As you may have seen in John’s recent post, we have been playing with AirPlay a little bit. Well, with a couple of days somewhat open at the start of this week, I decided to see what it would take to get HTML5 playback happening on iPad, iPhone and Android. I’m pleased to tell you that this afternoon we put an alpha version of this functionality up on VB3!
See the instructions for using it below, but first let me offer a few caveats:
1) This is an alpha test, which means “not even a beta test yet.” I threw it up there for you guys to try out, and I will be busy on other stuff for the next few weeks. Therefore, expect bugs and odd behavior, and you won’t be disappointed.
2) This is only live on VB3. (The time constraint meant that I could only do this on one site, and I chose the one that would be the fastest/easiest to modify.) VB3 is nowhere near ready for easy/convenient mobile-device browsing, so the footer gets in your way, scrolling is a pain, most click events have mouseover events tied to them so you have to tap twice a lot to get a link to actually click, and the list goes on. Rest assured, that will all be changed in the not-too-distant future.
3) The videos being streamed are H.264 DVD resolution only. We played with streaming the 720P HD when available, but we were not able to get it to stream and ran out of troubleshooting time. Still, I think the videos look pretty kick-ass, and I’m eager to hear if you agree or not. We are not offering the ability to switch to a lower resolution yet; for lower-bandwidth mobile use, go to the VB mobile beta.
Instructions for use:
1) Point your iPad, iPhone or Android device to vb3.videobox.com/login.seam and login with your VB username and password.
2) On the Browse pages, tap the button in the lower left on the footer that says “HIDE.” This hides the flash-player column on those pages, making for much easier browsing. (You’ll need to tap at least twice.)
3) Tap the title of a scene or clip you want to watch (this is almost always easier than trying to tap a thumbnail image, since those have mouseover events galore and will rarely take you to the Discover Mode page with one tap).
4) Tap the play button overlaid on the video player once it appears. Bam! High-quality video streaming on your mobile device.
5) At this point, you can also select additional items from the right-hand element (use 2 fingers to scroll them on iPad/iPhone, and again tap the titles instead of the thumbs). Your new selection should load and then auto-play.
7) Leave a comment below to report bugs, request improvements, or offer your reactions.
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