Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Solving Video Display Once and For All

I recently had the opportunity to do a small job which was to simply determine the best way to display video for a given device.

There are hundreds of browsers out there, and one size won't fit all!

Solving the problem was easy - once all the variables were determined! Every browser has it's preferred method of playing video files; in this case I was using MP4s.

When it comes to design, coding and laying out a website, it is very important to reduce everything to common denominators. The problem comes from varying proprietary offerings from the usual suspects: Microsoft, Apple and Google. Toss in a little third-party techno-warring from Adobe, JW Player and the like, and you have a confusing mix of possible solutions.

My approach was typical. How do we satisfy the most likely users with the least amount of work. Here was a simple logic grid.

- Google the most popular browsers (keeping in mind a fall back to a download link. IE: Netscape 2 c. 1995!)
- Find a player or players that would solve the problem.
- Code for native Apple player.
- Code for native MS player (yeah right)
- Code for Google Chrome

Then there were the mobile units such as the Android, the iPad, iPhone and various tablet operating systems - some which hate Flash. RIP Steve Jobs.

I ended up coding 5 separate solutions so that the video played on over 100 different browsers/devices.

If you are looking for expert help with video, drop me an email.