[whatwg] Html 5 video element's poster attribute

Zachary Ozer zach at longtailvideo.com
Mon Sep 20 11:59:16 PDT 2010

I'd like to weight in quickly on this based on feedback from our users
on this (they have a lot).

 * Webkit's original implementation (show the first frame once it's
available) is requested by a lot of people. What they don't realize is
that the first frame is black for 99% of videos, so they end up using
the poster anyway. We've resisted this because of limitations in Flash
(you have to start loading the video, then call play() and pause() on
the first frame), but I'd say it's still a good idea to display the
first frame if there's no poster set and preload is set to auto (or
add another preload level for poster).

 * Don't show the poster when the video buffers - just pause the video
and give some visual indication that you're buffering.

 * We've never had anyone request different poster images for begin /
pause / end. People generally just want it to appear at the beginning
and end, and they want the same image. If someone wants to change it,
allow them to set the poster attribute via JavaScript.

 * Don't clear the poster on load(). A lot of people get confused by
this. It might make sense to clear it in the setter for <video> src,
but I could see this confusing people as well.

 * I'm not sure how reset() would work. Would you reset the list of
<source> too?


Zachary Ozer
Developer, LongTail Video

w: longtailvideo.com • e: zach at longtailvideo.com • p: 212.244.0140 •
f: 212.656.1335
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On Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 10:04 AM, Eric Carlson <eric.carlson at apple.com> wrote:
> On Sep 19, 2010, at 3:17 PM, Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
>> Not quite: this is an implementation decision that Webkit-based browsers made. Neither Opera nor Firefox work that way (haven't checked IE yet).
>> I agree that this implementation of poster frames is practically useless and it really annoys me as a user. I've been considering registering a bug on Webkit.
> On Sep 19, 2010, at 5:50 PM, Aryeh Gregor wrote:
>> On Sun, Sep 19, 2010 at 4:53 PM, Shiv Kumar <skumar at exposureroom.com> wrote:
>>> The poster frame should remain visible until the video is played.
>> I agree with Silvia, this should be required by the spec.  The
>> alternative is clearly wrong.  Someone should also file a bug with
>> WebKit to ask them to change.
>  Someone might want to try a WebKit nightly build before filing a bug.
>  This was changed in r64884. A poster is displayed until there is a movie frame to display and playback begins or the current time is changed.
> eric

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