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Multimedia [July 22, 2011, 2:09 p.m.]

Three main types of multimedia exist on the web images, audio, and video. HTML5 has three tags to include, or embed, these elements into a web page:

  • <img>
  • <audio>
  • <video>


The image tag <img> has one required attribute and several optional attributes. The image tag requires an image source attribute to be present. It is also important that images also provide alternate text so that all users can be aware of the image content.

<img src="" alt="Example image." />

Images can be given additional attributes including width, height, and a couple of attributes relating to image maps (images with specific interactive areas).

Open image formats include PNG, JPEG, and WebP.


The <audio> tag is new  in HTML5. It gives designers a standard way to include audio in a page. The <audio> tag has several parameters the most important of which is source:

<audio src="file.ogg">Text for browsers that do not support the audio tag.</audio>

Other  attributes for the <audio> tag include autoplay, controls, loop, and preload.

Ogg Vorbis is an open format for web audio and is supported by Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera.


The <video> tag is also new in HTML5. We can now insert video into a web page without the need for third party plugins! The source attribute is key to the video tag:

<video src="video.ogv">Text for browsers without support for the video tag.</video>

Additional attributes for the <video> tag include audio, autoplay, controls, height, loop, poster, preload, and width.

Ogg Theora and WebM are open standards for Internet video both of which work on Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Chromium, Konqueror, and Opera. Several free tools exist to convert new and existing video to Ogg Theora and/or WebM including:

There are also several video hosting/streaming communities that support open formats: