Gangnam Style breaks YouTube

Google has revealed that the massively popular Gangnam Style music video from Psy has broken YouTube.

The 2012 pop sensation has been viewed so many times on the Google-owned video service that its counter couldn’t initially cope with the figure.

There’s a simple scientific reason for this. When Psy’s infectious ditty exceeded 2,147,483,647 views, it exceeded the 32-bit integer used in the counter.

“We never thought a video would be watched in numbers greater than a 32-bit integer,” wrote Google in a post on the matter.

Gangnam Style became the first ever YouTube video to bust through the 2 billion views figure earlier in the year.

As TechCrunch points out, this is actually a similar issue to the one infamously faced by the original Pac-Man arcade game in the ’80s. When particularly skilled users got to level 256, it exceeded the game’s 8-bit level counter (8-bit being restricted to 255) and made things go a bit glitchy and crazy.

Google’s solution to its own, more advanced issue? Why, to move to a 64-bit integer, of course.

“Gangnam Style” has been viewed so many times we had to upgrade to a 64-bit integer (9,223,372,036,854,775,808)!” the company writes.

So, who will be the YouTube celebrity to bust through that particularly meaty figure, then? Our money is on some kind of dancing animal.

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