Friday, September 14, 2012

Today's limitations of HTML5 video support


It's hard to believe but there are still some.

At least two conditions/limitation when your browser will not play HTML5 video, EVEN if you think you have a decent one:

1. Safari for Windows only supports HTML 5 video if Quicktime is also installed.
2. No support in Internet Explorer prior version 9. (Probably it's not an issue, unless you are inside of corporate network and extremely conservative IT department.)

My test page for you (created by Easy HTML5 Video Converter) to test HTML5 support in your browser. If your browser supports HTML5 video it will play: http://files.kardash.net/jslab/html5video/

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Below are links about HTML5 video to consider:

http://www.808.dk/?code-html-5-video - HTML 5 video with table of browsers compatibility.

http://easyhtml5video.com/ - converter of your video format to any of HTML5 supported formats: OGG (Theora video codec), MP4 (H.264 video codec), WebM (VP8 video codec), and Flash MP4 (for fallback to Flash if HTML5 video is not supported).

http://videojs.com/ - JavaScript and CSS library that makes it easier to work with and build on HTML5 video. This is also known as an "HTML5 Video Player"

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Media_formats_supported_by_the_audio_and_video_elements - Media formats supported by the HTML audio and video elements.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Video in HTML5: no support in Safari for Windows

All modern websites show videos. But before HTML5 it was plugin based functionality, such as Flash, Quick Time, or ActiveX. Today there is a better technology: HTML5, supposingly supported by all popular browsers. HTML5 is not new in the tech world, and provides a standard: <video> tag.
I have tested all my five browsers on Windows 7 desktop, and four of them - Chrome, Firefox, IE 9 and Opera - show video without problems, though UI controls, such as play/pause button, volume and full sreeen, are slightly different. What I am having problem with is Safari. Yes, Apple Safari 5.1.7. Safari is always described as a browser with native HTML5 video/audio support, but this is in fact not true.
Try to open this page, which consists of a video tag:
 

And Safari will give you "Your browser does not support the video tag." Another official link will render black rectangle in Safari.
Probably the most valuable corporation in the world doesn't care any more in promoting web standards swimming in the rays of fame of iphone, ipad and ipod sales?

And then I tested in Safari 5.1.1 on OS X. And video runs without any problems. Voila! Safari on Mac is not equal to Safari on Windows. I also don't have Quicktime. My desktop doesn't need it, having Media Player, VLC Player and K-Lite Codec Pack.

Another thought if you don't have OS X available to test you can always try Adobe BrowserLab. They will access your URL in number of browsers and generate screenshots. At least it will give you idea how your page looks.

UPDATE: Safari for Windows only supports HTML 5 video if Quicktime is also installed.