Browser Compatibility. Flash Video with HTML5 Fallback.

HLS is not supported by Firefox on OSX

HLS is not supported by Firefox on OSX

H.263, H.264, H.265, VP8, VP9, .flv, .mpv, .ogg, .webm, .m3u8, …

I know what you’re thinking:

“What the hack are all these acronyms?!”

It is good to learn some acronyms, here is a great Video File Format Overview.


My demo site was launched about two years ago in Nov 2012. The objective was to show how to use EdgeCast services to increase web performance. The demo site is for myself and my customers. It is my pleasure that there are people find it useful too. I used Mac and iPhone to develop the demos. I tested if the demos were compatible on OSX and iOS. That’s all. I didn’t spend much effort in cross-platform compatibility, until recently. I received compatibility questions from visitors and they told me that my site did not render correctly on IE. I have a coming project on 13-Nov-2014 which requires cross-platform browser support. Now is the time to spend more effort on compatibility.

From Google Analytics I know that most of the demo site visitors are PC desktop users and using Chrome. From NetMarketShare, IE 11 is the number one in desktop browser popularity. Large portion of  mobile users are on iOS. In order to help most of my demo site visitors to see the site correctly, I think I have to support IE 11 and Chrome on Windows 7, Chrome/Safari/Firefox on OS X, as well Safari on iOS 8.

google analytics

Users demographics from the app Analytiks and Analytics To Go.


6 browsers. And a lot of work! They support different content formats. For example, regarding videos, Safari on OSX and iOS support mp4 and m3u8 while IE/Windows, Chrome/OSX and Firefox/OSX do not. In order to have my video demos work on these 6 browsers, they have to support Flash video for desktop users, .m3u8/.mp4/.webm for mobile users. Or in more professional wordings, I need a Flash Video with HTML5 Fallback strategy to cater my user demographics. Assuming desktop user is more probable, my site will try to send Flash video content via RTMP first, then send .m3u8 (for live streaming), .mp4 or .webm (for VOD) if Flash video is not support by user device.

I spend me some efforts to put up the two new demos with Flash Video with HTML5 Fallback strategy:
#28 CDN video: Flash Video with HTML5 Fallback for VOD
#29 CDN video: Flash Video with HTML5 Fallback for Live Video

It is cool that I check these two demos work on IE 11/Windows 7, Safari/Chrome/Firefox on OS X 10.9 and 10.10, as well as iOS 8! My demos are now much more user-friendly.



For my mid-Nov project, software part is ready. I need to prepare the hardware portion. Let’s talk hardware next time!

App mentioned:
Analytics To Go

Other recommendations:
Security Now #477 podcast: Payment Tokenization – how Apple Pay works in details technically
Exponent #023 podcast: Apple Pay – how Apple Pay and payment industry works, commercially
For Mac Eyes Only podcast: Getting a Charge Outta Your Mac – how to maintain MacBook battery

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