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Falling back to Flash

From: HTML5: Video and Audio in Depth

Video: Falling back to Flash

So now we have our video and audio embedded in a page using HTML5 and we've provided multiple versions of the source so that all HTML5 browsers can play back the media. The next step is to provide a playback method for browsers and devices that don't support HTML5 media. This can be any browser below the versions you see here, which include IE version 6, 7, and 8. This could be as much as 50% of your audience, so it's going to be important to account for them. Now there are many different options for possible fallback technologies including Flash, Silverlight, QuickTime, and Java. I'm going to go with Flash because it's the most widely supported and most widely used plug-in for web video.

Falling back to Flash

So now we have our video and audio embedded in a page using HTML5 and we've provided multiple versions of the source so that all HTML5 browsers can play back the media. The next step is to provide a playback method for browsers and devices that don't support HTML5 media. This can be any browser below the versions you see here, which include IE version 6, 7, and 8. This could be as much as 50% of your audience, so it's going to be important to account for them. Now there are many different options for possible fallback technologies including Flash, Silverlight, QuickTime, and Java. I'm going to go with Flash because it's the most widely supported and most widely used plug-in for web video.

Still, many of these instructions will apply to other fallback options as well. So what we need is a Flash Player embed code. If you already have a Flash Player for your website, you can feel free to use that. I'm going to be using the Flash Media Playback Player, which is a free and hosted Flash video player by Adobe that's easy to configure. I'm going to go ahead and do that for our podcast. Our file is going to be hosted at explorecalifornia.org. And it has to be hosted online.

It can't be hosted on your computer. Because this player is hosted on another web site, you can't refer to your source as if it's on your web site. So our source is in the video assets folder and we're going to use the podcast.mp4 source, because MP4 is the version that will play in Flash. All right let's configure the rest of these options. Using HTTP Streaming? No, we're not. The width of our video is 480 pixels and the height is 300. Control Bar Position, need to be Docked or Floating.

I'm just going to leave it Docked. Autohide. That's fine. For the poster, we have a poster. I'm going to use the same URL for my source, but the file is podcast-poster.jpg. Include button overlay? That's the big play button in the middle. We'll leave that. Autoloop, no. Autoplay, no. We don't want either of those. We configure it and go down to Preview and click that and we can see it's built our Flash Player for us. (Music playing) And it works how we want it to.

So great, that was easy. Now what we can do is take this object embed code and copy it and bring it over to our code. Now if you're following along, in the exercise files, we're now in the 3-01 folder in the video.htm file. And up into this point we have had just a simple paragraph that says, Your browser does not support HTML5 video. But we can use this error for any type of fallback and so this is where we're going to put our Flash Player. We can just paste that in the place of our paragraph. So I'm going to save that and now I'm going to go view this in a version of Opera that's prior to the version of Opera that supported HTML5 video so we can actually see what happens when the browser falls back to Flash.

If you have a PC and Internet Explorer 6, 7 or 8, you can do the same thing with either of those browsers. So I'll go to Opera. I haven't reloaded the page yet so we can see what it looks like when it falls back with just the paragraph. So you can see here it says, Your browser does not support HTML5 video. Now if we reload the page, we can see it fallback to Flash, and it's worked and we can... (Music playing) Play and it works as expected. All right, so that's how you use a Flash video player as your fallback for HTML5 video.

If you're working with HTML5 audio, you will add your Flash audio player's embed code in exact same way we did for video. We don't have a Flash audio player yet. I would suggest the WordPress Audio Player, which you can see here. It's a nice compact player and it sounds like it's just for WordPress, you can actually download a standalone version that will work for any site. You can find that under the Standalone version link. If you're interested in learning more about Flash video players or Flash media playback, there's another great lynda tutorial called Publishing Video with the Flash Platform you should check out.

What we just covered should do the job of a Flash fallback for you, so you can deliver a video to all your users that don't support HTML5 video and audio.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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HTML5: Video and Audio in Depth

37 video lessons · 14502 viewers

Steve Heffernan
Author

 
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  1. 1m 24s
    1. Welcome
      42s
    2. Using the exercise files
      42s
  2. 15m 18s
    1. Understanding HTML5 video and audio
      4m 46s
    2. The state of HTML5 video and audio
      4m 29s
    3. Understanding the format war
      3m 53s
    4. Configuring your server to deliver HTML5 media formats
      2m 10s
  3. 32m 36s
    1. Using the video and audio tags
      5m 34s
    2. Using multiple sources for browser compatibility
      5m 53s
    3. Preloading
      4m 16s
    4. Autoplaying
      2m 2s
    5. Looping
      5m 11s
    6. Setting a poster frame
      3m 43s
    7. Setting the video width and height
      3m 40s
    8. Displaying subtitles and captions
      2m 17s
  4. 12m 40s
    1. Falling back to Flash
      4m 4s
    2. Falling back to download links
      6m 21s
    3. Using an embed code builder
      2m 15s
  5. 22m 17s
    1. Understanding HTML5 video formats
      5m 10s
    2. Understanding HTML5 audio formats
      2m 57s
    3. Encoding MP4/H.264 video with HandBrake
      3m 13s
    4. Encoding Ogg, Theora, and WebM with Firefogg
      3m 18s
    5. Encoding audio formats with VLC
      5m 54s
    6. Automating video and audio encoding
      1m 45s
  6. 34m 59s
    1. Setting up the JavaScript
      4m 39s
    2. Creating Play and Pause buttons
      7m 52s
    3. Creating a Play Progress bar
      5m 49s
    4. Creating a Load Progress bar
      9m 29s
    5. Creating a Current Time and Duration display
      7m 10s
  7. 4m 37s
    1. Overview of known issues
      35s
    2. Autobuffer or preload?
      56s
    3. Load progress in Firefox 3.6
      41s
    4. Android 2.0 issues
      1m 5s
    5. iOS 3 issues
      1m 20s
  8. 2m 8s
    1. Flight of the Navigator
      50s
    2. ZEN Audio Player by simurai
      34s
    3. The Wilderness Downtown by Google and Arcade Fire
      44s
  9. 1m 40s
    1. Further exploration
      1m 40s

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