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Exploring HTML 5's Audio/Video Multimedia Support

Nov 17, 2009, 15:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kurt Cagle)

"Many years ago, when I was first getting started as a programmer, much of the work that I did was focused on the development of multimedia applications (programs that combined video, audio, animation, and text) in order to build presentations and computer games. I did most of this work using Macromedia Director in the early 1990s. The idea of developing even audio—let alone video—apps on the web was pretty much a pipe-dream until the debut of RealNetworks, which provided the first major streaming technology that enabled developers to send buffered media content over the Internet. Later, RealNetworks allowed embedding media content within web pages.

"The idea of specific video and audio tags within HTML would have been technically impossible in HTML 3 and even somewhat infeasible in HTML 4. Because HTML 4.0 essentially was a "frozen" version, the specific mechanism for displaying content has been very much format dependent (e.g., Apple QuickTime Movies and Flash video) and usually relies upon tags with varying parameters for passing the relevant information to the server. As a result, video and audio embedding on web pages has become something of a black art."

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