video element support in browsers

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Firefox has experimental support. Opera has experimental support. And now, Webkit has experimental support. The new HTML5 <video> element is getting support from a large part of the browser market.

According to the spec, User agents should support Ogg Theora video and Ogg Vorbis audio, as well as the Ogg container format; Firefox and Opera do so natively, while Webkit does so with a plugin for Quicktime (see Xiph.org).

According to my site stats — which are very far from being representative — roughly 60% of my visitors use one of the three browsers mentioned above; that’s a pretty big potential market. And remember, what the geeks use now, everybody will use in a year or two.

2 comments on
“video element support in browsers”

  1. Since people won’t, in general, *have* the QuickTime plugin, it’s not clear to me that John Q. Video-Publisher’s situation is any better with the element than it was before. If I want to put up a video that’ll play on most of my visitor’s machines, which format should I choose? Let’s imagine that IE also supported this element, but only supported Theora with “a plugin for Windows Media Player” (which, again, people are likely not to have). If I want to publish a video, I can do it in Theora format (so Firefox and Opera users can see it), in QuickTime format (so Safari users can see it), or in Windows Media format (so IE/Win users can see it). That’s, frankly, not much better than the situation now…

  2. But that’s pretty much what happened with Flash; if you didn’t have it installed, you were pushed to go away and get it. Now it’s more or less the standard for video on the web; the problem, of course, is that it’s a proprietary standard.

    If getting the Theora plugin could be made as easy as getting the Flash plugin, there’s no reason that this couldn’t take off. It will take a little time for Ogg to become a new standard, but with support from some big players it could get there.