Implementing FCC Closed Captioning Requirements

As of January 1, 2014 the FCC requires programs on live US television to include closed captioning when they are re-shown on the Internet. Additional requirements include a set of enhancements to make captions more accessible to a variety of needs. The FCC has adopted these requirements based off of provisions in the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA). This Act is a giant step forward in updating laws passed during the 80's and 90's to fit with modern technologies. captions

Call to Action with JW Player

Adding calls to action (CTAs) to your videos is one of the most effective ways to convert leads. Viewers are much more likely to take the next step when you direct them toward an action at the perfect moment within your video than if your video simply plays with no button urging "click here". Common CTAs are signing up for a free trial, contacting a sales rep, or linking to more resources. Let us know if you have other great ideas! Although creating clickable calls to action isn’t an out-of-the box feature of JW Player, it is possible to achieve this with some JavaScript and our JavaScript API.

How to do it

All you need to do here is set up a normal JW Player embed like we always do, and use our API, and onComplete(), to tell the player to display the call to action at the end. This demo shows a movie preview with a CTA to watch the entire film when the preview is over:

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.

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:

Video Metadata Practices to Boost SEO

Metadata is best described as data about your data. In the context of the internet, it is a quick reference (or key word) used to help describe the larger concept of your web page content. It comes in the form of descriptive titles, text, keywords, and dates.

Web page metadata has been used by web developers and designers for quite some time now. More recently, the importance of metadata in the context of online video has been recognized. So what should this mean for your videos? Read on and find out...

Using Closed Captions for Online Video

Web video accessibility is a broad term that refers to making videos usable for all types of viewers. Traditionally, it refers to those with impairments, but more recently the definition has broadened. At LongTail Video, we feel strongly about creating the means of equal access to online video content. By building products that support features such as multi-language video captions, we aim to increase viewer accessibility. Though there are many pieces to making a video fully accessible, in this post we focus the discussion on closed captions.

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.