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Audio Video Encoding and players

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Christopher KeyAudio Video Encoding and players
by on Feb 15, 2011 at 7:38:21 am

I'm new to web design but due to the projects I'm getting involved in I need to have several websites with a lot of audio video content spread out through them. I shoot a lot of HD video on my and a video blog for one project might be good promotion. I own the CS3 master collection so I have Dreamweaver and Flash. I have many questions but my first here is about audio/video - Can anyone point me to info on current best practices for encoding video and audio for the web. I'm also wondering about delivery. Since I shoot and edit video for a living my life depends on having good looking video. I'm also a musician so I'd like to put up all my music. It would be really cool to have a video player that could hold multiple sources, is reliable and easy to manage and a music/mp3 player that can handle song ;libraries easily. I'm willing to pay for the players if it will save me time and make my life easier. Thanks in advance.

Christopher Key

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Mike SmithRe: Audio Video Encoding and players
by on Feb 15, 2011 at 9:26:42 am

Specific prebuilt Flash players with decent reputations include and

It might be worth starting with the longtail player.

There's also which might be worth exploring : or search for a Flash player with HTML5 / iOS support.

Otherwise, you are entering a hot zone. Flash has been the dominant force in web video for some time, using different codecs inside a Flash video wrapper. This provides great flexibility and programmability, and works on nearly all desktop platforms.

But in recent times Apple has sold a lot of iPhones and iPads (with good web browsing capability), and does not support Flash video on these devices.

So as of today, unless you can find a way of combining Flash and iOS support, you are probably looking at having at least two solutions : something for Apple using H.264 encoding and no specific video player, relying on HTML5 video playback on Apple devices, and something using a Flash player for the users without HTML 5 support - likely to be the majority, for the next period, as Microsoft has no plans to support HTML 5 except in the almost-released IE 9 on Windows 7 and Vista. Windows XP is likely to be around for a good while yet (there's still a sizeable proportion of people on the web relying on IE6).

HTML 5 is nowhere near an agreed or finalised specification, and so browsers billed as HTML 5 today can and do support different subsets of the provisional HTML 5 spec in different ways. There's no agreement on potential video codecs support in HTML 5, with Apple and Microsoft favouring H.264 (on which they receive royalty payments) and Firefox, Chrome, Opera and others favouring WebM. This is unfortunate for developers looking for a neat, single solution.

Video for Everybody is another approach to resolving this :

This might be helpful too

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Christopher KeyRe: Audio Video Encoding and players
by on Feb 15, 2011 at 8:37:18 pm

Ok I looked at all these players and sites and now I'm really confused - lol - it's starting to look like if I want to put a lot of video on my site I'm going to have to render each one into five different formats to make sure its accessible (this =s uploading hell). Maybe I should just post videos to youtube or vimeo and then embed them on my page? Of course I wanted to have a sight with no advertising and without links leading people away to youtube or vimeo. For now I downloaded JW player from longtail video - it works with both flash and html5. I'll buy a license for it if I can get it working and I like the way it performs. Thanks for your help.

Christopher Key

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Mike SmithRe: Audio Video Encoding and players
by on Feb 15, 2011 at 11:17:07 pm

It is bad.

The JW Player solution, for the near term, if it works for you, could probably work with just a single encode, to H.264 to suit Apple's iOS devices supported by Apple HTML 5 and to play within the Flash player on everything else?

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Mike SmithRe: Audio Video Encoding and players
by on Feb 17, 2011 at 10:39:58 am

Though I'm wondering whether a swfobject-style Flash inclusion plus alternative content in html5 / video format might do what's needed ... must test this soon.

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