[whatwg] Serving up Theora <video> in the real world

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Thu Jul 9 14:59:20 PDT 2009

(this is not quite about the standard itself, but it is about how to
use shiny new bits of it in real world practice)

Wikimedia is preparing to use <video> (and quite likely HTML5 all
through) for serving up Ogg Theora video in MediaWiki.

Desktop is easy:

* In the one released browser that supports <video> and Theora,
Firefox 3.5, this will Just Work.
* In Safari with XiphQT, we can *probably* detect Theora's MIME type
as being supported and it will Just Work (more or less).
* Everyone else gets the Cortado player (written in Java), with a link
suggesting FF 3.5 for a better video experience.

The question is what to do for platforms such as the iPhone, which
doesn't even run Java.

Is there any way to install an additional codec in the iPhone browser?
Is it (even theoretically) possible to put a free app on the AppStore
just to play Ogg Theora video for our users? (There are many AppStore
apps that support Ogg Vorbis, don't know if any support Theora - so
presumably AppStore stuff doesn't give Apple the feared submarine
patent exposure.)

Our goal is to have happy end users who don't have to think about this rubbish.

- d.

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