If you haven’t been keeping tabs on HTML5, the new version of HTML currently underdevelopment, you might be interested in this cool project created by Google and Arcade Fire (my new favorite band). The project is called The Wilderness Downtown and is meant to show off HTML5’s new video tag. Just enter your zip code and sit back for a pretty cool ride.
The problem with video in the past has been its multiple formats–essentially, there are dozens of ways of compressing video data (big) into video for the web (small). So, companies like Adobe, Apple, and Microsoft have all developed their own particular formats–and their own web browser plugins to play their video format. The result is a sort of mish-mash of formats; you’re never quite sure if your browser will be able to play the video on a given site.
HTML5 tries to get around this by making a simple video tag which will automatically allow all HTML5-compliant browsers to play video without a plugin, no matter the format. At least, this is the goal. Right now, not all browsers support HTML5 (I’m looking at you, IE8), and HTML5 currently works with only MPEG-4 formats. I am dying to try it out, though, so here goes. The following clip is of Josephine Tucker, the subject of a new book I am working on during my sabbatical. In this clip, Josephine remembers a story that her grandmother used to tell her. You’ll need Google Chrome to view it.