Enhancements for HTML5 videos in Firefox

7 October, 2011 § 17 Comments

There has been a lot of attention focused on enhancements for HTML5 videos recently. Here is a list of changes you can expect to see, as well as find out what is currently planned.

Available now in Firefox Beta

  • Added visual feedback when the HTML5 Media |stalled| event is dispatched*
  • Clicking on the video surface will toggle between play and pause*

Available now in Firefox Aurora

  • Specialized video controls for small-dimension media*
  • Viewing an HTML5 video directly now uses a prettier design that is more comforting for watching videos

Available now in Firefox Nightly

  • View video statistics overlaid on the video element (right-click on the video and choose “Show statistics”)*
  • Save the current frame of a video to disk (right-click on the video and choose “Save snapshot as…”)*

Features planned

  • Standalone images and videos will be rendered on a neutral background (potentially platform-specific styling)
  • Adding a full-screen button to the default video controls*
  • Large overlaid play button on videos that are not set to autoplay*
  • Viewing video statistics without the |controls| attribute set

* Requires the |controls| attribute is set on the <video> element.

Playing with the Firefox Add-on SDK

25 June, 2011 § 2 Comments

Tonight I got my first opportunity to play with the new Add-on SDK for Firefox. I used the Add-on Builder, Mozilla’s browser-based editor, to build the add-on as well as test it.

I’ve been thinking of different ways to improve the viewing experience of HTML5 <video> users. One of the ideas that myself and :dolske were thinking of was to add a full-tab playback of video to the browser. This is sort of a middle-ground between author-determined viewing sizes and full-screen.

Some of the benefits of full-tab playback are: (1) user-customizable sizing of the content, (2) easier for users to move playback from one screen to another, and (3) putting the browser into full-screen mode simulates full-screen playback very closely.

Some of the drawbacks of full-tab playback are: (1) not all of the screen space is used for playback of content, (2) a true full-screen mode will probably switch to use more hardware for the scaling, (3) the controls that are designed for normal playback don’t provide the best user experience at large resolutions.

I spent a couple hours making the add-on, and listed it on addons.mozilla.org (all for free, compared to a one-time $5 fee in the Chrome Web Store).

[Update 12/9/2014: The add-on is no longer available on AMO as the browser now provides native full-screen support for <video> and the add-on got out of date.]

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