As we are deluding ourselves here into thinking it’s snowing in Barcelona, I thought it appropriate to post some videos from the past few snowboarding trips.
Coincidentally, this is my first foray into the HTML5 video world – more on that later.
Let’s start with my favorite, the one where I show off how years of gymnastics in my youth help me keep my body in one piece:
(Also notice the cool new orange snowboard pants that I settled on. Snowboard fashion was really boring this year, mostly grey and black only, with some ugly flashy colours as exceptions. I leave it to you to judge whether orange is one of them).
We spent eight full days in Tignes, France, with only about three days of sunny weather, and the rest filled with clouds and snow.
My goal this year was to learn how to do a 180. With the help of an instructor, that’s exactly what I did! Here’s an admittedly simple one – all the good ones are not caught on video.
Here’s a more aggressive one with a bad ending:
A few weeks before our snowboard trip, we also had a business planning weekend which included one day of skiing. Xavier risked life and limb following me around with his iPhone to record this. It’s not the most exciting descent in the world, and he ended up missing my one fall in it, but I was surprised to see how short the whole descent really is if you don’t take any time to stop!
And here are Xavi and me relaxing over cheese fondue and raclette the day before the skiing:
Some notes about the HTML5 video part:
- there is an enormous difference in colour between playing Ogg in Firefox, MP4 in Safari, and MP4 in Quicktime, on the same MacBook. My pants range from a soft orange to a bright red. Something is obviously up!
- To learn about HTML5, I started with Dive into HTML5 Video, then learned about Video for Everybody, some web code that handles all of the stuff I don’t know how to do for me and just makes sure the video can play on Firefox/Chrome/Safari/iPhone/…
- Then I looked for WordPress integration, and found a plugin with a long name that implemented most of Video for Everybody. I modified it a little to do something more sensible for the poster image in case it’s external, and to accept .mp4 as an extension instead of .m4v (which is not suggested by Dive into HTML)
- I configured our transcoding platform to generate the three types of output file needed to support HTML5: the thumbnail, Ogg/Theora/Vorbis, and .mp4 with H264 and AAC.
The embedded video should work fine in Firefox/Safari/Chrome/iPhone/Opera (except in Aitor’s “I plug mplayer into Opera” case), and work fine in Explorer too where it falls back to Flash.
I couldn’t get this to work in Android. 2.0 is rumoured to support the video tag, but so far no dice, and I couldn’t find a single HTML5 video page online that the Android phones over here can play. If you can see these videos embedded in Android, or know what I should to fix them, please do let me know!