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Adobe releases HTML5/Flash video widget

HTML5 Flash Hybrid Player

Achieve graceful fallback to Flash in this HTML5-based video player

HTML5 has been touted as the end of Flash video, but its been made abundantly clear that its just one tool in the video publisher’s toolbox, and is best used to reach a subset of viewers not served by Flash.

Adobe’s not standing still. Today they released the HTML5 Video Player Widget — a video player based on the Kaltura HTML5 Video Library that displays a compatible player (HTML5 or Flash) and compatible video codec to display based on the viewer’s browser and platform. Flash video formats, H.264, ogg-theora, and even the VP8 codec (coming soon) are supported. You will have to encode your video in all of the formats you specify, of course, but the player widget will determine the best format to deliver, along with a consistent HTML-based user interface.

The widget can be customized in the Widget Browser. There are not many options to customize, but you can set it to preload metadata, auto play, and loop. It comes with a couple of dozen skins or “themes” (including one cheekily called “cupertino”).

This is of course just a javascript/CSS library, so you don’t need Dreamweaver or the widget browser to use it. It does make it simpler, however. If you’ve never used the Widget Browser in Dreamweaver CS5 (I hadn’t), you just need to go to the little Extension Manager cog icon in the Dreamweaver menubar and choose Widget Browser. The first time you use it you’ll be prompted to log in using your Adobe.com account info. Once logged in you can choose from a vast array of available widgets. You’re looking for the HTML5 Video Player Widget. Once you select it and add it to your widgets, it will be available to you in Dreamweaver (under the Insert menu, choose Widget…), or you can just save the widget files to your local drive directly from the Widget Browser.

I’ve created a sample page here that lets you see the video player in action. I couldn’t include it here in my post, as it imports lots of code that WordPress doesn’t like, which isn’t very convenient.) I tested it in Firefox and in Chrome (both played the Ogg video). If you run into issues with the player, please post in the comments.

I think this widget will be useful, as it does provide a video solution for all devices. It’s as elegant as it can be, given the current fragmentation around HTML5 browsers and codecs. And its good to see Adobe diving into the fray and concentrating on providing the tools we need.

Posted in: HTML5, Prebuilt Players, Web Video News

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