Wednesday, June 15, 2011

HTML5 Video File Conversions

I think the best part of HTML5 Video is getting to convert the source file into a billion different formats for all the browsers (note: sarcasm). For a while I was struggling with Adobe's Media Encoder, trying to get that to do my work. It never really rose to the challenge.

Recently I've been using Adobe just for the FLV/FLA files (for flash fall-back) and then using Miro's video converter for the rest. It works a lot better, but is still not fool proof. I've found that the iPad and iPhone formats are still a little hit or miss when I test on the various iOS versions out there. What I like about Miro, though, is that I don't need to tune every parameter for the mp4. All I do is pick iPad and it takes care of the rest. Beautiful.

Another option is zencoder which has a nice API you can use. This would be a great option if you had to convert uploaded video or if you had a ton of video and you wanted to programmatically convert it. Just wanted to throw that out there.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

iPhone, HTML5 Video & AWS: Movie format unsupported

I've been working hard on a website that will have a video section using HTML5 video with a flash video fall back. It has taken way longer than I ever expected. What a mess this has become, trying to support every browser's own format, and then trying to support old browsers on top of that. Yikes.

One particularly troubling part has been the iPhone/iPod Touch support for video. Using multiple video encoders (Miro, QuickTime Pro, and even Sony Vegas HD) I was unable to post any video on the web that did not cause the iPhone to say "This movie format is unsupported." And it was crap, because I knew it WAS supported. And, even worse, the video would sometimes work... randomly.

Well, after lots of pain and banging my head against the wall, I found it out it was because I was using HTTPS on Cloudfront. For some reason, iOS occasionally rejects the Amazon Cloudfront SSL/TLS. Nice.

So, just take the S off of the HTTPS when playing HTML5 video served from Cloudfront.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Flowplayer Flash Video and SetReturnValue

I recently set up a HTML5 video system with flash video fallback, for those crazy people with old browsers. is a great site for explaining how to do this. Use this with the site with the info here for a great solution.

Anyway, the flash fall back using Flowplayer commercial was giving me a bunch of issues on IE7 & IE8. One was there was an error that was being logged in the console about 'SetReturnValue' not being defined. Turns out, the <object> tag must have an ID. The example code I copied from VideoJs's front page didn't have this. So, make sure you have a unique id set.

The other issue had to do with Flowplayer's branding removal (with a commercial license). Turns out, the registered domain name is not for the domain the video is being played on, but the domain the swf file is loaded from. I had the swf files on a CDN and the branding was not removed. Just had to move it back to the main site and all was good.