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Make Your Videos Playable Everywhere: Flash and HTML5 Explained

The people at Adobe can expect a few goodies in the mail.

"I should really be sending a gift basket to Adobe, something with maybe a fine bottle of wine, because I'm basically a highly paid sanitation worker," said Robert Reinhard, creator of VideoRX.com, at the start of his Streaming Media East session on optimizing video for HTML5 and Flash.

"I'm cleaning up a mess right now. I'm not really joking when I say that. People are panicking right now, the trash is in the streets, and people need it cleaned up. We'll attempt to do part of that sanitation today," he added.

That mess is the fragmented online video delivery landscape. While the industry seems to be moving to HTML5, it's not there yet, and guaranteeing playback for both Flash-enabled and HTML5 browsers can be tricky.

With high energy and quick wit, Reinhardt explained the first steps companies need to take:

"Defining your reach is potentially the most important thing that you need to do on every video project. It doesn't matter if you're internal to a company or you work on your clients' -- you take on a new client every new project, whatever it is -- every client has a different objective, every stakeholder has a different objective," said Reinhardt.

Rating the importance of different features is a good way to begin player development, he said, and is something he does with all his clients at the beginning of a project.

"You don't even need to be at this conference if all you want to do is put up a simple video on a blog, right? There's plenty of tools that exist today to do really basic video playback. The devil's in the details," Reinhardt explained. "You want to start to do more complicated things, the things that Flash and other technologies have enabled us as integrators, content producers, over the last ten years, that's where things get messy right now."

The next step is to look at the resources needed to create the player. Reinhardt then covered topics such as video codecs, the state of HTML5, features available to video players, and adaptive streaming.

Watch the video below to view the full session and download Reinhardt's presentation as a PDF file.

Troy Dreier's article first appeared on OnlineVideo.net

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