The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

Got OwnCloud video working… mostly.

Posted By on February 5, 2014

This little project has turned into a bit of a crash course of the state of video on the web, and I uncovered a couple of bugs with ownCloud along the way.

The first thing you may notice is that I’m not embedding them in to this page. The reason is that, due to a latent bug in ownCloud, were I to do so, it wouldn’t work.

I also fixed an issue where it would make the videos appear too large on small screens, and submitted a patch to fix that. It is already live on my instance of ownCloud, so you should notice no such issue.

Now, all that said, I’m not using any funny players (at least, not intentionally – there may be other players on ownCloud of which I’m not aware), just straight HTML5 video tags. The video format I’m using is Ogg Theora, which is Well Supported. So, if it doesn’t work for you, then you’re likely either using a very old browser or IE. In both cases, the solution is to upgrade your browser, I think. Further, I found an HTML5 compatibility tests to see how your browser fares.

Anyway, having sat through all of that, now you get videos of cats.

Mikey reacts to Liz’s alarm

Mikey on the prowl in the woods

Heidi coming out to meet me

Edit: Despite the browser support claiming that it is supported, apparently that does not include on Android. Further, apparently Ogg Theora is not supported on Android at all. So, I did go back and check to see how well h.264 works and the answer is.. not well. The above are all full HD (1920×1080) lossy encoded video, which basically doesn’t work on my Android tablet (ASUS TF101 running 4.2.2.). I can get them to work, but only at really low resolution, and for really small samples. I’m not willing to force such a low quality to support mobile devices, especially since video on those devices is (in my experience) pretty hit or miss without a custom app like YouTube and Netflix have). I realize that this tablet is a few years old at this point, so it may be that more modern machines have the horsepower to decode HD h.264 videos, All that said, I’m going to switch to h.264, as it seems about as compatible as Ogg Theora on the desktop, and is more compatible on mobile and embedded devices. However, I’m not going to compromise on the quality settings, so the videos still may not work if your device isn’t powerful enough. I have updated the above according to this logic.

If anyone has suggestions as to settings which would make my h.264 .m4v’s more compatible, I’d love to hear them.


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