Viewing HTML5 audio and video in Firefox

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You can play some types of sound and video files on web pages without a plugin. This article explains which formats can play and how to control, save, and open them.

What is open media?

Because the use of many audio and video file types is restricted by patents, a third-party application called a plugin is required to use them. A plugin (such as Flash) is a small application that runs inside the browser window.

Vorbis audio, Theora video (developed by the Xiph.Org Foundation), and VP8 video (sponsored by Google)Vorbis audio and Theora video (developed by the Xiph.Org Foundation) are free for use without patent restrictions, and can be viewed in Firefox without a plugin.

Ogg (.oga, ogv,.ogx file types) and WebM (.webm file type) are container formats for open media.

Ogg (.oga, ogv,.ogx file types) is a container format for open media.

Sample video files are available in the “Video For Everybody” Test Page at

Here is an example of an Ogg video that plays in Firefox without a plugin:

Audio and video controls

When you visit a website that includes an open media file, you will see controls for managing playback when you hold the mouse pointer over the media on the page.


  • Play button: 3422722387e7ba98fa616e673cd4e151-1254196561-776-3.png Starts playback.
  • Pause button: 3422722387e7ba98fa616e673cd4e151-1254196561-776-2.png Stops playback once it has started.
  • Progress indicator: Indicates how much time has elapsed since the beginning of the file.
  • Volume control: Click and drag the slider up or down to adjust the volume.
Note: If audio or video has no controls, you may have JavaScript disabled.
  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button and then select Options.At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Tools menu and then select Options.On the menu bar, click on the Firefox menu and select Preferences....At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Edit menu and select Preferences.

    Click the menu button New Fx Menu and choose Options.Preferences.

  2. Select the Content panel.
  3. Check Enable JavaScript is selected.
  4. Click OK to close the Options window.Click Close to close the Preferences window.Close the Preferences window.

Keyboard controls

After you click on an audio or video file on a web page, you may control the playback with your keyboard.

Command________________ Shortcut____________
Toggle Play / Pause Space
Decrease volume Arrow down
Increase volume Arrow up
Mute audio Ctrl+Down Arrowcommand+Down Arrow
Unmute audio Ctrl+Arrow upcommand+Up Arrow
Seek back 15 seconds Left Arrow
Seek back 10 % Ctrl+Left Arrowcommand+Left Arrow
Seek forward 15 seconds Right Arrow
Seek forward 10 % Ctrl+Right Arrowcommand+Right Arrow
Seek to the beginning Home
Seek to the end End

Full screen video

To make a video take up the full screen, right-clickhold down the Ctrl key while you click and select Full Screen.

To end full screen viewing, click the X in the top-rightleft corner of the viewing window.
Open Video Full Screen

Saving open media files

To save an audio file from a web page to your computer:

  1. Right-clickHold down the Ctrl key while you click on the audio controls and select Save Audio As....
  2. Select a location on your computer to save the file.

To save a video file from a web page to your computer:

  1. Right-clickHold down the Ctrl key while you click on the video controls and select Save Video As....
  2. Select a location on your computer to save the file.

Opening saved files

The open media files you save from web pages may not play in your normal media player. To open these types of files:

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. Click Ctrlcommand+O.
  3. Navigate to the folder that contains the file you want to play and click Open.


If you are having problems with audio or video files, see: