The JW Player mobile team is excited to bring you the latest features for building a native iOS or Android video player in your apps and monetizing your content. Our newest releases have focused on adding features for advertising, including Google IMA, and adding streaming support for MPEG-DASH. Please read on for more details.
The developer teams from Chrome and Firefox1 have announced core changes to how they will handle Flash applications. Despite being an HTML5-first video player, these changes can affect video playback through JW Player. The announcements indicate that the browser itself will decide whether or not a Flash application is core to the viewer’s experience. If the Flash object is small and outside of view, the browser will throttle or add an overlay on top of the Flash application, stopping it from fully rendering2. This functionality is aimed to help reduce power consumption and increase battery life. Applications that use HTML5 and native <video> tags will not be affected.
I would like to introduce JW Player 7 — our fastest, smartest, and most customizable player yet. JW7 was reengineered from the core API to the visual interface to provide the best online video experience no matter what device, browser, and rendering mode is used to play your content. We have added MPEG-DASH support which will help transition away from Flash based streaming protocols. The player is also completely customizable now with CSS. Alongside JW7’s launch is also a brand new dashboard to make publishing and configuring JW Player even easier.
If you are not purely a JW Player API user, you are managing your JW Player experience using our publisher dashboard. Our latest version of the dashboard has been completely redesigned and rebuilt from the ground up, using a modern technology stack that allows us to create an excellent experience for our users.
JW Player introduced analytics as a major feature with JW6 in 2012. This allowed us to offer publishers insights into who was watching their content, including device, geo and video data. Adoption of JW6 exploded over the next 3 years, challenging us to keep up with the rapidly increasing data coming in each day. This article looks to explore a particular challenge we’ve faced in scaling our periodic batch pipeline for publisher analytics: key skew in Hadoop.
Today we are releasing version 1.2 of the JW Player SDK for Android. This version focuses on improvements in performance, flexibility, stability, and adds the following features:
- Faster HLS Video Startup. 5x faster adaptive HLS video startup with minimal buffering.
- Improved HLS playback performance.
- Second-precise seeking
- Improved support for advanced HLS features, such as discontinuities
- Takes the current CPU load into account when determining which HLS stream variant to play
- Improved bandwidth detection heuristics for faster adaptivity and optimal resolutions
- Show/hide player control bar. Added an API method for showing and hiding the media player control bar.
How Much Faster? A Side-by-side Comparison
The following “HLS Startup Speed” video compares the native Android Media Player to our JW Player using the latest JW Player SDK for Android 1.2 version.
JW Player now offers geographic content restriction (geo-blocking) for videos hosted on JW Platform. This allows JW Platform users to control where their content is accessible. Users can choose to allow only a specific list of countries or to block a list of countries and allow all others.
Today we updated our Google Interactive Media Ads (IMA) SDK integration to provide the SDK’s complete suite of functionality. This adds new features not previously supported, makes old mechanisms easier, removes inconsistencies, and ultimately aims to provide the best experience possible with Google’s ad monetization tools.
Over the past few months, we’ve been hard at work updating JW Platform to improve flexibility and control for publishers. We’ve released cloud-hosted libraries, ad tag waterfalling, additional player configurations, .json feeds for your content, and straightforward, powerful scheduling capability with content sunrise for JW Platform users.
Today we are releasing our first major update to the JW Player SDK for Android. This release adds three important features:
- Closed captions. Media presentations can be accompanied by closed captions in SRT format. This includes support for multi-language captions (i.e., enabling the user to select from a menu of available language tracks).
- Content playlisting. The API now supports passing a list of media URLs to play in sequence as a playlist. Forward and back buttons can be included in the player UI to enable users to browse through the playlist items.
- VAST <Wrapper>. The SDK’s VAST implementation supports redirects to third-party ad servers within VAST Ad tags.
In addition, if you are an Android SDK customer, you will now see an SDK download link in your JW Player Dashboard.
The 1.1 release also contains a number of bug fixes, so we encourage all customers to upgrade. Your feedback is welcome and encouraged as we continue to improve and enhance the JW Player SDK for Android with regular feature and performance updates!
SVP Product Strategy