While working through a few html5 issues and the video tag I came upon a quite frustrating and puzzling issue:

The OGG (.ogv) video file would never play and also not fallback to the text. Not in Firefox on the Mac nor on the PC (via VMWare).

Tried my “when all else fails” file which contains a working video solution with an external video link and that worked as it should. “The local file must be corrupt”, was my guess. So I downloaded that external file, renamed it to the local testing file… and again, nada, silt, nothing.

Next I assumed that the external .ogv file must be running through some woodoo channel and it would not play directly in the browser when called but only through a player. Tested it. Nope. The .ogv external file played just fine when directly called for it in the browser.

Back to the local one. Entered the path and … voila – finally an indication of what was going on: Firefox presented me with an open with… / save as… dialog box. Tried the same thing on the PC version of Firefox with the same result.

Yes, of course. When developing I do that locally – via MAMP and DynDNS which gives me a full URL – I have never run into issues doing it like that. Until now.

To ensure this is the problem indeed, I uploaded the .ogv file to my external testing server and pointed the call to that file. It plays as expected.

The short version of this all?

OGG files will NOT PLAYBACK when called from a LOCAL drive – no matter if you are running a local web server such as MAMP or not – it will not play and it will not put up the Save As dialog box unless you call the file directly in the browser.

UPDATE : The other option is to put a .htaccess file into your server (or site root) with the following data:

AddType video/ogg .ogv
AddType video/ogg .ogg
AddType video/ogg .ogv
AddType video/ogg .ogm
AddType video/mp4 .mp4
AddType video/webm .webm
AddType audio/x-ms-wmv .wmv
AddType audio/x-ms-wma .wma
AddType audio/mp3 .mp3

Add the type attribute to the source as e.g.type="video/ogg"