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 'canplaytype' in that specification.
Living Standard  
The definition of 'HTMLMediaElement.canplaytype' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
canPlayTypeChrome Full support YesEdge Full support 12Firefox Full support 3.5IE Full support 9Opera Full support YesSafari Full support 6WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android ?


Full support  
Full support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

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