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!


    • Walljet

      November 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      We used the new player inside WordPress:

      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!

    • Ethan LongTail

      November 24, 2012 at 1:52 am

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

    • Mahesh

      November 24, 2012 at 6:25 am

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

    • J Martin Ward

      November 24, 2012 at 9:14 am

      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

    • Ethan LongTail

      November 24, 2012 at 11:50 pm

      @Mahesh – Do you have a link?

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

    • Ethan LongTail

      November 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Do you have a link?

    • Simon Garner

      November 29, 2012 at 4:45 am

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

    • Ethan LongTail

      November 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      No plans, sorry.

    • Ethan LongTail

      November 29, 2012 at 6:37 pm

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

    • Ian

      December 3, 2012 at 12:21 am

      Thank you, have done so :-)

    • Ethan LongTail

      December 3, 2012 at 4:47 am


    • Ben

      December 19, 2012 at 10:39 pm

      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!

    • Ethan LongTail

      December 19, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      Np! :)

    • Walljet

      December 21, 2012 at 10:53 am

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

    • Ethan LongTail

      December 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      This is still V5.

    • Stefan

      December 26, 2012 at 11:48 pm

      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.

    • Ethan LongTail

      December 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      @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.

    • Paul Rowlingson

      January 9, 2013 at 9:48 am

      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

    • Ethan LongTail

      January 9, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      Yes, we are planning on it.

    • Andrew

      January 16, 2013 at 7:35 am

      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.

    • Ethan LongTail

      January 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm

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

    • Shamar Armstrong

      January 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      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?

    • Shamar Armstrong

      January 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      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.

    • Mahesh

      November 26, 2012 at 6:48 am

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

      <script type="text/javascript">
                 file: "rtmp://",
              width: "480",
              height: "270",
              primary: "flash",
              autostart: "true",

      Please suggest any modifications that need to be done.

    • Udhay

      September 15, 2014 at 8:23 am

      How can check my players status

      1.Whether my player can run the ad before the video

      2.Validity of my player

      Kindly help me to proceed work with my player.

    • Vyas

      April 16, 2015 at 9:07 am

      Dear Team,

      If we update to the latest free download version does it take care of the 508 compliance.

      Eagerly waiting for the reply.

      Thanks in advance,


      • Ethan Feldman

        April 16, 2015 at 10:48 am

        Email support at jwplayer dot com regarding this.

Comments are closed.