LongTailVideo Releases The First Flexible Open-Source HTML5 Video Player

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Last week, LongTailVideo announced that they have created and released the open source JW Player in a new HTML 5 version (Beta) that features PNG skinning, Javascript API, fallback to flash and more. Perhaps this could become the new standard for sites looking to implement an open source HTML 5 video player solution.

This means that sites already using the JW player can move to the new player and have instant access to all HTML5 video capable connected devices. Of course, it may mean that they’ll have to transcode existing videos, but that would have to be done anyways to be HTML5 video ready.

HTML5 video is quickly emerging as a competing standard to Flash for video playback, particularly on mobile and tablet devices,” said Dave Otten, co-founder and CEO of LongTail Video, “We think it is very important to extend the JW Player so that our million-plus customers can deliver video across all platforms.  The HTML5 video player now joins our popular Flash and Silverlight offerings within the JW Player product family.”

The player uses the JQuery framework and custom jwplayer.js which gives the player a robust set of features already built-in so you don’t need to worry about losing non-HTML5 viewers.

JW Player HTML5 Features Include:

Seamless fallback to the JW Player for Flash – Reverts back to the Flash version of the JW Player in cases where an end-user is watching a video from a non-HTML5 compliant browser, such as IE 6, 7 or 8.

Full PNG skinning support – Enables users to easily customize the look of their player by adding any of the player skins currently available for download from LongTail’s AddOns library.

Robust JavaScript API, fully compatible with JW Player for Flash – Makes the JW Player for HTML5 plugin extensible, allowing developers to create plugins on top of the player to enhance its core functionality.

“By including player fallback functionality and PNG skinning support, the JW Player for HTML5 is a big improvement over other offerings in the market” said Jeroen Wijering, the creator of the JW Player. “We are very excited about this release and look forward to working with our developer community to build out new features, including playlist support, ad integration and analytics.”

JW Moving Forward:

LongTailVideo is on the move having recently announced the acquisition and integration of Bits on the Run, an online video hosting/streaming platform. Remember that LongTailVideo has their own AdSolution product, a self-serve video ad serving system. The combination of the 2 provides for a full-spectrum video platform and advertising solution.

As for the JW player, future features like playlist support, advertising and analytics will be a welcome addition to the HTML5 version of JW Player.

I sat down with Jeroen Wijering last week and talked about the HTML5 push. When asked why they decided to put resources into an HTML5 player Jeroen said that it was in the works for some time as they want to be “a videoplayer that can be used across all browsers, devices and platforms.” This is certainly the case now with Flash, Silverlight and HTML5 video support all rolled into it.  It gives the JW Player and LongTailVideo a long reach in the online video player market. The product got bumped up in priority, says Jeroen, “since HTML5 is getting so much traction since the release of the iPad and the big Apple/Adobe and H264/Ogg discussions.

When I asked what else they’re working on, Jeroen mentioned their new support community (longtailvideo.com/support). You can think of it as a one-stop-shop for all information that you could ever need in regards to JW Player and its AddOns as well as the LongTailVideo AdSolution and Bits on the Run.

Congrats to Jeroen (JW), BitsontheRun, and LongTailVideo… Perhaps it’s time to re-brand? My suggestion – JWontheVideo ;-)


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