Which browser (if any) will be able to play video and audio at VKontakte (vk.com) in Ubuntu on AC100?

Asked by Ivan Zakharyaschev on 2012-09-16

At http://vk.com , video and audio are usually played by means of Flash. A Flash plugin for browsers is not available as a working package for Ubuntu on AC100. What if one doesn't want to mess with the proprietary Adobe's flash plugin, is it possible to play video and audio at VKontakte?

(As we know, in the case of YouTube, video playback can be done by means of HTML5 as an alternative to Flash. And indeed, I could play video from YouTube in Firefox in Ubuntu 12.04 for AC100.)

Is the situation for VKontakte worse than for YouTube?

I have found the following answers about HTML5 and VKontakte (in Russian) from 2010 -- http://otvety.google.ru/otvety/thread?tid=405ffaec80c737f7 and http://habrahabr.ru/company/vkontakte/blog/93599/ -- saying that VKontakte encodes the video with H.264, and because of this, HTML5 playback will work only in Google Chrome and Safari (important for iOS), but not in Firefox and Opera which don't support H.264.

I've also found the following statemnent concerning H.264 support in browsers -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H264#Controversies :

"In January 2011, Google announced that they were pulling support for H.264 from their Chrome browser and supporting both Theora and WebM/VP8 to use only open formats.[16] However, as of September 2012, Google has not followed through with this announcement and still supports H.264 in their Chrome browser through FFMPEG. No official statement was released on the matter.

On 18 March 2012 Mozilla announced that it will support H.264 in Firefox on mobile devices due to prevalence of H.264-encoded video and the increased power-efficiency of using dedicated H.264 decoder hardware common on such devices."

So, the situation is not clear: is Chromium expected to abandon the support for H.264, and has Firefox not yet implemented it? Is it possible to play video at VKontakte in one of the browsers in Ubuntu on AC100 now?

And what about audio at VKontakte?

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Ivan Zakharyaschev
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Ivan Zakharyaschev (imz) said :

I've also posted a question about this to http://askubuntu.com/q/189433/19753 .

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Launchpad Janitor (janitor) said :

This question was expired because it remained in the 'Open' state without activity for the last 15 days.

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Ivan Zakharyaschev (imz) said :

I've tested this in Ubuntu 12.04 on Toshiba AC100 (ARM):

in Chromium, under the videos at vk.com, there is a notice saying that Flash Player is required, or one can load the HTML5 player (the 2nd option is a clickable link). If one clicks the "HTML5 player" link, the video is played rather well.

Similarly for audio at vk.com in Chromium (some tracks are played badly, others quite well).

In Firefox, there is no such "HTML5 player" addendum in the notice under a video, hence the conclusion: videos from vk.com can't be played in Firefox in Ubuntu 12.04 on ARM, but they can in Chromium.