Age Verification with JW Player

As long as our player has been around, we have received requests from our customers asking for the ability to age gate their users. This feature presents users with an age verification prompt requiring them to enter their birthday. If the users are older than the required age, they are granted access to watch the video (i.e. video playback starts). If they are younger than the required age, they are taken to a different page and are unable to view the video. It is a simple, but useful feature to restrict underage viewers from mature content.

Although this isn’t an out-of-the box point & click feature in the JW Player, it is possible to achieve this feature with some JavaScipt, an iFrame, and our JavaScript API.

Encoding HLS with Amazon Elastic Transcoder

HLS is a powerful streaming protocol that Apple introduced in order to allow for live streaming on iOS devices. JW Player introduced HLS support in Flash too.

If you are looking to encode only a couple of videos, you could consider converting all videos manually, but if you have a larger library, it is important to replace any manual steps with a good encoding pipeline. Amazon’s Elastic transcoder has all the important components you need to create a transcoding pipeline using Amazon’s API’s.

Slow Motion with JW Player

As long as our player has been around, we have received requests from our customers asking to slow down video playback. Unfortunately, Flash never exposed any sort of playback speed control across the board. Take a video with progressive download -- by default controlling playback speed is not supported. The only way for this to work is by using RTMP, with either Adobe Flash Media server or Wowza Media Server (FLV only).

As a support team, we would get around this by using the player API to mute the audio track and essentially make the play pause very quickly, over and over again, using a timer, to simulate the illusion of slow motion, however, this solution was not very elegant, and it made the play icon flicker.

The Cloud-Hosted JW Player & Why it is the Easiest Way to Go Live

If the term “cloud-hosted”, or “in the cloud” is still news to you, then get ready for the next wave of web-based services and applications. Software as a service is moving to the cloud -- and slowly fading are the times where bulky downloads and installs are required to support basic business needs.

JW Player Expands Advertising Support For Mobile

We are happy to announce today that we have expanded advertising support for mobile within the JW Player. The JW Player now enables the delivery of VAST-compliant, pre-roll advertising into smartphone and tablet devices, giving publishers increased opportunities to monetize their fast-growing mobile audiences.  In addition, the JW Player includes an enhanced version of its advanced Advertising API which allows publishers to monetize live streaming events and to control ad scheduling across multiple networks.  Together, these features help to further expand our leadership position in supporting the ad ecosystem, across both mobile and Web.

Building Tooltip Thumbnails with Encoding.com

A great new feature in JW Player is the popup of quick preview images when mousing over the timeSlider. This allows viewers to seek to a particular position, or to quickly scan the contents of a video. We call these previews Tooltip Thumbnails. Start this video and rollover the controlbar for a live example:

Supporting Twitter Cards

A while back Twitter introduced a feature called "Twitter cards" that allows you to embed rich content such as video directly into a tweet. The content is then visible when you click "view media" on your timeline, on the permalink for a tweet, when you embed a tweet, and in the official twitter apps. Any site can do this; all you need are some Twitter friendly meta tags in the head of your page and a video page that can be embedded into an iframe.

And the winner is…

Thanks to everyone who completed our survey. We received 3,000 responses! Input from our users is extremely helpful to us as we work to make JW Player better and better.

Congratulations to Steve from Little Art Web on winning the iPad. We hope you enjoy it :)

New in JW Player: Responsive Design

With sales of mobile devices now outpacing those of desktop PCs, web designers face a challenge: how to best present content across all these devices. Smartphone screens average around 4” diagonally, tablets are 7" to 10", laptops average around 14" and desktop monitors go up to 30" these days. All these different devices result in screens of varying shapes and sizes. This presents a challenge when laying out a page - how to provide a viewing experience that looks good on every screen. One solution is responsive design.

The State of HTML5 Video – Q1 2013

It’s been a busy first quarter for 2013! Already this year we have seen Microsoft's foray into tablet with their Surface, and BlackBerry’s release of their long-awaited BB10 phone. To coincide with the latest update of our State of HTML5 Video Report, we’ll explore a couple of industry changes impacting the world of online video.