Video File Formats

With so many different video file formats on the web it may be confusing which one to use. Different browsers and devices often support different video formats ( audio/video codecs/containers ) so we can’t just put any file format on website and expect it to play everywhere.

Some of the most common file containers are:

  • MP4 – this format has great support across all browsers and devices. It runs on almost all devices using HTML5 player without fallback to flash. This file format is recommended for all your videos
  • WebM – has good support but it will not play on all browsers ( mainly IE and Safari/iOS )
  • OGG/OGV – open container format, doesn’t work on most mobile devices and some browsers ( mainly IE and Safari/iOS )
  • FLV – runs in browsers that support flash. It will not play on most mobile devices

This is just an overview of video formats, for detailed list of support audio and video codecs refer to this page. Video playback may further depend on video player which you are using from within the theme.

From the list above, we can see that the best choice is MP4 video. If your videos are not already in MP4 format you can use some of the free programs to convert them. One of the popular converters is Miro Video Converter.

Server File Support

To improve file support you may need to set MIME type on server to be sent with HTTP request when users are viewing videos. For Apache, following should be added to .htaccess file:

AddType video/ogg .ogv
AddType video/mp4 .mp4
AddType video/webm .webm

For IIS, you can follow instructions on how to add MIME type from here

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