The HTML5 video element

Updated . Posted . Visible to the public.
# Basic HTML example
<video poster="preview_image.png" controls>
  <source src="or_here.webm" type="video/webm" />
  <source src="alternative_if_browser_cant_pay_first_source.mp4" type="video/mp4" />
  <track src="optional_subtitles.vtt" kind="subtitles" srclang="de" label="Deutsch" default>

# Javascript API (notable methods and properties)
video = document.querySelector('video')
video.load() // Reset to the beginning and select the best available source
video.currentSrc // The selected source
video.currentTime // The current playback time (in seconds)
video.ended // Whether the video has finished
video.readyState // See comments


  • controls makes the browser show its own video controls
  • The image given in poster will be shown before the video was loaded/has started (and if the video cannot be loaded at all).
  • The browser will play the first source it can play (some video types are not supported in every browser). The video can also be given as src on the video element; however, this excludes the handy fallback mechanism.
  • The track element can be used to add either captions, subtitles, chapters, descriptions or similar metadata.
  • If the video has not started to play and has not been seeked, currentTime is the video's initial playback time. Setting this value seeks to the new time.
  • readyState returns a value in [0:4] indicating its state Show snapshot .


  • On iOS, the video.preload attribute is ignored. iOS seems to always load the full video once it has a src.
  • When creating a video element with document.createElement('video'), setting the muted attribute will not mute the video! Use video.muted = true instead.


Full Documentation on the video element

Dominik Schöler
Last edit
Dominik Schöler
Source code in this card is licensed under the MIT License.
Posted by Dominik Schöler to makandra dev (2020-07-09 09:58)