[whatwg] Apple Proposal for Timed Media Elements

Robert Brodrecht whatwg at robertdot.org
Wed Mar 21 19:20:18 PDT 2007

On Mar 21, 2007, at 5:08 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

> CSS Timed Media Module proposal - http://webkit.org/specs/ 
> Timed_Media_CSS.html
> HTML Timed Media Elements - http://webkit.org/specs/ 
> HTML_Timed_Media_Elements.html

I'm excited about Apple's video team being on board with this.  While  
everyone's efforts thus far have brought us a long way, having more  
info from audio and video professionals could really refine this.   
Comments as I read:

> If the presentation of timed media by the user agent has been  
> disabled, if the resource has an unsupported type, or if the  
> preparations for its presentation fail either because of a protocol  
> failure or because the format of the media is unrecognized, the  
> user agent must fire an error event on the element and display the  
> element's fallback content, if available.

So, we have some fallback control.  That is good, as it is lacking  
from WHAT WG at the moment and was something I'm concerned about.    
This is how I intuitively felt it should work.  I'm glad that is  

> The controller attribute is a boolean attribute. If the attribute  
> is present, the user agent must display a user interface which  
> allows the user to control the media element. The height attribute  
> on the element does not include the size of the controller, it is  
> the size of the video element only

I like being able to specify this, but the height of the controller  
needs to:
1) Be set normatively in this specification.  If the height of the  
controller area changes across browsers, it's going to be a source of  
irritation for developers.
2) Be set in CSS (as well as positioning options... I'd guess through  
a pseudo element like :controller?).

> Should we specify the position of the controller? Should we specify  
> what controls it should have?

I could take it or leave it.  Specifying what controls might be  
nice.  Specifying the position, I think, should be a CSS thing.

> When the src attribute is set, the user agent must immediately  
> begin to download the specified resource unless the user agent  
> cannot support video/audio, or its support for video/audio has been  
> disabled

One reason I like YouTube is that the download is user-initiated.  If  
I include YouTube content on my site, they see a nice thumbnail from  
the video and a big play button.  If they are on dial-up, they don't  
have to download it.  Autodownload, to me, is flawed.  I know I can  
set up the image and video stuff with JavaScript to work like  
YouTube.  But if the user DOESN'T have JavaScript on, they are stuck  
with nothing.  I would love to see an "autodownload" attribute to  
complement "autoplay" or use "autoplay=0" to disable the auto  
download.  A way to add a thumbnail would be nice while not auto  

> The DOM attribute currentRate is the rate at which a media element  
> is currently playing.

I'm guessing this would be in frames per second?  Is it the frames  
per second it is playing or the available frames per second encoded  
in the video?

> The DOM attribute hasAudio returns a value that specifies whether  
> the element has audio media.

Does a video element hasAudio return true or false?  Is this based  
only on the existence of some media or will it determine if the video  
actually has an audio track?

Robert <http://robertdot.org>

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