Using HTML5 Video and Audio

On my site I wrote an 11-page article explaining how to add video using HTML5 with fallback options for Internet Explorer. I also have a similar (although a lot shorter) article on how to add sound with HTML5. And I get a lot of emails about them saying “I tried this in _____ browser and it didn’t work.” And I’m expecting to get the same type of feedback from chapter 12 when the book comes out.

Now, I admit, I am human. I make mistakes and things get munged in publishing and so on. I tested both the articles on About and the chapter code extensively, as did my technical editors. And I’m confident that it works in modern web browsers, even Internet Explorer.

Follow the Steps Precisely

The video article is especially tough because it’s so long. Who wants to wade through 11 pages of stuff just to post a video? Wouldn’t we all rather be shooting our films instead? But none of the pages are in there as fluff. If you want your video to work in modern HTML5 compliant browsers as well as Internet Explorer 8, then you need to read and do them all. And I can tell by my statistics that people aren’t doing that. In fact, while the first most popular page is page 1, the next most popular is page 5. Page 9 (where you make it compliant with IE) is only 1/2 as popular as page 5.

The thing is—this stuff is very picky. You have to follow the steps exactly, or it won’t work. In fact, it took me a long time and many trials and lots of errors before I could get it working well enough to write the articles and chapter. This means that it can be very frustrating.

In my opinion, the frustration is made up for by the benefits you get from using HTML5 for video and audio. You may disagree.

And if You Do Find an Error…

Please let me know. As I said above, I’m human, and I do make mistakes. But I can’t fix them if I don’t know about them, and since I tested it I think it works as I wrote it. So I don’t know about any errors. Please don’t hesitate to let me know about problems with the articles or the book when you find them. I’d really appreciate it and it might even help you get your video and audio working!

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