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Part 2: HTML5 Video, Multimedia for the Future

Modern browsers have made video and audio files easier than ever to use. With HTML5 and the <video> tag, you can have your important video assets up and running in no time. Not only is HTML5’s <video> tag easy to setup, but it also eliminates the need for extra software, such as Adobe Flash that requires loading and upgrades in the background.

The Slow Extinction of Flash Video

You might be saying, “My Flash player and video works great now. Why fix something that isn’t broken?” Although most desktop browsers can view Flash videos, Adobe has announced that it will slowly phase out support for this format. Additionally, you will find that most mobile devices, including tablets, cannot play your site’s video files. The bottom line; upgrade your Flash video to HTML5 video fast!

The New Kid

The time has never been better to adopt HTML5. Here are just a few of the big benefits of HTML5 video:

  • Natively plays files that don’t require plugins to open
  • Easy to customize with CSS3
  • Many easy-to-install, professional video players such as Video.js
  • Mobile phone-friendly and tablet-friendly
  • Extensive Javascript API for custom controls and content

While 83% of the market share of browsers and devices can view HTML5 video, there are still some basic things to keep in mind if you are going to get rid of your old Flash player and use HTML5 video.

Media formats: There are two main types of video formats you should become familiar with: mp4 and WebM. Firefox, for example, will play only WebM files. But Internet Explorer 9 and 10 will play only MP4. It is encouraged that you upload both video formats to ensure all browsers can play your video.

Flash fallback: If you are concerned about the 17% of people in the world who have browsers that can’t view your HTML5 video, you should consider having a Flash fallback. This means that if the browser cannot open the HTML5 video, it will read the installed Flash player instead. Many video players today have a Flash fallback already set up for you. My favorites are MediaElement and JW Player.


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