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The Not Ready For Prime Time HTML 5 Players

The Not Ready For Prime Time HTML 5 Players

by Zach Scott on March 31, 2010

With the iPad just days away from arriving at the doorsteps of nerds across America, the rumble of torch and pitchfork wielding nerds storming the Adobe castle is rising again.  There are two main camps in the whole Apple vs. Adobe battle. There are those who complain to Apple for not including Flash in the iPhone and in the forthcoming iPad and than there is the camp of people who at the wheel of the backhoe digging the hole to burry Flash in.  The Moses attempting to part the chopping waters of flash and html developers is HTML 5. HTML 5 is praised as the new upcoming web development standard that will bring unity and conformity to the web.

Youtube and Vimeo have both started to dip their toes in the murky water, following HTML 5s lead, and have HTML5 video players in beta. If you are using a compatible player like Safari and Chrome, give the players a try for yourself by going to youtube.com/testtube and clicking on the try it out link for HTML 5 and there are links on compatible videos on Vimeo below the player to switch to the HTML 5 player.

First of all, let’s start with the good, to me the quality of the video seems pretty good and jumping around videos in a little better too. You don’t have to worry about flash always crashing on you as it is built in as part of the HTML 5 standard.

But, that’s about all that is good, at least yet. The main drawlback for seems to be the lack of the buffering bar at the bottom of the players that I have seen. This is especially frustrating when you have a slow connection or just youtube is slow for some reason.  Also not all the functionality of their regualr flash players haven’t been integrated into the HTML 5 versions, like with vimeo you can’t embed the HTML 5 version and you can’t watch the videos full screen; when you click the full screen button, the video blows up to take up the entire browser window. With youtube, videos that have ads, which is many of the videos from youtube parteners and youtube stars don’t work with the HTML 5 player, is reverets back to the flash player.

HTML 5 is coming, but I’m not ready to bury flash just yet. Certainly web designers need to be thinking about their audience and what devices they are using. The days of the flash splash page are hopefully all behind us and the end of sites made entirely in flash is not soon enough. I think it will take the push of several large sites such as CBS has announced that they are moving to HTML 5 and for them to blaze the trail and fix the bugs for the rest of the internet to begin to make the shift over to HTML 5.

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