HTML <track> Tag
<track> tag is used to specify external timed text tracks for media elements.
There are 5 kinds of text tracks: subtitles, captions, descriptions, chapters, and metadata.
<track> tag is written as
<track src=""> (no end tag). The
src attribute is a required attribute that provides the URL of the text track.
You can use the (optional)
type attribute to specify the kind of text track. The
srclang attribute must be present if the
kind attribute is in the
subtitles state. Note that, if you omit the
type attribute, it defaults to
subtitles, so you will need to provide a
srclang attribute in this case.
You can also include the (optional)
label attribute to provide a user-visible label.
In this example, the
<track> element is used to provide subtitles in English.
The above example uses a file called
countdown_en.vtt to present subtitles.
Here are the contents of the
The file simply specifies which text to display at which parts of the video. To add more subtitles, simply add more text and specify the appropriate points in the video that they should be displayed.
You can include multiple
<track> tags if required. For example, if you have subtitles in many languages, you could provide a different
<track> tag for each language.
Attributes can be added to an HTML element to provide more information about how the element should appear or behave.
There are 3 kinds of attributes that you can add to your HTML tags: Element-specific, global, and event handler content attributes.
<track> element accepts the following attributes.
This table shows the attributes that are specific to the
|kind||Specifies the kind of text track. This attribute is an enumerated attribute.
The possible values for the "kind" attribute are:
|src||Specifies the URL of the text track data. Required attribute.|
|srclang||Specifies the language of the text track. The value must be a valid BCP 47 language tag. This attribute is required if the element's kind attribute is "subtitles".|
|label||Provides a user-readable title for the track.|
|default||Specifies that the track is to be enabled if the user's preferences do not indicate that another track would be more appropriate. There must not be more than one track element with the same parent node with the default attribute specified.|
The following attributes are standard across all HTML5 elements. Therefore, you can use these attributes with the
<track> tag , as well as with all other HTML tags.
For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 global attributes.
Event Handler Content Attributes
Event handler content attributes enable you to invoke a script from within your HTML. The script is invoked when a certain "event" occurs. Each event handler content attribute deals with a different event.
Below are the standard HTML5 event handler content attributes.
Again, you can use any of these with the
<track> element, as well as any other HTML5 element.
For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 event handler content attributes.
Differences Between HTML 4 & HTML 5
<track> element is new in HTML5.
For more information on this element, see HTML5
<track> Tag. Also check out the links to the official specifications below.
Here's a template for the
<track> tag with all available attributes for the tag (based on HTML5). These are grouped into attribute types, each type separated by a space. In many cases, you will probably only need one or two (if any) attributes. Simply remove the attributes you don't need.
For more information on attributes for this tag, see HTML5
For more details about the
<track> tag, see HTML5
Here are the official specifications for the
- HTML5 Specification (W3C)
- HTML Living Standard (WHATWG)
- Current W3C Draft (the next version that is currently being worked on)
What's the Difference?
W3C creates "snapshot" specifications that don't change once defined. So the HTML5 specification won't change once it becomes an official recommendation. WHATWG on the other hand, develops a "living standard" that is updated on a regular basis. In general, you will probably find that the HTML living standard will be more closely aligned to the current W3C draft than to the HTML5 specification.