[whatwg] How to handle multitrack media resources in HTML

Silvia Pfeiffer silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 9 16:40:58 PST 2011

Hi all,

One particular issue that hasn't had much discussion here yet is the
issue of how to deal with multitrack media resources or media
resources that have associated synchronized audio and video resources.
I'm concretely referring to such things as audio descriptions, sign
language video, and dubbed audio tracks.

We require an API that can expose such extra tracks to the user and to
JavaScript. This should be independent of whether the tracks are
actually inside the media resource or are given as separate resources,
but should be linked to the main media resource through markup.

I am bringing this up now because solutions may have an influence on
the inner workings of TimedTrack and the <track> element, so before we
have any implementations of <track>, we should be very certain that we
are happy with the way in which it works - in particular that <track>
continues to stay an empty element.

We've had some preliminary discussions about this in the W3C
Accessibility Task Force and the alternatives that we could think
about are captured in
http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Media_Multitrack_Media_API . This
may not be the complete list of possible solutions, but it provides
ideas for the different approaches that can be taken.

I'd like to see what people's opinions are about them.

Note there are also discussion threads about this at the W3C both in
the Accessibility TF [1] and the HTML Working Group [2], but I am
curious about input from the wider community.

So check out http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Media_Multitrack_Media_API
and share your opinions.


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-a11y/2011Feb/0057.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Feb/0205.html

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