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

W3C WebTV: Adaptive Streaming & Content Protection

Last week, the W3C held its Second Web & TV Workshop in Berlin. The workshop focused on the convergence of web technology and broadcasting. In other words, how will web and television work together to eventually merge?

Along with sessions on second-screen scenarios and accessibility, the workshops covered adaptive streaming and content protection. Both sessions were very compelling considering that streaming and protection are two important limitations of today's HTML5 video support.

Adaptive Streaming: DASH

Live Streaming Using Wowza EC2

Publishing a few on-demand videos can be cheap and simple: just upload the videos to your site and use a tool like the JW Player to embed them on your site. Historically, publishing a live stream has been challenging and a lot more expensive.

Browser Video Codec Support – Does it Matter?

The Google Chrome team recently announced it would drop support for the H.264 video codec. Dropping H264 is beneficial for Google in several ways: it may help Google's WebM format gain additional traction in the market and solidifies Google's stance as a supporter of open media formats in the WebM versus H264 debate, as most of Google's other properties (including YouTube) still support H264.

Shortly after the announcement, a truckload of blog posts popped up, explaining the impact this would have on the adoption of WebM over H264. A couple interesting reads:

A Word about YouTube Support in the JW Player

As you may know, the JW Player has long included support for playing YouTube videos. We did this by integrating YouTube’s ActionScript 2 chromeless player as a JW Player Media Provider, and it has worked well for a number of years. You can see an example of it below. Recently, YouTube made a change to their AS2 chromeless player that affects our ability to support all YouTube videos. This change was announced last October and just went into effect. In short, if you embed a video that YouTube and/or their partners consider monetizable, then the video won’t play and your users will see an error (see the example below).

Building a Video Sitemap

Is your goal to increase the total number of video views on your site? Are you having trouble ranking high within search engine results? This blog post will present some basic guidelines for achieving this goal — and building a robust Video Sitemap for your site.

One of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your videos, and site in general, is through the use of a sitemap, or in this case, a video sitemap. A sitemap provides search engines with information about your site, and a video sitemap provides information on your videos. In essence, it makes it easier for search engines (i.e. Google) to understand the content of your site, and assign the appropriate rankings.

BitsontheRun.com Makes the Move to LongTailVideo.com

In early 2010, we officially merged with our longtime partner, Bits on the Run. Bits on the Run has gradually moved its content over to longtailvideo.com, assuming a larger presence on our site. We are pleased to announce that Bits on the Run has officially migrated the remaining bitsontherun.com content to longtailvideo.com. Bits Users will notice that they are redirected to LongTail Video's website automatically. All information previously accessed on www.bitsontherun.com is now available on www.longtailvideo.com.

To help ease this transition, below lists where you will find the various Bits on the Run content: