Video Formats

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Video Formats

Video Formats

Specifics about video file formats is a bit beyond the scope of this course. What we really need is a list of best formats to use and some information on how to convert to those formats.

Flash video, often the format in which embedded video is presented for desktop browsers, generally won't work on mobile devices. Instead, we'll concentrate on three formats:

Video File Formats
Format File Extension Notes
MPEG 4 .mp4 Based on Apple older QuickTime format; supported natively in all browsers.
Ogg .ogv, .ogg Open source; unencumbered by patents; supported natively by Firefox >3.5, Opera >10.50, Chrome >3.0.
WebM .webm New (2010) format; supported natively by Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.

So to publish video - specifically, video able to be viewed on different desktop and smartphone browsers - we do the following:

  1. Take our original video file (the raw file from the camera).
  2. Convert it to each of the file formats above.
  3. Publish with the video tag.

The user sees a video player with their browser - whether it be Safari on an iPhone, Internet Explorer on a Windows PC desktop, or anything else - picking the video format that works best.

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