I apologize if this is a dumb question. But I can't understand why I need this player. MP4 files play natively in Html5 with all the normal video controls (e.g. audio level, full screen option, etc). For a basic user who just wants to stream video, what benefits does the player bring?
There's no native HTML5 support in IE8, or in Firefox under WinXP and OSX (but it's OK on Win7/Win8 and Vista). That's still a pretty substantial percentage of site visitors.
Yeah, JW gives you a consistent "look and feel" across browsers, but guess what - users don't even notice. They just want to watch the videos.
I would like to see a separate bare bones JW player option that is light weight and works across all browsers, even the browsers that have not been updated and works with old versions of flash. No analytics, playlist, skins, advertising, streaming, etc. Although the SD/HD is a nice feature. Youtube is a good example, but they do not offer private videos for businesses. The new releases of JW Player should fix bugs, not add new features as new features create new bugs. I am getting to the point of just offering HTML5 and let the government and corporate users of XP die.
Glad I am not alone. I can play YouTube from any machine and from any browser and without any issues, but my problem is that I need to keep the videos private only to subscribers. Hopefully YouTube will come out with a solution. I would be happy to pay the $10 per month for JWplayer, if it worked as good as YouTube. Its a toss up, you lose customers if its buggy, but you lose customers if its only HTML5. Just last week, I tried my website from another computer, did not work in IE until flash was upgraded, and did not work in FF until FF was updated. Now I am on another computer, and have similar issues, but updated FF and updated flash, but still not working, chrome is ok. Maybe my fault in the coding, but will have to figure it out. I can say that JW Player is better than the other 100 flash / html5 players out there.
No, there is no automatic "fallback to Flash." If you try to view an MP4 in IE8 using a <video> tag, it doesn't work. At best, you get the raw MP4 delivered to the browser, which doesn't have a clue about what to do with it. There is no Flash player script available without something like JW Player.
My response was poorly phrased. Of course you're right. IE8 won't ever play mp4 video. But we already have Flow Player which is a flash player. And we already have flv versions of all our mp4 files (because we started when flash was the standard). So, it seems that we only need html5 "fallback" code to tell us that we need to send the flv version. That said, is there any OTHER reason we'd need the jw player?
If you have just MP4's, coupled with a player script like JW Player, they will play in HTML5 mode in modern browsers, and in Flash mode on older browsers. It has become the one universal format. The player script figures out what kind of platform it's on, and launches the appropriate script to handle it.
An FLV, by contrast, _always_ requires Flash (and a player script), and won't be playable at all on non-Flash platforms like Android and iPad, no matter what.
Remember, a browser like IE8 doesn't know, by itself, how to play _any_ video format. It always needs some kind of Flash player (not just the Flash plugin). At best, it might play a video by itself (not embedded within a page) using QuickTime, for example.
Without any kind of player script, i.e., just using HTML <video> tags, an MP4 will play on all modern browsers. An FLV won't play anywhere, period.
The obvious follow-up question... For "basic" playing functions, why do I need the JW Player instead of a (free) open source player like Videojs? Sure, the JW Player does lots of fancy tricks. But, the code is huge. For my "basic controls" purposes, isn't a smaller, free player the better option?
I guess it really depends on what your use case is. There are a lot of players out there, JW Player, FlowPlayer, VideoJS, Sublime, etc. Each one has their own set of features. Some people might just want to simply use HTML5 <video>, with nothing else.
Thanks. But, of course, the problem with just html5 <video> is that it does NOT work on older browsers like IE8. But, as I now understand it, ANY of the players you mention above will play mp4s on IE8. Correct?
Hmm. I went to the videojs site and tried to play their homepage video on an IE8 browser without flash installed. Doesn't play. Says I need to download flash or use a newer browser. So do I conclude that videojs is NOT like jwplayer -- it requires an mp4 and an flv file to work?
Jim, you're getting confused again. Let's talk about IE8 _without_ Flash installed. There is no player on earth that will play a video in that browser - not an MP4, not an FLV. It must have Flash installed for _any_ player to work.
JW Player and videojs will do exactly the same thing with an MP4. If the browser is HTML5-compliant, it will display the video with HTML5. If the browser is not HTML5-compliant, the player passes the video to the Flash plugin. IE8 is not HTML5-compliant, so it must have Flash installed to play an MP4, using either player.
Now let's turn to an FLV. No matter what browser is used, the player will pass the video to the Flash plugin. There is no other way to play the video. And since mobile devices, like the iPad, can't have a Flash plugin, there's absolutely no way to play an FLV on them. Period.
But now I'm even more confused about players... We already had the Flowplayer on our website. That's what we've used for 10 years to play flvs.
However, of course, it didn't work on iOS products. So, we created an entire separate system with mp4 video files and an html5 player for iOS. And then, in a klugy way, we tried to recognize which format to send to which system.
But now you're telling me that my original Flowplayer was all I ever needed. That is: It can play mp4s on Macs (by itself). And it can play mp4s on IE8 (with the flash plug-in).
Yup, it was that easy. Just convert everything to MP4, and use any of the "major" player scripts out there - JW, Flowplayer, videojs, etc. You'll have all the platforms covered, and just one version of each video.
I just checked the Flowplayer documentation to be sure: http://flowplayer.org/docs/setup.html
And BTW, if you have a bunch of FLV's to convert, you can round them all up in one directory and turn HandBrake loose to batch-process them. The default settings, plus checking "Web optimized," should do very nicely.
You need jwplayer for the hosting. In the new pricing scheme, they've openly decided you're not paying for the player, you're playing for a annual, continuous, hosting subscription. The player comes as an extra.
If you only need to play video's, with an optional flash fallback, and you don't need hosting, use VideoJS or MediaElement.js. There are others.
Mind you, I'm not here to bash JWPlayer. Its a great tool. If jwplayer would offer us a good player without hosting plan, I would choose for that, even if it involved paying a bit - support has been awesome throughout the last decade (thanks ethan!)
Hmm. I'm unclear what you mean by "hosting." After messing with several other players, include the flowplayer we already have and the videojs, we've found that the jwplayer is more consistent across various platforms and browsers. So, we plan to buy the $99/year jwplayer (still "hosting" the actual mp4 files on our own server). I.e. paying $99/year simply for a stable player. Does that seem like a bad idea?
Nothing wrong with your question, but your conclusions provoked some chuckles among the regulars.
The new JW pricing is a bit weird. I'm hard-pressed to think of any other software _product_ for which I'm expected to pay every year. A _service_, like hosting, is a different animal, and that's what JW offers "on the side," as it were. But the player script is hardly a service.
Second, the notion that JW Player is "stable" is downright hilarious. The last couple of releases are absolutely loaded with bloat, coupled with a long list of very questionable coding choices. The script runs reasonably well on a relatively new PC, but on anything more than a couple of years old, look out. It has all the lightweight grace of a hippo on land.
I do not want to sound ungrateful here because Ethan has helped me heaps as he does many people in the forum. But I agree 100% that something has gone completely wrong in the minds of the people who made the decision to change the pricing structure. It seems to me that the company wants to fast track itself to huge wealth because it stands in a position where it has some technologies that others do not yet have, like HLS in desktop.
I do not begrudge the fact of a subscription model. I just thing the price it way too excessive for what it is. Currently I have an Adobe CC subscription which costs me $240 for 1 year ( admittedly this is a previous user price and may change next year) Do you see that I can get every single Adobe application for $60 less than I can get a software video player script that plays HLS videos on only my own websites and can not offer it to clients under the same license?
Which of these two purchases is the better value? For all the Adobe haters they should really look at JWPlayer to see a pricing model that is seriously outrageous.
Media and news companies won't care , they will pay , small people who want to start off with an idea, just can't pay $300 per year for this.
I hope someone is talking to the bosses about this and if it is really they way they should be going.
When I purchased my version of JW Player (5.6) it was on the understanding that all upgrades in the '5' series were free, which was how it unfolded. I was also led to believe, however, that I would only have to pay a one off upgrade fee to go to JW Player 6. That is not what has happened. There was no announcement of the policy change (as far as I'm aware) and it is not an arrangement that I'm interested in, hence I'm still using 5.7. I suppose I should go up to 5.10 but after that I'm not sure what direction I'll go in.
By the way, Ethan, I'm very happy with the service and assistance I've had from you in the past. My needs for a player are simple, my player is self hosted and I have a generous bandwidth allowance on a fast server so the fact is, the new 'deal' JW Player does not fit my requirements. Maybe you should go back to offering the two options.
Back again. My confusion continues. So we bought and started using the jwplayer on our website. Seemed to work fine
But then we got a new computer and installed the newest firefox 26.0. Since my website is now only serving mp4 video, I figured there was no need to download flash (because, I thought I'd learned on this forum, that flash was only required on old browsers like IE8). But, my videos didn't play!
So, I downloaded flash. Now they do play. NOW what am I missing?
Well, the MIME type appears to be correct. No problem viewing the videos in FF26, with Flash disabled, but that's on Win7, of course. On a Mac, FF can't use HTML5 video, and needs Flash (also true for FF on WinXP).
Not sure what the problem could be with IE7, but at this stage of the game, the answer for anyone using IE7 is to use another browser. Any machine that can run IE7 can run IE8, at very least, and should be able to handle FF or Chrome. IE7 is dead and buried. All of the majors have dropped support for it (like Google and Facebook), and there's no reason why the rest of us should keep coddling its last handful of users.