How JW Player does Video Player Testing with QA Automation Tools

The major challenge with automated integration testing for a web player via browser automation tools is that these tools better serve the purposes of web applications such as e-commerce sites, single page applications, and social networks. How do you take a product like JW Player which is embedded on over 2 million websites where publishers are always coming up with unique ways to use the player, and build an automated testing framework that will ensure the quality of that player? I would like to walk through how we’ve taken on that challenge.

Free Webinar: The State of HTML 5 Video

On Wednesday 16 April at 2pm EST, we hosted a free webinar on the State of HTML5 Video. Jeroen Wijering was joined by Sam Dutton of Google Chrome and Mark Robertson of ReelSEO to provide insights, present demos and answer your questions on HTML5 video.

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.

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:

Encoding WebM Videos

WebM is coming up on its second anniversary. Released by Google as a royalty-free alternative to MP4, the video format has slowly gained traction on the web. MP4 still rules by a wide margin, but WebM has dethroned Ogg as the other leading format for HTML5 video.

This post describes two tools for encoding WebM videos: a desktop client and a cloud service. Both are free, easy to set-up and painless to understand. Which one you choose depends upon your personal preference - or the restrictions your company's IT department imposes.

HD Video Everywhere!

These days, HD quality video is no longer an option - it is essentially a requirement. On the other hand, there are still quite a few viewers out there that are unable to play high quality video, due to connection or device constraints. A simple way to fix this is by offering an HD toggle in your player. Viewers that want the full experience select the high quality option, while viewers that don't have the capabilities (or interest) select the low quality option.

Optimize Your Video for Mobile Playback

With the Android and iOS platforms growing like weeds, online publishers are scrambling to mobilize their video players and profit from these additional viewers. Since Apple’s iOS doesn't run Flash, most of these publishers turn to the HTML5 <video> tag for delivering their clips to mobile devices.

While this is a critical first step (better to have your videos play than not), it is also just the start. The mobile user experience (UX) model is vastly different from that of the desktop computer, which means additional work is needed in areas such as interface, streaming and advertising. These UX differences have several implications for video players.

Touch Versus Mouse

Our Tips for Shooting Web Friendly Video that Compresses Well

When it comes to bringing an attractive video experience to your website, the real star is of course the video itself. If your videos look attractive, viewers will be more engaged, and less likely to navigate away. Not only do quality videos look better, they will also compress better, which helps with two important factors - you save on video delivery costs, and smaller files mean your viewers need less bandwidth to watch the videos smoothly.

Here are a few tricks for making your videos look and sound as good as possible. Web friendly video should be easy to compress, and continue to look good even after it has been encoded to a low bitrate.

Supporting Mobile Video on Your Site

One of the most often asked questions when discussing transcoding is How do I support iPads, iPhones, Blackberries and Android phones?. The goal of this blogpost is to remove some of the mystery behind transcoding for devices and present a solution that will work across a wide range of them.

The Problem

Many popular video formats, like FLV or WMV, will not play on devices like the iPhone. Even videos encoded in MP4 may not play back, resulting in the following screen:

iPhone Error
Error playing video on an iPhone