JW Video Player 5.3 – Combines Flash, HTML5, Plus New Javascript API for Consistent Experience

JW Video Player 5.3 – Combines Flash, HTML5, Plus New Javascript API for Consistent Experience

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LongTailVideo is set to fully release an updated version of the popular JW Player which includes some all new features as well as some updated features. The major features include auto-detect Flash and HTML5 in one, a Javascript API and new HTML5 playback features.Now with a single JW Player you can give your users the same experience whether they’re on a Flash-capable device or not. Version 5.3 also includes a new Javacript API. That will allow you to create a consistent experience in both versions of the player.

“We continue to believe that both HTML5 and Flash will play important roles in the future of online video,” said Dave Otten, co-founder and CEO of LongTail Video, “That’s why, with JW Player 5.3, we created a video experience where Flash and HTML5 video work together as part of a single player. Now, users can simply embed the JW Player 5.3 onto their sites and receive the benefits of both standards.”

Key features of the JW Player 5.3 include:

Auto-Detect Browser/Device Support for Flash and HTML5. Enables users to embed videos using the same code for both Flash and HTML5.  The player will auto-detect support for the chosen playback mode and fallback to the other when necessary.

  • Simplifies set-up:  users can choose to embed their videos with Flash or HTML5 using the same code and embedding mechanism
  • Greater flexibility: users can configure fallback to Flash when HTML5 isn’t present and vice versa
  • Seamless functionality across players:  skinning support across both Flash and HTML5, leverage the same JS API (see below)

JavaScript API. Supported in both Flash and HTML5 modes, allows any JavaScript code that integrates the player to run consistently across any device or browser.

  • Unified API: supported in both Flash and HTML5 modes.
  • Write once, works on all browsers / devices: if users write JS code which integrates the player on its site, then it will run the same way across all browsers and devices
  • Expands plugins market to include JS-based plugins:  most importantly, this paves the way for JavaScript developers to create JS-based plugins for the JW Player. Previously, only AS3 developers could contribute plugins to the library and it grew very slowly. The SDK is set for a November release

Updated Features for HTML5 Playback.

  • Full-screen mode
  • Playlist support
  • Skinning model in parity w/ JW Player for Flash:  Users can now use any of the 100+ skins in LT’s AddOns library to customize their Flash and HTML5 player.

“One of the most important features of this release allows Flash and HTML5 playback modes to share a common JavaScript API,” said Jeroen Wijering, the creator of the JW Player.  “This means a far broader set of developers can build customizations and interactions that work for both Flash and HTML5 and across browsers and devices.”

JW Player 5.3 Embedded Demo

Here’s a demo of the new embed, it’s just one line of Javascript code and pulls a video from the ReelSEO YouTube channel.

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.longtailvideo.com/0/2/73/8f1a9f1e-d5d7-11df-a698-f457d72e6262.js"></script>

The Post-Roll

It’s a pretty big step forward. I use JW Player at Gamers Daily News and think it so awesome I gladly leave their logo on the player. Mark asked why I didn’t remove it and I told him ‘so that people know we use JW Player.’ I did do a fairly basic implementation with only LongTail’s Ad Solution and TubeMogul’s InPlay statistics and we have been running mostly just FLV video. Now that it’s all integrated into one player and one embed, I might start thinking about expanding the GDN video offering to HTML5 devices as it doesn’t sound like as much work as it would have been to hand code two versions, fallback, etc.

A single commercial site JW Player license will run you about $89 (59 Euro). On top of that if you want to run VAST-compliant video ads you’ll need to purchase an OVA license for an additional 199 Euro about $275. I only get Euro pricing when I go to the OVA site so I did the conversion manually. I apologize for any discrepancies in the pricing.

For a large scale commercial endeavor, it’s not all that much of an investment for what you get. For small businesses, like GDN, that don’t generate a lot of video views or ad revenue, the OVA pricing is outside our reach so we get stuck with low-paying banner ads displayed in an overlay on the videos.


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