Andy Wickes reviews Flowplayer the Open Source (GPL 3) video player for the web which can be use it to embed video streams into your web pages.
Recently I discovered a fantastically simple new player for those wishing to host and present video on their sites. As you can see, I was so impressed that I thought I’d share the good news. There’s been mention of Flowplayer in the forums, but even I was impressed at how simple it is to integrate so I thought I’d highlight some benefits and show how simple the mark-up needs to be to get your started with a simple integration.
First up, it is important to say that this is aimed at those who host the video files themselves. If you choose to use a video streaming service such as Vimeo or YouTube then both of these provide code for embedding the player themselves. Flowplayer provide a simple customisable player that will have your files up and on your pages in no time.
It is possible that you currently use Flash Video (FLV) as a file format. I certainly did, and if so you might have followed the following steps to get video live on your page:
Import the file into Flash.
- Choose a player skin
- Export as SWF
- Collect the SWF
- Collect the FLV
- Collect the HTML
Then you must upload these in the corresponding file structure on your website, acutely aware that if the video needs to change then you need to re-export the .SWF file again to replace it.
On the whole this is and has always been overly complex for achieving what is in essence a very simple process. Imagine if it was like this for images?
To get you started look at the free Flowplayer download. All you need do here is:
- Upload the FLV, MP4, or H.264 video to your site
- Upload their SWF player
By Andy Wickes
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