Since the OER meeting we have been exploring the issues around streaming video on mobile phones and tablets. It appears the latter is easier than the former! We have also been exploring all the web pages of those we met up with at the meeting to see how we can collaborate to stream data from these sites into Synote Mobile but more on that later!
The state of HTML 5 and video is well explained by LongTail Video and it looks as if this is the way to go when one wants to deliver a cross platform service. However, there are issues around fullscreen viewing with iPhones as the video is not presented within the webpage so is no longer browser based as can be seen from the BBC news screen grabs taken on an iPhone 4S.
This fullscreen issue makes it impossible to add captions unless they are included when the video is made. Closed captioning is explained by Longtail video.com with the support provided by JWPlayer and it is clear that external files will be unable to be read with the method presently used by iPhones for rendering videos.
There are several pros and cons when researching the different HTML 5 players and the methods they use to support captioning. A recent blog on Salt Websites offers several options, but the author has come to the same conclusion that we have reached namely:
“Now after all this effort to get your videos working on iOS I have to give you the bad news – the iPhone does not show subtitles! They put the video into full-screen mode and ignore the subtitles. ”
The gauntlet has been thrown down …