Introducing Our New, Old Name: JW Player

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Today, we have exciting news to share with our community. After months of hard work, we are officially changing our company name from LongTail Video to JW Player. We are absolutely thrilled to make this change, as we think it better captures who we are and what we are trying to accomplish in the future.

As part of our rebrand, we have moved our website from longtailvideo.com to jwplayer.com. In addition to our new graphics and colors, you will notice that we streamlined our site navigation significantly so that users can more easily learn about our products and get video up on their sites. We also renamed our popular online video platform, Bits on the Run, “JW Platform”. When you have a moment, please go explore our new site. It was a massive move for us and we would really appreciate your feedback!

Delivering HLS with Amazon CloudFront

In this blog post, we will setup Amazon Cloudfront to swiftly and reliably deliver an HLS stream around the globe. We'll use JW Player to embed these streams, so they work on both iOS and desktop browsers.

This post is a follow-up to the one on Encoding HLS with Amazon Elastic transcoder. That post discussed setting up storage buckets and creating Pipelines, Presets and Jobs to encode HLS.

Creating CloudFront distributions

The State of HTML5: Firefox Now Supports MP4!

With Q2 of 2013 behind us, it is time for another update of our State of HTML5 Video report. The last few months have mostly been about filling in the gaps, with Android improving its API support, Opera adding Fullscreen support and Internet Explorer 10 slowly replacing IE8 and IE9. The biggest story though is Firefox’s phased rollout of MP4 playback support.

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MP4: One Format That Plays Everywhere

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 JavaScript, an iFrame, and our JavaScript API.

Encoding HLS with Amazon Elastic Transcoder

Update: JW7 is now available. Check it out here.

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.

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:

These Tooltip Thumbnails are loaded in JW Player as external VTT files. The Encoding.com encoding service now has support for this format, which greatly simplifies building these Tooltip Thumbnails for your videos.