What I'm Working On: Synchronized Videos in HTML5 (featuring Ok Go)

Here’s another demo. This time I’m showing off HTML5 video with a pair of videos by the band Ok Go.

Ok Go made the video for “White Knuckles” all in one shot and by all accounts it wasn’t easy. Thankfully, they also posted an extensive video showing how they did it. The video shows the complex choreography from different angles, edited together in time with the final result. I thought the best way to appreciate the entire process would be to see them side by side.

Try out the real thing or watch the video below.

The new-ish video features of HTML5 allow Javascript code enough control over embedded videos to get two of them playing in sync. Otherwise, they work just like images, so it’s easy enough to stretch and move them around. No plugins (Flash, Silverlight, etc.) are required, and it should work in Firefox, Chrome, Safari(?) and maybe Internet Explorer 9. But no iPhones, iPads or Androids. Your mileage may vary, especially on slow connections where the videos don’t load up quickly.

The approach is not perfect, as seeking around the videos will likely cause synchronization to go off a bit, even on the latest beta versions of both Firefox and Chrome. I’ve written some tricky and maybe even ugly code to try to minimize this problem, but it’s not perfect. The standard event model for the media controllers doesn’t offer quite as much control as I’d like, and the way the browsers load video asynchronously seems to make solving this problem impossible. If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions, please comment.

Download Video:



Watch it on YouTube

HTML5 Video Player by VideoJS