Blog Video Player

Most blogs embed the Youtube player to publish videos on their blog. Problem is, that player publishes videos that are hosted on Youtube. What if I wish to showcase my own video production on my Blog? To do that I would first need to publish my video on Youtube, then embed the Youtube player (linked to my video) on the blog page, a tedium at best. * yawn * I don't need to do that if I have my own video-player widget on my blog. Hence this post to test the concept. And it works !

Now I have the best of both worlds: my own video for readers of this Blog only or publish the video on Youtube if I need to attract a bigger audience. Independence does make you feel good, doesn't it? * grin *

Here's the implementation : Echo - We Are Here!
Issues : This will be a continual update as more issues are found..
a. To play the video in full screen, hit the full-screen icon at the bottom right corner of the video box. Hitting the [ESC] key will return you to the blog page. That works in Google Chrome and IE9 but not in Firefox due to cross-platform inconsistencies. If you use Firefox please right-click and select Full-screen to play the video full-screen.
    Update 5-Feb-12 : That is no longer true. As of today the full-screen icon is now shown at the bottom right corner of the vid box too.

b. Why do you omit ogg format? Only 2 formats - mmp4 & webM - are served, voiding the need to convert mp4 to ogg, saving conversion time and DropBox folder space. I omitted ogg to see if FF will play webM. Apparently FF ver 10 does play webM but not mp4 yet. Maybe I should i/c ogg for those using ff 9 and below? hmmm...Seems vid fallback to Flash is not needed if only using Chrome, FF, or IE9 as this vid will play on these platforms.

c. Why don't you i/c Flash fallback? I could. Problem is, vid controls are inconsistent across platforms as the Flash player has a different menu bar and the goal is to achieve consistent cross-platform performance as much as possible. My post Video for Everybody shows the menu control using a Flash fallback (youtube player) and no javascript is used. So, some trade-off here.

d. Why then don't you use VfE exclusively? I could. Problem is, without javascript the menu control is inconsistent across different platforms.

e. Video volume level may be adjusted, either on the video control-bar or via the external volume control of the PC speaker.

f. In IE9 some elements on the blog page overlay the video when you play it in full-screen mode. That ruin the presentation somewhat. Still no luck trying to figure out what causes the overlay in IE9. As the issue occur only for this vid player but not in Youtube embedded vids, the problem has to be either HTML5, the Flash player used, the vid menubar control or some incorrect setting. Note that this video displays properly without any disturbing overlay element in Firefox or Chrome browser. Any ideas, anyone?

UPDATE 08-Feb-12: My AV probably is the culprit, figuring out which setting causes the problem in IE9 and not in the other browser platforms. Turned off AV web filter. Issue solved in blog DC.

UPDATE 09-Feb-12: Arrgghh.. although blog DC doesn't surface the overlay issue now I discovered blogs Shunfoto ("SF") and Forgive Me Lord ("FML") still do. More testing - probably has to do with the CSS code in SP and FML? * sigh *.

g. Why does the video takes some time to load? If you're not using high-speed broadband the video will take >5 sec to load. Other factors are also involved - available bandwidth, congestion, etc. I converted all my vids to full HD format - resolution 1920x1200, 3-4 min run time, 35MB file size - because bigger file sizes and Full HD is the future. Owing to their much larger file sizes, full HD vids take longer to load than SD videos. If your bandwidth is not up to it the video will stutter in the first few seconds. After that play should be smooth, hopefully. * grin *

If you're not on the nationwide fibre-optic network, I suggest you get a subscription plan. Superspeed fibre broadband is now price competitive to Singtel's ADSL or Starhub's Cable broadbands. I'm on M1 paying $39 pm (promotional offer) for download and upload speed of upto 50Mbps. Even as I write, ultra-speed fibre broadband is becoming available in many countries today. Ultra-speed broadband will become the de-facto standard as more people ( i.e. congestion ) get on the Internet and multimedia continues to hog the screen - be it on the desktop PC, iPad, iPhone, Ultrabooks. Gasp! Yes, even become mainstream on the living room TV as multimedia technologies converge and merge. TV as we know it today will no longer exist - the Internet is the new TV. That's the new paradigm.

Already the next exciting prospect for multimedia is here: Thunderbolt, the blazingly fast file transfer and streaming made possible by Intel's latest innovation announced last year and is expected to be in the market some time in 2012! Apple had a minor role in Thunderbolt and already launched new Thunderbolt-equipped devices in Dec 2011!

Incidentally, Thunderbolt is also a paradigm shift, spawning new devices and technologies and changing the PC industry. It will make today's PC obsolete. PCs will come modular, heat inside the new PC will no longer be an issue as power, graphics, etc will become externalized. That allows higher clock-speeds and processing power and everything will shrink. Graphics will either be enshrined in the CPU or be externalized, the new PC will take tablet form with built-in screen - like the iPAD - but will be as powerful as desktop PCs today. Storage of programs, data, etc using the Cloud will be pre-dominant, obviating the need for local hard disks on the new PC which will be equipped with light weight (modular or built-in) SSDs. All these technologies are already here, Thunderbolt will tie all these disparate technologies together to make possible the new format, perhaps as soon as within 3-5 years.

Everything will go on the Net - healthcare, education, homework, officework, entertainment, police patrols, security survillence, home automation, etc. Internet hotspots will proliferate, merge, become ubiquitous. Entire communities will have free access to public broadband networks when governments ( yes, free access except Singapore * wink-wink * ) realize the Net is the new TV to communicate with the masses. Books, bookstores, newspapers, magazines, public libraries will be obsolete - as dead as the Dodo. That is the future - and ultra-speed broadband is an indispensable cog in that future.

I didn't hesitate to subscribe when fibre-optic broadband became available in Singapore in 2010. I assume most of you are already on the highspeed bandwagon because - like me - you saw how enjoyable and good Youtube vids really are in full HD glory!

Update 08-Feb-12: Google lays new fibre-optic cable for Super-Fast Internet. Read here.


html5 player said...

Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.
html5 video player

GreenCoal said...

Thank you for your support.

Yes, after exhaustive testing, I have more or less come to a conclusion on an excellent method (in my view) to embed an independent vid player on blogs, given the complexities of cross-browser inconsistencies, interactions, etc.

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