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flowplayer 3.0

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In between doing various chores including shopping (spit!) I have been tinkering with flowplayer. flowplayer is some clever software which lets you host your own video clips and embed them in your web pages, rather than having to put them on YouTube or similar.

flowplayer logo It's what I used to put my train video clips online on the Wiblog last Sunday. That was using flowplayer 2 and some people had problems viewing the video clips. In the end I don't think it was flowplayer related as they couldn't see the photo Beth had taken either but it did make me revisit flowplayer and I discovered that release 3 is now available so today I've installed that, both here (so the video clips on Sunday now use flowplayer 3) and on our main photo hosting site. Here they are again, it's two clips as a "playlist":

The new version seems better in several ways:

  1. They have simplified the way you invoke the software and pass it parameters, which makes my life easier as a web developer.
  2. They have fixed an annoying "feature" where a new video clip started at a smaller size and then popped out to the right size.
  3. You get a preview of the clip if you choose not to have it auto-start (compare this which still uses flowplayer 2 with this using flowplayer 3).
  4. They have made the way it handles the end of the video clip a lot more elegant (ditto).
  5. They have made it easier to customise things, of which I'll say more in a moment.

The only downside is that each clip is briefly branded with "flowplayer" bottom left and I'm told that if you switch to full screen view (that's not supported on my desktop) the whole video is branded. Unless you pay them and as this is just for fun I'm not doing that.

But going back to customisation if you look on our photo hosting site at an album, like this one you can see that we often give a photo or video clip a title. Now try using the View all images and videos in one go link. You'll see each clip played in turn and then the photo while below the title of each is displayed. That's done via an "onBegin" event which flowplayer provide - all I had to do was write some JavaScript to exploit it.

Cool!

Tags: video, web design Written 10/12/08

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