Today I have been wrestling with embedding a movie into a web page. To try and ensure cross browser, and cross platform, usability I have had to use the
<embed> inside an
<object> On an XHTML 1.0 Strict page, this was a fairly major decision, and was only taken after careful consideration of all the alternatives.
I ended up using the following code:
<a href="sample.mpg">Download movie via a link</a>
<object id="mediaPlayer" height="284" width="320"
standby="Loading Microsoft Windows Media Player components...">
<param name="fileName" value="sample.mpg" />
<param name="animationatStart" value="true" />
<param name="transparentatStart" value="true" />
<param name="autoStart" value="true" />
<param name="showControls" value="true" />
<embed height="284" width="320" align="left"
src="sample.mpg" autoplay="true" controller="true">
Although there may be other methods available, to ensure the cross browser and cross platform usability I was trying to achieve, this seemed the best method. Although I could have gone straight for a simple
<embed> it seemed wise to at least try and use the
It should be noted that Safari on the Mac does not show any alternative text, yet Firefox on the PC showed not just the
<embed> movie, but the alternative text as well. So again I had to remove that, against my better instincts.
But just how accessible are movies when embedded in a page? Likewise, how accessible are the media players themselves? On trying to tab to the embedded movie I realised that it was inaccessible. Even the so called keyboard commands that Windows Media Player say are usable did not work.
WAI guidelines also state that captioning should be used, but when the player itself is inaccessible…
I would be interested to hear if anyone has found a standards compliant, cross browser cross platform method of embedding a movie. Also if anyone has done any user testing in this area.