Adobe Launches HTML5 Video Player Widget

With the rise of HTML5, Adobe's Flash has been positioned as the antagonist of the open standard. Increasingly, HTML5 is used to serve online videos though the matter is far from resolved.

Adobe has now released a widget which enables web developers to add HTML5 video support to their sites which falls back to Flash Player for browsers that don't support HTML5.

"HTML5 has received a tremendous amount of buzz, much of it driven by the potential for plugin-free video. However, the limited browser support for the HTML5 <video> tag has forced web designers to scramble for a solution that would work across platforms as well as browsers," Adobe writes on its Dreamweaver blog.

"To help customers overcome these challenges, Adobe has released an easy-to-use, totally CSS-customizable solution that shifts gracefully from the HTML5 <video> tag to the Flash Player when the tag is not supported. The shift takes place regardless of the screen—from phone to monitor to TV," Adobe announced.

The HTML5 Video Player widget enables web developers to generate code to add a HTML5-based player to their sites. This player will be the default and will load in browsers which come will full support for HTML5 as well as the codec of choice, another issue with HTML5 video.

However, if, for some reason, the browser can't playback HTML5 video, a classic Flash-based player is loaded.

Adobe's HTML5 video player is based on the Kaltura open-source library also used by the Wikimedia foundation to power video content on Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Commons.

The player is available through the Adobe Widget Browser which can be accessed from Dreamweaver CS5, but can also be run independently. You will need Adobe AIR for the stand-alone version.

The message Adobe is trying to send is clear, the company doesn't perceive HTML5 as a threat. Whether or not that's true doesn't really matter, Adobe needs to win over web developers if it wants to maintain its position.

It has been gaining a friend in Google, but Apple is becoming increasingly weary of Flash, with the recently released Apple MacBook Air shipping without Flash bundled.

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