Flash and HTML5 Video: YouTube’s perspective on the video tag

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 | Business | by

In conversations with designers and developers we have been discussing the pro and cons of using HTML5 video instead of Flash.  Sites that support iPad / iPhone need HTML5 as an option, and recently has been driving project’s to require non Flash video.

YouTube’s API Blog published an article yesterday, Flash and the HTML5 <video> tag, which goes over the major points of the argument from one of the most influential players in the Flash vs. HTML5 market.  It’s important to keep in mind while reading, that YouTube is owned by Google, and is positioned opposite Apple on many issues (this is far from impartial, but the points are applicable anyway).

From the article:

It’s important to understand what a site like YouTube needs from the browser in order to provide a good experience for viewers as well as content creators. We need to do more than just point the browser at a video file like the image tag does – there’s a lot more to it than just retrieving and displaying a video. The <video> tag certainly addresses the basic requirements and is making good progress on meeting others, but the <video> tag does not currently meet all the needs of a site like YouTube

Points covered include:

  • Standard Video Format
  • Robust video streaming
  • Content Protection
  • Encapsulation + Embedding
  • Fullscreen Video
  • Camera and Microphone access

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