Casting and AirPlay Updates in JW 7.9

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JW 7.9 brings a major refactor to Casting support that aims to make integrating with the popular second screen experience even easier. You are no longer are required to register with Google and you do not have to set up a custom receiver application. Instead we have integrated directly with the default receiver application provided by Google. This allows more video formats to be supported like MPEG-DASH and provides a much quicker setup time to Cast.

JW 7.9 also adds support for AirPlay directly within the player controls, allowing viewers to watch videos on AirPlay-supported devices like AppleTV.

Meet Nicole, Product Designer at JW Player

At JW Player, our Design team is a cross-functional team comprised of Product Designers and UX Engineers focused on user experience, design, and research for all products and company websites. We work collaboratively with other teams to execute on the best experiences for our customers. As we look ahead to 2017, we’re excited to be focused on pushing the boundaries in innovation. One of our very own gave an insightful interview into her role as a product designer at JW Player for the Shillington New York design school.

 

Meet Nicole Boettcher, Product Designer. Full Interview

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“I love working on style guides. It feels like a puzzle and that I’m both creating and solving at the same time.”

 

As we expand our products and features around data science, Nicole will be leading the product research that will greatly inform opportunities for enhancing the user experience with insightful and actionable tools within the JW dashboard. Understanding that design and aesthetics will sometimes take a back seat to the data is the benchmark for how our team approaches designing analytics tools. Keep an eye out for future blog posts about new analytics products and features coming in 2017!

 

If you’re interested in joining the design team at JW Player, we’re looking for a talented UX Engineer / Front-end Developer. Apply for the role!

Vectorizing Videos: Leveraging DeepWalk for Video Recommendations

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One of the core services JW Player offers to video publishers is that of turn-key recommendations that can drive higher engagement, watch time, and retention among their viewers. For the thousands of publishers using this service, this translates directly to increased advertising dollars and is thus a major focus for algorithmic improvement on the part of our data science team.

JW Player Now Supports Mobile Web Autoplay

Desktop or mobile, web or native app, autoplay or click to play, unmuted or muted on start. There are lots of things to consider when thinking about how you set up players on your page to maximize plays and viewability for your content (and ads if you’re running them) across devices and browsers. It may seem like a no-brainer thanks to the scrolling feeds of images and videos made popular by the likes of Facebook and others, but autoplaying video content on mobile was not always possible. With JW Player 7.8, you can now configure your players to automatically start playback on mobile without going fullscreen.

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Make JW Player Your Website’s Hero

A few pages on our website use full-motion backgrounds to catch the eye of our visitors. Our recently redesigned homepage as well as our 404 page use JW Player to load a playlist and cycle through the videos in with smooth transitions in between. I’ll share with you how we do it, and give some tips on best practices for using video for your website’s hero.

Agile Incident Response for Big Data Systems

How We Increased Uptime and Decreased Engineering Stress

Working in the big data world can be a little chaotic. For us that means a stable flow of 20k events per second can spike to 50k over the course of an hour. It takes only seconds to look through our logs and find a perfect example:

 

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Things move fast and we need to be able to adapt and respond immediately when our systems are under stress. When a system goes “red” most people’s first instinct is to call the engineer who built it. Over time this can create silos of knowledge and an uneven load on the engineers. Another side-effect of this engineer-first thinking is that the priority is focused on fixing the problem, missing the importance of communication.

Is Your Live Social Video Strategy Working?

html5-video-playerWith the growth of online video, connected mobile devices, and Internet for everyone, live content streaming is on the rise. Whether it’s an official cast of an event or concert, or “citizen journalism” efforts that deliver video feeds of what’s happening in the world, live-streaming has become embedded in today’s modern online and social experience.

Businesses understandably want to tap into this phenomenon—but making the most of the vast landscape of opportunities means looking beyond consumer-focused platforms like Facebook Live, Periscope/Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat.

Peek into JW Player’s User Research Process

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Any UX practitioners watching the HBO series Silicon Valley may have been screaming at their TVs during season 3’s final weeks. The fictional consumer-facing compression platform Pied Piper launched to dismal daily active user numbers, and viewers saw a perfect illustration of what can happen when no user research or testing is involved in a product development process.

As JW player has transitioned to a software-as-a-service business over the past couple of years, we have thoughtfully expanded our product offering. To make sure we were making great choices for our customers, we embarked on a journey of testing with our customers and users. (We most definitely do *not* make the same mistakes we saw the Pied Piper creators in Silicon Valley make.)

Over at UX Booth, I wrote a case study about how we approached just one of these research projects, on our Real-time analytics tool. You can learn about why we chose remote moderated testing, how we conducted our studies, and get some pointers for doing the same on your own projects. Click here to read the full article.

If you’re a JW Player customer and would like to participate in testing our always-growing analytics suite, let us know!

JW Live Simplifies Live Streaming

Live streaming is becoming a critical part of the video strategy for many content creators and publishers, especially given the popularity of Facebook Live. However, because of the complexity of typical live streaming workflows and the feature limitations of existing platforms, it has been difficult to deploy live streaming and to reach its full potential.

JW Live, our recently-launched  end-to-end platform for live streaming, solves these problems and enables anyone you to quickly setup a live broadcast and monetize it across devices.

 

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JW Live’s simple setup process

360 Video & Virtual Reality (VR) in JW Player Part 2 : Getting Started

In Part 1 of our 360 Video / VR blog series, we presented an overview of the current state of 360 Video / VR technology and the industry.  We also announced support for 360 Video and VR in our HTML5 player and native mobile SDKs.

In this post, I’d like to add more detail around our new JW Player VR and 360 Video playback features with our HTML5 VR Plugin and native VR SDKs, which provide a smoother more performant experience for your iOS and Android apps.

In addition to the ability to watch spherical 360 Video on desktop/mobile browsers and your native Android and iOS apps, with JW Player these platforms will also support immersive live-action VR experiences with popular headsets such as Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard, and the upcoming Google Daydream View.

I’ll also discuss why JW Player is committed to supporting 360 Video, where our solution works best for publishers, and what’s coming in the future.