Treehouse NewsTVM: Now with 100% More HTML5 Video

writes on August 11, 2011

We’re really excited to let you know that as of this past Monday, Think Vitamin Membership is now rocking the HTML5 video tag for video playback.

Switching to using the video tag is something that we thought long and hard about. It has its pros and cons, with one of the biggest cons being that browser support for codecs is fairly fractured. In the end, though, we felt like we wouldn’t be true to our core values, namely “We support web standards”, if we didn’t make the change. We originally thought we’d upgrade to HTML5 video for Treehouse, but decided that we were too impatient to wait and wanted to make it available for everyone now.

As anyone who has tested out HTML5 video for their site knows, it’s pretty hard to make sure that every browser is supported. For that reason we’re using John Dyer’s excellent MediaElement.js player, which provides a great flash fallback that matches the style of the HTML5 player and offers a HTML5 video compatible API when using the Flash fallback. We needed support for closed captioning, and MediaElement.js was one of the only HTML5 video players that we found that supported captions out of the box. We’re really impressed with John’s work and highly recommend it.

We’re also excited to announce that we now track your video viewing history in Think Vitamin Membership now, so that you can see what videos you’ve watched in the past. Previously we stored what videos members had watched in cookies in their browser, and that wasn’t very useful for members who watch videos from more than one computer. Now you’ll see a full combined history for all of your computers. If you have cookies in your browser from past video viewing, though, don’t worry. We’ll log them when you hit the site so that they’ll be in your history as well. We’ve got some more neat futures planned for this history data that should be out in the upcoming months.

We’d love to hear your feedback on these new features. Feel free to email us at or leave a comment here on the blog. Of course, you can also learn how to use HTML5 video on your own sites in Think Vitamin Membership’s HTML5 Course.

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