If you’re a web designer, you’ve almost certainly heard of HTML5 by now. The next big step in the HTML standard, HTML5 has been in the works since 2004, and brings a lot of changes to the web. Today, I’d simply like to acquaint you with some new media features in HTML5 in the hopes that you’ll begin implementing these features into your own design now.
Until just recently, playing video on a website has been anything but simple. Depending on what site you browse, you may need one of several 3rd party extensions or software. Watching a movie trailer on one website may require Quicktime, while watching a video ofa cat playing a keyboard on YouTube would require Adobe Flash.
While most of these software packages are pretty common and relatively easy to download, requiring additional software makes video less accessible to more people. While some users can’t be bothered to install a required extension for their browser, some devices won’t support software altogether(ie: Apple won’t support Flash on its iPad and iPhone devices.)
Browsers are now evolving to support video content by default, without any 3rd party add-ons. A new<video> tag allows developers to specify multiple file formats that allows different browsers and devices to play video depending on what codecs the browser is capable of playing.