Join Steve Heffernan for an in-depth discussion in this video Falling back to Flash, part of HTML5: Video and Audio in Depth.
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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.
- Understanding the differences in media formats
- Preloading, autoplaying, and looping in HTML5
- Setting a video's width and height attributes
- Displaying subtitles and captions
- Generating embed code with an embed code builder
- Encoding files using HandBrake, Firefogg, and VLC
- Creating a load progress bar
- Recognizing Android and iOS issues