gets you just that.  Color1 and color2 control the border palette, expressed as hexadecimal colors without the # hash tag.  For examples, the link above offers illustrated usage and a full set of available parameters.

There you have it.

Granular control over YouTube videos on a per-post basis within Thesis, where a simple, no-frills movie can take seconds to find and embed.

Or you can prance and preen and strut like you’re going to the county fair, wasting half an hour on getting your latest LOLMulez movie just so.

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1 kristarella whinnied... 06/6/2009 at 6:34 pm

Ooh, the coloured border makes it much nicer I think.

It’s worth noting, in regards to changing the size to whatever you want, you need to change the dimensions in two places: at the start of the embed code and then later on too. I had someone not realise that and they were getting a bit frustrated that it was changing.

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2 The Mules whinnied... 06/6/2009 at 7:03 pm

Right you are!

We’ve had the same frustration at times, usually when the dog is barking his fool head off at a clod of dirt.

Which was why we made it a point to say:

Note that Flash player often has redundant settings — if you change the width and height of your Thesis MM box movie, be sure to check that you didn’t change it in one spot and miss it in another.

We probably ought to have made this bold as an Arabian colt. But then all you humans would just rush about and skim everything. Hurry, hurry, hurry. The grass will grow without you — why must you rush about so?

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3 justinsail whinnied... 06/7/2009 at 8:27 pm

It’s ALSO worth noting that with Thesis 1.5, nothing in the Multimedia Box shows up in the RSS feeds.
I created a function that would add one image from the “Post Image”, “Multimedia” or “Thumbnail” boxes to the RSS feed… but still haven’t been able to get a simple YouTube video to show up when using the embed method on this page. Read my post for more on this.

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4 The Mules whinnied... 06/7/2009 at 8:43 pm

More notable than the Multimedia Box video-in-RSS restriction is the link to including the post image in RSS feeds. We’d given up on that in complete despair — you’re a stubborn one! We like stubborn.

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5 The Mules whinnied... 06/13/2009 at 2:26 am

Update: Thesis 1.5.1 sends the post image in RSS feeds.

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