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Introducing Our Newest Online Video Player Update – JW Player 6

Today, we are proud to announce the public release of JW Player 6! JW6 is JW Player’s biggest update yet, containing tons of new and enhanced functionality for our online video player. This blog post highlights the most important ones, including a redesigned interface, move to HTML5 first and support for Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming in Flash.

Slicker User Experience

The most noticeable update in JW6 is, without a doubt, a completely redesigned interface. JW6 features a much more modern looking skin than its predecessor. This is a big change, given that the JW Player default skin has looked essentially the same since its first iteration in 2005. In JW6, the player controls are now black instead of grey, and slightly larger to make them easier to use. And of course, it is still easy to customize JW6 with your own skin design.

JW6 Interface

In addition to changing how the default skin looks, we worked on making the player’s user interface more consistent, defining which components show – and when. For example, JW6 more elegantly manages advanced scenarios, such as when the controlbar, dock buttons, closed captions, overlay ads and logo are displayed.

Each interface component received its own update as well. For example, the button in the middle of the player can now display a video title (or error message) and the various sliders (time, volume, playlist) now contain rounded edges and progress animations. The video controlbar itself has not changed much, but when hovering over the buttons a new tooltip appears. This tooltip displays the time for the timeslider, the volume for the mute button and a Quality or Captions menu for the (built-in!) HD and CC buttons.

Improved Player Performance

It is not just on the surface that things have changed. Under the hood, we rewrote large chunks of code to make JW6 faster and more stable. HTML5 mode especially shows significant improvements, since we were able to leverage many of the recent advancements in HTML5 browsers, including the HTML5 Fullscreen API and CSS3 transitions for subtle interface animations.

HTML5 Support

We also separated the JavaScript library that takes care of embedding JW Player from the actual HTML5 and Flash playback logic. This allows JW Player to select which rendering mode (HTML5 or Flash) to use for each individual embed on the fly. If both can be used (e.g. for Chrome with an MP4 video), JW Player will choose HTML5 mode first (i.e. by default). As publishers upgrade to JW6, this will significantly boost real-world usage of HTML5 video! Publishers who prefer Flash (e.g. when using streaming or advertising) can simply set the primary rendering mode to Flash.

Another important change we made was the decision to use a single embed method. JW6 can only be embedded using the JW Embedder method we introduced in 2010. Embeds using a video tag or SWFObject are no longer supported, nor possible. We did this to make JW6 browser and device independent. The JW Embedder enables the full range of JW Player functionality, including the HTML5/Flash dual rendering mode, advanced streaming/advertising scenarios and our powerful JavaScript APIs, while the alternate embedding methods would not be able to support those functionalities. As a result, using JW Embedder as the single embed method, allows publishers to embed and interact with JW6 on every mobile device and desktop browser, without worrying which features or media formats will work where.

More Media Support (Apple HLS)

With JW6 we also updated & streamlined our supported media formats. JW6 officially plays three video formats (MP4/FLV/WebM), three audio formats (AAC/MP3/Vorbis), two streaming formats (HLS/RTMP) and YouTube videos (using their Chromeless API). We did extensive tests and included clear documentation on which formats work in which desktop browsers and mobile devices. Other media formats (like Ogg video or Shoutcast) may also play in JW6 in certain circumstances (we don’t block anything), but we strongly advise publishers to stick with the above.

The coolest new feature on the media side is Apple HTTP Live Streaming in Flash mode. JW6 supports this in the Premium and Ads editions (see below) out of the box. Using HLS and JW6, publishers can now do live and adaptive streaming on desktop browsers and iOS with a single format and a single embed! JW6 supports on-demand and live streams, single and variant playlists, H.264 video and AAC audio and a range of servers and segmenters, including Apple’s segmenter tools and Wowza Media Server.

HLS Streaming

Other notable enhancements around media support are the addition of WebVTT for closed captioning and StageVideo for (much) smoother video playback in Flash mode. On the RTMP side, we added support for canonical rtmp:// URLs (dropping the file/streamer combo) and SMIL manifests (dropping the use of RSS manifests). Last, we added a quality API and HD selection menu, so viewers can manually select which video quality they prefer. This works for all non-audio formats, including HLS, RTMP and YouTube.

From AddOns to Editions

Our last major update does not relate to JW Player itself, but to the various skins and plugins we provide in addition to the core online video player functionality. Instead of continuing to offer these a la carte, we decided to roll the most popular into various player editions of JW6. We believe this change will make it easier for our users to find and implement the best AddOns. The key features are now integrated into JW6, described in the documentation and included in the download. Below is a list, with descriptions, of our JW6 Player Editions:

  • The Free edition continues to be our $0 offering, which can be used on non-commercial sites only. It is loaded with a core feature set, including functionality currently contained in the Captions, HD and TimeSliderTooltip plugins.
  • The Pro edition is our core commercial offering. It allows embedding on a single site. All features of the Free edition are included, plus the ability to disable our watermark, set your own logo, and customize the right-click menu.
  • The Premium edition is our feature-packed, value-for-money offering. It can be used on up to 10 commercial sites. It comes with 8 professional JW6 Skins, Apple HLS support in Flash mode, Social Sharing and Related Videos overlays and integration with Google Analytics.
  • The Ads edition is our top offering. It includes all of the above plus several advertising options. For example, it supports (IAB-standardised) VAST/VPAID ads and Google IMA (for DART and AdSense).

Although our AddOns library is no longer supported for JW6, we continue to support integrations with our technology partners such as Akamai’s HD Network and Tremor Media’s Acudeo. Our XML Skinning Model and JavaScript API also received massive upgrades for JW6, so JW Player remains as customizable and extensible as ever!

65 Comments

  1. Paul Rowlingson January 9, 2013 - 09:40 EDT

    Good news, but any plans to roll JW Player 6 out to your Bits On The run service? I’m still seeing the old player skin in my accounts

  2. Stefan December 26, 2012 - 11:03 EDT

    Wow… Three years ago I paid less than 40 USD for the licence; then I bought different licences for skins and plugins. Now I have to to decide to pay 250 USD for the same features, even if I want to use this on only one small website without any income, or to say goodbye to Google Analytics Tracking, Social Sharing and additional skins? It’s very disapointing.

    And removing the Addons Libary… what about the age gate plugin? Gone in JW Player 6? An upgrade would be a very expensive step backwards.

  3. Simon Garner November 29, 2012 - 04:20 EDT

    Is the Adtonomy Video Ads plugin going to be updated for JW6 or is it end of the line for non-VAST ad delivery?

  4. Ethan LongTail January 9, 2013 - 06:25 EDT

    Yes, we are planning on it.

  5. Ethan LongTail December 27, 2012 - 04:23 EDT

    @Stefan – Email our support about this. support [at] longtailvideo [dot] com. Include your license # as well, as there are discounts available for current license holders. I also have a solution for your AgeGate issue.

  6. Shamar Armstrong January 25, 2013 - 02:17 EDT

    We upgraded from JW Player 5 to 6 for our company intranet site but we are now getting sporadic comments that they cannot see our videos anymore! What troubleshooting steps should I and the users go through to get your new JW Player 6 to work for everyone?

  7. Mahesh November 26, 2012 - 06:45 EDT

    @Ethan: I am using following code..It says ID not found on Server. Though I can view live stream in older version.

    Please suggest any modifications that need to be done.

  8. Ethan LongTail January 25, 2013 - 06:26 EDT

    Please contact us with a link – http://www.longtailvideo.com/contact-us

  9. Ethan LongTail November 29, 2012 - 05:19 EDT

    No plans, sorry.

  10. Shamar Armstrong January 25, 2013 - 07:18 EDT

    Our intranet site is protected within our network so i wont be able to send you a link you can view. I was hoping you guys might have reasons for why the player might not work on a viewer’s end. i’ve done everything correctly on my end and a lot of people can view the video just fine.

  11. Ethan LongTail November 26, 2012 - 07:22 EDT

    Do you have a link?

  12. Walljet December 21, 2012 - 10:18 EDT

    Is the new 1.7.1 WP Plugin now ready fpr JW Player 6?

  13. Walljet November 23, 2012 - 03:57 EDT

    We used the new player inside WordPress:

    http://msh.net/koln/der-koelner-dom-in-8-gigapixeln/

    The result is fine, but the integration tricky and horrible. You can´t switch back in View-Mode without the code is broken. Integration in WordPress yet is too complex. I like the easy Flowplayer integration but Flowplayer is’nt JW Player :-)

    Folks! We need WordPress Support instantly, simple and powerful!

  14. Ethan LongTail December 21, 2012 - 05:49 EDT

    This is still V5.

  15. Ian November 29, 2012 - 06:53 EDT

    Hi there

    I posted a question in this stream regarding the problem with the iPad and audio tags, somehow my question was removed.

    What I’m actually looking for is a solution to the problem as discussed in these topics:

    http://www.longtailvideo.com/support/forums/jw-player/player-development-and-customization/14088/html-5-player-audio/

    http://www.longtailvideo.com/support/forums/jw-player/feature-suggestions/25769/fix-for-audio-on-the-ipad/

    Many thanks

    Ian

  16. Ben December 19, 2012 - 10:32 EDT

    Just wanted to drop a line saying how pleased we are with JWPlayer5! The main benefits we have found over services like vimeo are non-subscription pricing and the ability to control the video encoding quality by serving up our own files. Very important!
    Looking forward to WordPress support for version 6, then we will pull the trigger! Thanks!

  17. Ethan LongTail November 29, 2012 - 06:54 EDT

    Please email us, this blog post is not for support…

  18. Ethan LongTail December 19, 2012 - 10:39 EDT

    Np! :)

  19. Ian December 3, 2012 - 12:22 EDT

    Thank you, have done so :-)

  20. Andrew January 16, 2013 - 07:03 EDT

    Any ETA on when the JW Player 6 WordPress plugin and Bits On The Run compatibility will be available? Is there somewhere to go to check on the status of these things? Thank you for any insights.

  21. Ethan LongTail November 24, 2012 - 01:15 EDT

    Thanks for the feedback. We are going to be updating our WP plugin to support JW6 shortly!

  22. Ethan LongTail December 3, 2012 - 04:46 EDT

    Np

  23. Mahesh November 24, 2012 - 06:53 EDT

    Not able to configure it for Live RTMP streaming..No help available.

  24. J Martin Ward November 24, 2012 - 09:43 EDT

    Brilliant player! I thought this might be a suitable occasion to write and thank you for making such an excellent player freely available. After weeks of research, I despaired of ever finding one for WordPress (JWP5) that worked smoothly, or indeed at all, over different browsers. Then I came across yours, and underwent a life-changing experience! (Well almost; I was pleasantly surprised, at any rate.) Keep it up – JWP6 on WordPress will have a hard standard to live up to.

    Best wishes,

    J M Ward

  25. Ethan LongTail January 16, 2013 - 05:50 EDT

    Something in Q1 for both. You will see WP on our website, and BOTR in the BOTR system updates.

  26. Ethan LongTail November 24, 2012 - 11:27 EDT

    @Mahesh – Do you have a link?

    @J M Ward – Thanks for the support, we are going to work on the new WP plugin!

  27. Walljet March 23, 2013 - 09:15 EDT

    Nice work guys!

    It works: http://msh.net/koln/der-koelner-dom-in-8-gigapixeln/

    :-)

  28. burningdog April 25, 2013 - 01:45 EDT

    Ethan Longtail: in a comment on this thread on 19 November last year you said that “Yes indeed, we are working hard on updating our WordPress (and Drupal) plugin right now.”

    Yet your last commit at http://drupal.org/project/jwplayermodule was over a year ago and no one from Longtail is active on the drupal 7 module at http://drupal.org/project/jw_player

    Is the drupal community to understand that you have abandoned support for drupal integration of JW Player 6?

  29. Ethan LongTail April 25, 2013 - 04:11 EDT

    We still plan on Drupal, but WP has taken priority, Drupal coming next.

  30. Ethan LongTail March 25, 2013 - 02:12 EDT

    Nice

  31. Wes March 8, 2013 - 02:09 EDT

    matter a fact i wish you all good lives and hope you dont have to suffer through the hell ive been through look please all of you don’t give up on your wishes and don’t put your pain in ligour.smoking,and or dipping you may end up on the streets many times fending for your self because of something but if your going through any trouble just don’t give up and ill continue to tell people this but your more important in this life than you think you create pages that give people entertainment,news or whatever your doing your helping in some way please forgive me for ive been drinking but i mean this 100% if your pushed around stand up for yourself dont get pushed around because of people that consider you nerds or whatever just see your dream and make it happen before its too late and organize your money and keep emergency money idk if this message will help any of you but just keep your head up high and don’t let words get to you and remember this everybody that deosn’t wrong anyone serves a purpose alright i’ll shutup now but goodnight and best wishes to you all, please take care i just wanted to send this message in case anyone is going through a troubling time

  32. David April 30, 2013 - 09:44 EDT

    The Drupal module is already functional with JW Player 6 at http://drupal.org/project/jw_player (the 2.x dev branch). There are missing features and probably some bugs (hence dev version), but it is currently working just fine for my needs. Shouldn’t take too much more work to get it to a stable version.

  33. Ethan LongTail April 30, 2013 - 09:09 EDT

    That is good to know. We are just the early stages though!

  34. Greg Mitchell March 12, 2013 - 09:44 EDT

    Does not work for me here for my http://www.holidayrentallorgues.com in Provence, France

  35. Ethan LongTail April 30, 2013 - 09:44 EDT

    Wait, this is not our plugin, not made by us. Disregard!

  36. Ethan LongTail April 30, 2013 - 09:41 EDT

    Same with that top comment. That is not maintained by us.

    Ours is – http://drupal.org/project/jwplayermodule

  37. Ethan LongTail April 30, 2013 - 09:02 EDT

    But, feel free to use the 3rd party one if that works for you!

  38. Ethan LongTail March 12, 2013 - 09:56 EDT

    Your link says “Error establishing a database connection”.

  39. Ethan LongTail March 8, 2013 - 05:38 EDT

    Np, you take care as well.

  40. David May 1, 2013 - 04:08 EDT

    Couldn’t you become a co-maintainer of jw_player module for drupal? That would make more sense than putting any time and effort into a separate drupal module that does the same thing… Take advantage of the great drupal community =)

  41. Ethan LongTail May 1, 2013 - 04:47 EDT

    We could theoretically reach out to those guys, they never contacted us about this module though. But good idea, will pass along.

  42. Jamie May 17, 2013 - 03:12 EDT

    Thanks Ethan: the WP plugin was released a month-and-a-half ago; would you be willing to commit to a specific date to start work on the drupal plugin? Note that work has already started, at http://www.profischnell.de or http://www.portedeurope.org

  43. Ethan LongTail May 28, 2013 - 05:53 EDT

    @Jamie – I don’t know the date or ETA for a Drupal module for JW6, sorry.

    @Ian – If you are upgrading, email us for a discount – http://www.longtailvideo.com/contact-us, however, FLV won’t work in mobile.

  44. Ian May 20, 2013 - 06:08 EDT

    Hi,
    I’m using an FLV intro at the beginning of every clip and I’m using the JWPlayer 5.
    Does the 6 version solve the “FLV” problems also at apple units but also the Samsung Galaxy smartphones?

    Does the price for upgrading is the same as new customers?

    Thanks for wonderful player…

    Ian

  45. burningdog April 30, 2013 - 08:12 EDT

    Thanks Ethan: the WP plugin was released a month-and-a-half ago; would you be willing to commit to a specific date to start work on the drupal plugin? Note that work has already started, at http://drupal.org/node/1845744

  46. Ethan LongTail April 30, 2013 - 03:03 EDT

    I don’t know the ETA, sorry.

  47. Wes March 8, 2013 - 12:11 EDT

    oh well i wish this brilliant player was like something like real player where it could be used for watching random videos too oh well but thank you ethan and take care man

  48. Ian March 5, 2013 - 08:43 EDT

    It’s a big step to change to annual licensing – if it was a one-off upgrade charge – then that might be easier to manage – even if a new major version (e.g. 7, 8 etc.) comes out every say, 2 years – but an annual charge is difficult to manage – it’s easier to build in the cost of a Video Player to clients when you build a website – but adding an annual fee for their video player would be more challenging…

    When a website needs upgrading, typically every 3 years – it might be possible then to charge to upgrade the video players.

    I fully understand the need for a continual commercial model – but for me at least, my existing models don’t fit this.

    Also, it doesn’t look like you offer the ’50′ site package any longer either.

  49. timoto November 15, 2012 - 09:44 EDT

    wow really, only social sharing in premium and up ?

  50. Yehuda Gilead November 19, 2012 - 02:03 EDT

    Looks great!
    Regarding WordPress plugin: can I simply update my WordPress plugin with this version, or should I wait for a specific plugin update?

  51. Todd January 29, 2013 - 09:02 EDT

    This is disappointing. You have increased the price, remove much of the functionality and change your model for using the player. Now I have a player key and every time someone clicks my video the eyes in the sky need to know about it? Why?

    Also, there is less freedom to develop around the player unlike v5. Why is the company doing this after years of loyal customers? This seems like an opportunity for a new player to step into the arena. You guys had a great model, awesome plugin capabilities, friendly and vast api, and provided so much freedom to your loyal developers. Now we are forced to go along with all these changes. Why did you guys do this? Lets see how the community responds in a few months.

  52. JeroenW March 6, 2013 - 10:51 EDT

    Thanks for your feedback. I definitely see how we have an issue with your model here – that of a webdesign shop buying JW Player on behalf of their customers. Let me take this back to the team and see what we can do to fix such a setup.

    The 50 sites are indeed gone at present. We’re contemplating inserting these as part of the “Ads” edition or whether we up the # sites across the board for the editions.

  53. David L Good February 28, 2013 - 04:04 EDT

    Sadly, this is where JWPlayer and I have to part ways. I was looking for improvements to JWPlayer 5, but version 6 took away too much, and misplaced everything else. At least, it did for me.

    In order to get the ONE feature I really, really need in a player I now have to upgrade to an annual license at the highest level? I don’t care about ads, Facebook, your analytics, what color your shirt is, or any of that other stuff. But, the one simple thing I need is tucked away in the most expensive option for the player.

    This reminds me a lot of Cable TV providers. You really, really want one specific channel… but naturally that channel isn’t available in the Basic Cable package… it’s only in the Extended Cable Package. But you can’t get the Extended Cable Package unless you have the Enhanced Cable Package, which is an upgrade from the Basic Cable Package. So… three packages later, and the same steep annual subscription fee a year later and you have to ask yourself if that one channel is really worth it — or if you should just look elsewhere.

    Still love JWPlayer 5, but this is where it ends for us. Thanks for the great times!!

  54. Ethan LongTail November 19, 2012 - 04:19 EDT

    You should definitely wait until we have updated, the current version of the WP plugin will not work if you try to update the player to JW6.

  55. Laurie Robey November 16, 2012 - 12:50 EDT

    Is the new player Section 508 compliant?

  56. JeroenW November 19, 2012 - 11:26 EDT

    Yes indeed, we are working hard on updating our WordPress (and Drupal) plugin right now. Unfortunately, we didn’t get that done before the launch deadline…

  57. Ethan LongTail January 25, 2013 - 07:02 EDT

    Sorry, but we would need to be able to see at least something in order to properly debug this, or even know what the potential issue may be…

  58. JeroenW November 16, 2012 - 10:00 EDT

    @Laurie: The new player is indeed section 508 compliant. Amongst others, it supports closed captioning out of the box (in SRT, DFXP, WebVTT formats)

  59. Wes March 7, 2013 - 02:11 EDT

    Would this work on Linux Fedora 17?

  60. Wes March 7, 2013 - 02:40 EDT

    Oh and would this player also be able to play on sites like free project tv and youtube on the free edition?

  61. Bill P. November 16, 2012 - 01:26 EDT

    Wow, this looks great. Can’t wait to check it out.

  62. Yehuda Gilead November 19, 2012 - 07:12 EDT

    Guys you’re great! Take your time. Don’t take too long :)

    I’d like to have a ping if possible: gilead.yehuda[a]gmail.com.

    Thanks.

  63. Laurie Robey November 16, 2012 - 03:15 EDT

    Thanks very much! Can’t wait to try it out!

  64. Ethan LongTail March 7, 2013 - 05:52 EDT

    This is a tool for webmasters who wish to embed videos into their own websites.

  65. JeroenW February 28, 2013 - 10:15 EDT

    @TODD: Our analytics can be disabled (though many customers love them) and our JavaScript API actually got a lot richer with JW6 – there’s now an API for Quality, Controls, Captions and custom Buttons. Our Skinning Model also got richer, with support for HD/CC menus and title/error messages in the display. Which functionality are you missing with this setup?

    @DAVID: Similar to Todd, I wonder which items you are missing if you say “6 took away too much”? Also, which is the “one simple thing” you need? Our editions are supposed to scale with companies. If a certain feature from Premium appeals to many smaller clients, we’ll definitely contemplate adding it to the Pro player.

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