Archive for the ‘webM’ Category

HTML5 Browser Support Growing Fast; Chrome Takes 33% Market Share [Report]

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
HTML5 Browser Support Growing Fast; Chrome Takes 33% Market Share [Report]80% of browsers support HTML5 video technology and Chrome has a 33% share of that market, the biggest piece of the pie compared to others like Firefox and IE9+ which only have a 14% share. On the mobile front iOS and Android account for 8% each of total HTML5 browser installs.

H.265 Video Codec Approved, Will it Revolutionize Video?

Monday, January 28th, 2013
H.265 Video Codec Approved, Will it Revolutionize Video?H.264 is pretty much the de facto codec for video compression online these days. WebM isn't even supported in Android, nor just about anywhere else. So Google seems to have moved on to other projects instead of pushing for that. Now, H.265 is ready to ...

How to Diagnose and Fix (not set) Visits from Flowplayer in Google Analytics

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012
How to Diagnose and Fix (not set) Visits from Flowplayer in Google Analytics

Webmasters using Flowplayer 3.2 or earlier may have woken up to a pleasant surprise in Google Analytics the day after implementation. Visits doubled overnight, but how is that possible? Don’t get too excited because half of those visits are most likely fake visits. Flowplayer 3.2 or earlier has its own built-in analytics code, which clashes and conflicts with Google Analytics. Whether or not these issues have been fixed in the newly released 5.0 is still questionable.

Here’s a few tips for understanding, diagnosing and fixing the issues between Flowplayer and Google Analytics.

Visits doubled in the month of February as soon as Flowplayer was set up

Cause of the Flowplayer Analytics Issue

Flowplayer has its own custom analytics code embedded within the service. This tracking causes clashes with Google Analytics if the video is tagged as an Event in GA. The Events set up on Flowplayer videos get triggered as if they were interacted with even though the user may not actually interact with the video. The clash causes the Google Analytics tracking code to generate a second visitor ID, which doubles the number of visits. All of the fake visits show up as (not set) in Google Analytics as a result of not being an actual visit.

Not Set showed up as the top landing page during a two week span after launching Flowplayer

Diagnosing the Flowplayer Issue in Google Analytics

Diagnosing Flowplayer issues in Google Analytics is quite simple. The first step is to closely monitor Google Analytics on a daily basis after launching a Flowplayer video. The area to monitor closely is landing pages and page depth. Since this issue creates fake visits, there will be no landing page or page depth for the fake visits, and will show up as (not set) in GA. If (not set) shows up anywhere in GA, there is most likely a problem with one of the Events set up in GA. If any of the Events have been triggered much more than any realistically would be, you may have discovered the source of your issue. Flowplayer does not agree with Events tracking codes.

An advanced segment used for correcting the (not set) issue

How to Fix the Flowplayer Analytics Issue

Since the data collected in Google Analytics has already been skewed due to this issue, an advanced segment will be needed to filter out the fake visits. In most cases, excluding the dimension “page depth” of less than one will filter out the (not set) visits.
The event tracking code will also need to be customized to work with FlowPlayer. The first set of code is the stock version of the analytics tracking code provided by FlowPlayer. The second set of code is the fixed version of the code.

Stock analytics code from flash.flowplayer.org

<script src="flowplayer/flowplayer-3.2.11.min.js"></script>
<script>
(function() {
$f("player", "flowplayer/flowplayer-3.2.15.swf", {
plugins: {
gatracker: {
url: "flowplayer/flowplayer.analytics-3.2.8.swf",
accountId: "UA-######-#",
events: { all: true }
}
}
});
})();
</script>

Fixed version:

Benefits:
1. Start and Finish will be treated as non-interactive events. This will make your bounce rates more accurate.
2. Event tracking Visitor ID will match with the trackPageview Visitor ID.
3. No extra bandwidth used by downloading an additional swf.

<script src="flowplayer/flowplayer-3.2.11.min.js"></script>
<script>
(function() {
function trackEvent(options) {
options = options || {};
options = {
category : options.category || "Video",
action : options.action || "",
label : options.label || "",
value : options.value || null,
noninteractive : options.noninteractive || false
}
options.label += ""; // Coerce this into a string.
_gaq.push(["_trackEvent", options.category, options.action, options.label, options.value, options.noninteractive]);
}
$f("player", "flowplayer/flowplayer-3.2.15.swf", {
clip: {
onStart: function() {
trackEvent({ action: "Started", noninteractive: true });
},
onPause: function() {
trackEvent({ action: "Pause", label: this.getTime() });
},
onResume: function() {
trackEvent({ action: "Resume", label: this.getTime() });
},
onFinish: function() {
trackEvent({ action: "Finished", noninteractive: true });
}
}
});
})();
</script>


Browser Adoption of HTML5 Video Continues to Grow, But Still Not Complete

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
Browser Adoption of HTML5 Video Continues to Grow, But Still Not Complete

LongTail Video just released the update to their longstanding State of HTML5 Video which gives everyone a clear cut, easy to read guide to what parts of the HTML5 <video> tag are supported, by what browser and to what extent. At present, 79% of the market can now play HTML5 video, that's a pretty good percentage and shows that if you've been dragging your feet it's time to think about compatibility.

Aside from the old versions of Internet Explorer (6-8) and some mobile phone browsers, HTML5 video will play just about everywhere. Chrome and Firefox lead the way with 49% of the market and the non-Flash platforms make up for just 17% (iOS, Android and other mobile phones).

Browser/Device Market Share HTML5 Video Flash Video
Chrome 30% Yes Yes
Firefox 19% Yes Yes
Internet Explorer 9 16% Yes Yes
Internet Explorer 6/7/8 13% No Yes
Safari 4% Yes Yes
Opera 1% Yes Yes
iOS 5% Yes No
Android 4% Yes No
Other (feature phones) 8% No No

Connected TVs and game consoles aren't included in the report. They say it's because the first has too small an install base and the second doesn't have adequate browsing. Additionally, both are more app based anyway.

HTML5 Video File Format

Over the past year we've seen support for WebM dwindle. Android, Google's own OS, only supports MP4 which doesn't bode well for the upstart free media format. Currently only Firefox and Opera are listed as supporting only WebM while Chrome supports both. On the audio front it breaks down the same way, AAC and MP3 are supported on all but Opera and Firefox which are still pushing Vorbis. Meanwhile, Chrome supports all three.

The WebM project hasn't had a blog update since May 11th but over the last year gained hardware decoding and a lot of other support. It seems that everyone's energies have shifted from the MP4/WebM "war" to the HTML5/Flash "war." I know, I often call them wars myself but it's not really, all of them can co-exist and right now, need to because there are some things that can't be done in HTML5 and WebM, plus, competition is good for technology as it helps push things forward.

Browser/Device Video Formats Audio Formats Multiple Sources
Chrome MP4, WebM AAC, MP3, Vorbis Yes
Firefox WebM Vorbis Yes
Internet Explorer MP4 AAC, MP3 Yes
Safari MP4 AAC, MP3 Yes
iOS MP4 AAC, MP3 Yes
Android MP4 AAC, MP3 Yes
Opera WebM Vorbis Yes
View Details View Details View Details

From the LongTail report:

Note we have not included the Ogg video format in our tests. This format is not widely used and of lower quality than MP4 and WebM. Firefox 3.6, which is quickly phasing out, is the only browser version that supports Ogg but not WebM today.

What Is and Isn't Supported?

As I just mentioned there are some limitations in what each format can and cannot do and some things that browsers do and don't support. IE doesn't support Preload and it's completely ignored in iOS and Android, as is Autoplay. The mobiles usually skip some controls like volume, as they have buttons for it.

As for IE 9:

Internet Explorer ignores the preload=noneattribute, which prevent the desktop browsers from reaching a perfect score. The implication here is that IE9 loads a part of your MP4 upon each pageview, instead of waiting until a user actually starts the video. This may add to a substantial increase in your streaming costs.

The Javascript API is a bit more complex, still. Android? Nope. (Come on Google!) iOS? Sure, but not Playback or Volume (already discussed). Other than that, loading, buffering, playback, seeking and volume are all supported in the browsers.

Fullscreen is a mixed bag with Opera and IE skipping that control and playback function, everyone else is green light for go!.

HTML5 Text Tracks

Pretty much a major fail all around (except for Safari) is Text Track support. I have to believe there's a major push to get it implemented with the new mandates on closed captions for online video ramping.

Along with closed captions, keyboard control is also needed for accessibility compliance. Chrome and Safari haven't got it. iOS and Android don't always have keyboards which leaves FF, IE and Opera all supporting it. Shame on Chrome and Safari!

Live and Adaptive Streaming

Finally, live streaming is growing in popularity and its business uses, but none of the browsers support it except for Safari and iOS. Meanwhile on the adaptive streaming side….NONE support it. BOO! You would think that iOS and Android would be hard at work to support that. However, LongTail had this to say about it:

Note that every HTML5 browser supports seeking to not-yet-downloaded portions of the video by using HTTP 1.1 range-requests. Compared to Flash (which cannot do that), it reduces the need for adaptive streaming, as it enables the fast seeking feature.

Overall

The LongTail State of HTML5 doesn't address things like DRM which is a key capability if the major studios are going to get on board with allowing their content to flip over. Without DRM they lose control of their content and we all know how much they hate that. Adaptive bitrate streaming might not be a major deal anymore with faster mobile data networks and the abundance of Wi-Fi these days, but it, and live streaming, are still major pieces of the puzzle that need to be solved before HTML5 becomes the overall standard in my opinion. Additionally, there's still that thing about the MP4 license not being completely royalty free as it's owned by a licensing group. That means it's not a completely open and free protocol and that goes against the spirit and letter of the HTML standard.