HTML5 Video

HTML5 has many useful new tags, one is <video>. It’s long overdue.

Unfortunately besides the fact the fact Internet Explorer does not support HTML5 (despite Microsoft’s claims) <video> is not a panacea. Yet.

Mozilla (the dudes who make Firefox) and Apple (the dudes who make Steve Jobs) disagree on what format of video should become the Web’s de facto standard. Mozilla says Ogg Theora a free, open-source codec should power the Web’s video. Apple and Google tout H.264 a propriety and patented format.

Google claims Ogg Theora doesn’t cut the sauce for YouTube and other video services. And Apple just likes anything they had a hand in making and Ogg never came from their workshop.

Google’s claims have been challenged, but Safari and Chrome still use H.264 and will for the foreseeable future.

Either way, those who just want to watch or post a damn video have a challenge. The only solution now for HTML5 video is to encode it in both Ogg Theora and H.264. An annoyance if you produced the video but almost impossible if the video is not yours.

Assuming you do have control over the video’s format there are two choices for serving it to users. The freshest, sleekest and easiest out-of-the-box to implement solution is SublimeVideo. As of now SublimeVideo¬†offically supports Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.

The most promising solution, which has been out for awhile, is Kroc Camen’s Video for Everybody. Video for Everybody requires two encodes like SublimeVideo, but if the browser does not support HTML5 it falls back to Quicktime and then Flash. All without Javascript or browser sniffing.

Two encodes aside, both Sublime and Video for Everybody are promising. Finally, everyone from your trusty RSS readers, boss on IE6, and tutrlenecked iPad user will still see the video.

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