The user experience of Desktop Gmail .mp4 video attachments

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You go to hell Google

I’m being forced to take a break from what might be my favorite project yet (and I already launched Banana to Unlock) in order to write this brief fiery rant about the Desktop Gmail user experience. You see I just emailed a client a short .mp4 video file and his response was:

clip not working for me

After a bit of research, it would seem that Gmail recently added an inline player to stream video attachments. Seems harmless enough, right?


When it comes to streaming a .mp4 file, that handy inline player takes over a minute to process a short video. This in turn presents all hasty users with the message, “An error has occurred. Please try again later.” Now this doesn’t upset me too much. It’s a new feature, right? Oh no! Apparently they rolled this inline player into Google Drive over a year ago and it caused the same issue. It didn’t take much googling to find this helpless help thread on the issue. So what does Google do? Do they fix the issue on Drive? No, my friends. They roll the issue into Gmail and call it a feature. 😭

Anyway, let’s be constructive: Do not present the user with a tasty play button unless the video fucking plays. Email is so personal that this error immediately looks like the fault of the sender.

Google, I hope I’m missing something here. Please let me know.

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