On Wednesday, I gave a talk at Google about WebVTT, the Web Video Text Track file format that is under development at the WHATWG for solving time-aligned text challenges for video.
I started by explaining all the features that WebVTT supports for captions and subtitles, mentioned how WebVTT would be used for text audio descriptions and navigation/chapters, and explained how it is included into HTML5 markup, such that the browser provides some default rendering for these purposes. I also mentioned the metadata approach that allows any timed content to be included into cues.
The talk slides include a demo of how the <track> element works in the browser. I’ve actually used the Captionator polyfill for HTML5 to make this demo, which was developed by Chris Giffard and is available as open source from GitHub.
The talk was recorded and has been made available as a Google Tech talk with captions and also a separate version with extended audio descriptions.
The slides of the talk are also available (best to choose the black theme).
I’ve also created a full transcript of the described video.
Get the WebVTT specification from the WHATWG Website.
At the recent Linux conference in Brisbane, Australia, I promised a free copy of my book to the person that could send me the best idea for an HTML5 video application. I later also tweeted about it.
While I didn’t get many emails, I am still impressed by the things people want to do. Amongst the posts were the following proposals:
- Develop a simple video cutting tool to, say setting cut points and having a very simple backend taking the cut points and generating quick enough output. The cutting doesn’t need to retranscode.
- Develop a polyfill for the track element
- Use HTML5 video, especially the tracking between video and text, to better present video from the NZ Parliament.
- Making a small MMO game using WebGL, HTML5 audio and WebSockets. I also want to use the same code for desktop and web.
These are all awesome ideas and I found it really hard to decide whom to give the free book to. In the end, I decided to give it to Brian McKenna, who is working on the MMO game – simply because it it is really pushing the boundaries of several HTML5 technologies.
Thanks to everyone who started really thinking about this and sent in a proposal!