The HTMLMediaElement.canPlayType() method determines whether the specified media type can be played back.

Note: This feature is not available in Web Workers.


str = audioOrVideo.canPlayType(mediaType);


A DOMString containing the MIME type of the media.

Return value

A String. Possible values are:

  • 'probably': The specified media type appears to be playable.
  • 'maybe': Cannot tell if the media type is playable without playing it.
  • '' (empty string): The specified media type definitely cannot be played.

Note: Previously canPlayType('video/webm') returned 'probably'. Starting with Gecko 28 (Firefox 28 / Thunderbird 28 / SeaMonkey 2.25 / Firefox OS 1.3), it returns 'maybe'. (bug 884275)


var obj = document.createElement('video');
console.log(obj.canPlayType('video/mp4')); // "maybe"


Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of 'HTMLMediaElement.canplaytype' in that specification.
Living Standard No change from HTML5
The definition of 'HTMLMediaElement.canplaytype' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support Yes Yes3.59 Yes Yes
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ?

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Contributors to this page: fscholz, erikadoyle, markg
Last updated by: fscholz,