Video and audio embedded in emails using html and html5

The sense of sight is quite trivial. If the sunlight is too strong, draw the curtain or wear sunglasses. Problem solved.

The senses of hearing is complex. If the all penetrating bass-boom from the neighbor apartment is driving you nuts, there is no curtain to draw, no easy remedy. You will need to knock the door and ask for mercy, or take other adequate inter-human action that may solve the problem. And the sense of sound is also complex because it is more connected to our emotional or sub-conscious nature that the sense of sight.

In short, these complex circumstances may be the reason why “the audio layman” tend to have low ambitions regarding natural sound reproduction in the daily environment. Achieving something that may be called realistic in sound playback, in particular indoors, may be close to impossible. The typical effect of all this is a lack of interest in the audio quality since it is not even recognized as a possibility.

This is why we would like to embed into our email campaigns and newsletters a short and no-noisy audio example on the amazing audio enhancement effects of High Definition Stereo; the core component of SoundPimp. We want to snap into awareness before the message is clicked off. And using a little foresight, we believe that the use of video&audio embedded in emails will rise again, as the email clients may eventually learn (again) to read html5 information and distinguish nonsense from relevance. To whoever may be interested, here is a summary of some of our findings. Send us a mail or make a comment as relevant.

Mac OS X Mail

– Mail may be used to embed html5 code using the tag video tag.  A html page with html5 embedded may be pasted directly into the body of the mail, and will be received perfectly by the Mail client. The video will play automatically. However, we have found no other client capable of receiving that email properly. Here is the html5 video page example with autoplay that we used.

– Mail is compliant with the html5 audio tag. We have found no other client capable of handling the audio tag. Here is the html5 audio page example with autoplay that we used.

– Mail may be used to embed audio using normal html, inter alias the embed tag, optionally utilizing the “hidden” and “autoplay” features. This email may be then be received by Mail, but we have found no other mail client capable of playing embedded audio using the embed tag. Here is the html audio page example

Mail Clients that mess up a good thing (html5)

Outlook (2007)

It is actually amazing how immature this email client is, given the fact that it has been in development since the nineties. The last written emails are sent first (LAFO), search results are shown oldest first, and it is seemingly impossible to receive or send html or html5 tags involving audio or video. A few years back, the Outlook (2003) was able to receive streaming audio if embedded in emails. Later, someone must have gotten struck by panic and disabled everything. Mess up and miss out!


It is disappointing that Gmail is also unusable for any embedding video/audio ambitions. For example, Mail reports “Missing Plug-in” upon receiving an email written in Gmail. There is something there, but it could not be interpreted, scapegoat undefined at present. So, it is possible to paste an audio or video tag into the mail body, and if there is autoplay, then Gmail will even start to play it perfectly. However, this is before sending the email. Upon reception, these tags are stripped off, there is no sound and no video.

Safari that does not accept the video nor the audio tag

Just as a sidenote on the browser side, our Safari browser is a huge disapointment in that it does not accept these html5 tags. The audio or video starts to load, but is never played. Dissapointing in 2012. We cano only talk sensible to Safari using the EMBED tag. This is Safari 6.0 and it should be updated.


This is what we have evaluated so far. One side remark for those using WordPress publishing is that if a page is written in html editor, then switched to wysiwyg editor, then back to html editor, then WordPress will have stripped of all html5 tags and whatever subsequent text elements without asking, so that you can do all the work one more time. Watch out…

As it seems, in 2012, proper use of html multimedia is still just PFO;  a Possible Future Option.