MediaElement.js & My Guelph Accessibility Presentation



January 03, 2012

Me presenting at the Guelph Accessibility ConferenceReally like this article: An In Depth Analysis of HTML5 Multimedia and Accessibility.

Last May I gave a talk at Guelph's 2011 Accessibility Conference. I wanted to raise awareness about aspects of the Drupal 7 accessibility improvements could be used as an example. The video was recorded by the University & I was sent a copy of it so that I could upload it here. I do think that the university may also upload a copy at some point, but there were delays and I had ideas within the presentation that I wanted to share.

I was sent a 187meg Windows Media Video (WMV) file from Patricia Shaver (University of Guelph staff) and wanted to display it in native HTML5 so I used the free Miro Video Converter so that I could convert it into a modern web format. One of the tricks however with HMTL5 is that there is no single flash video replacement tool out there, there is WebM (video/webm .webm), h.264 (video/mp4 .mp4) and Theora (video/ogg .ogv). Each format is better for a slightly different browser and fortunately MediaElement.js was created to help make this easier. Previously I'd used VIDEO for Everybody which also has a Drupal module.

I had a great exchange with John Dyer about some accessibility issues we ran into in our initial testing and he was quick to address the identified problems. I had wanted to use some Google API to provide auto-captioning but the best option I could find was uploading it to YouTube. Unfortunately, the video was too long so that wasn't an option either.

I used the MediaElement Drupal module to set up the required Javascript. The HTML5 tag has a lot of interesting options to it and so I wanted to evaluate it a bit more in a Drupal context. We will be trying to use Universal Subtitles to add captions to the video, but this is largely as a demonstration of MediaElement.js and HTML5 video.

About The Author

Mike Gifford is the founder of OpenConcept Consulting Inc, which he started in 1999. Since then, he has been particularly active in developing and extending open source content management systems to allow people to get closer to their content. Before starting OpenConcept, Mike had worked for a number of national NGOs including Oxfam Canada and Friends of the Earth.