[html5] <video> tag fallback

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Wed Apr 29 23:19:25 PDT 2009

On Tue, 14 Apr 2009, Steven Garrity wrote:
> We're working on implementing the <video> tag to play a Ogg Theora video 
> for a client. We're including a Flash playing in the "fallback content" 
> for Internet Explorer.
> We're running into trouble with the lack of a common format, though.

Yeah. We really want to find a good format everyone is willing to use.

> It seems the current behaviour in Safari is that if the video format is 
> not supported (Ogg Theora, for example), then the <video> player is 
> shown (empty) rather than the fall back content.
> Is this the intended/spec'ed behaviour when no video format playable by 
> the client is provided?

Yes. You can catch the error event (sent to the <source> elements if there 
are any, otherwise the <video> element) to trigger fallback behaviour. Not 
sure if Safari implements this event yet though.

> We've also attempted to work around this with the canPlayType() 
> Javascript function to check for format/codec support and output a Flash 
> play if the provided format(s) are not supported. However, Safari 
> doesn't seem to have the canPlayType() function at all.
> Are we up a creek?

For now, probably. It's early days yet though.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

More information about the Help mailing list