Experimenting with HTML5 and WebM Video Format

Interesting! I read an article in Streaming Media magazine about methods of transcoding video to WebM format. Two seemed interesting, both free, one was Miro’s Video Converter:


The other was nice in that besides being free, it also allowed a lot more granular control of the transcoding process. It is a Firefox Plug-in called “FireFogg“:


It requires Firefox 3.5 or later. I tried it on my last Netcast video file, and the results were pretty impressive, here’s the HTML5 code used to stream it once the file was transcoded to WebM format:


<video controls width=”640″ height=”420″>
<source src=”DrBillTV021911V-176.webm”>
Your browser does not support the video tag.


View it at this link: Dr. Bill.TV Netcast #176

Also, try this… “click” along the timeline that appears as you “float” your mouse over it. Notice that you can “jump around” in the streamed video timeline to “pick up” anywhere along the timeline. Pretty nice! There are “high end” video streaming software that allows this, but this is VERY simple and totally free!

Pretty cool! Of course, you’ll have to use either Firefox or Chrome, or another browser that supports HTML5 to view it. For now, IE is right out! However, this may, indeed, be the future of webcasting! It sure is simple!

It was a fun Geek Project! Try it yourself if you have a need to!


  • IMCapture (former SkypeCap) is probably the best I’ve seen. Haven’t played around with it much yet though since I use a 4-way guest host Skype machine (aka the TWiT Skype-A-Saurus). I will use SkypeCap when I’m on the road however to capture video from multiple video participants in Skype. You have to have a premium Skype subscription though in order to have >2 video participants. It is enough that ONE of the Skype participants have this subscription though so its not that bad.

  • Can’t see your video, Dr., Bill. Player displays with a gray “x” in the middle. Firefox 3.6.

  • Strange, it works fine in Chrome. I just tried it in Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13 and it also didn’t work. Good to know. I don’t know why Chrome works but Firefox doesn’t … more research required! It does show that HTML 5 / WebM is a very, very early technology for use… you may be “leaving out” folks if you use it. Things to ponder.

  • Interesting update… it seems that Firefox does support HTML5 (specifically, the video tag) but NOT WebM as a codec. That is why my test in this post won’t work in Firefox, but does in Chrome. Google actively supports WebM.

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