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Video Players for Writer August 24, 2006

Posted by J.J. in Code, Writer.
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Creating an image publishing feature for Writer that worked well with all weblog services was reasonably straightforward – most weblogs are able to host images and support direct uploading from clients via newMediaObject.

On the other hand, creating a video publishing feature was another challenge entirely. Unlike images, weblogs don’t normally host videos. Instead, videos are published to a wide variety of specialized video portals (which are still springing up left and right). There was no way we could properly support the diversity of current and future video hosting services with a feature baked directly into the product.

The solution: put all of the infrastructure required for video publishing into the product but don’t expose it directly to end users. Instead, expose this infrastructure to developers through the Writer SDK, allowing them to build the requisite bridges to (hopefully) all of the popular video services on the web.

If you are thinking of creating a video player plugin, the best way to get started is to read the “Embedding a Media Player” article in the SDK. While it is possible to create a simple video player very quickly, I think the best ones will also support some or all of the following behavior:

  • Be created as a subclass of SmartContentSource. This makes their implementation a bit more complicated but enables many of the cool features described below.
  • Enable insertion of videos either by “browsing”  (InsertableContentSource) or through a Url (UrlContentSource).
  • Rather than publishing an <embed> tag for videos (which RSS readers and many weblogs will strip) publish a JPEG snapshot of the video which links through to a page that plays it automatically. This can be accomplished using the HtmlScreenCapture class.
  • While publishing JPEG snapshots will ensure broad compatibility, it is still very cool to have a real embedded player when possible. Plugins can use the AdaptiveHtmlObject class to do this auto-magically.
  • If the video service supports variable sizes of embedded player, Plugins should allow users to directly manipulate the size of the video (check the SDK article “Making Content Resizable” for more info on doing this).
  • Create a sidebar editor that allows users to control things like captions, layout (text-flow and margins), and linking behavior (open in new window, etc.).

I’m excited to see a slew of cool video plugins come down the pike in the weeks ahead. If developers building them have questions or run into trouble feel free to leave comments here and I’ll try to help you through!

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Comments»

1. Inside Live » Blog Archive » Quick News; Windows Live Messenger 8.1, OneCare Family Safety, Video Search…. - August 24, 2006

[…] And finally, JJ Allaire sheds a little more light on the video publishing capabilities of Windows Live Writer. According to Allaire, “(t)here was now way we could properly support the diversity of current and future video hosting services with a feature baked directly into the product.” So Windows Live Writer has exposed the necessary infrastructure to developers, who are free to build video player plugins using the Live Writer SDK. […]

2. News Roundup: Video Search, Live Drive, Video Publishing. at Bit Sticks - August 25, 2006

[…] And finally, JJ Allaire sheds a little more light on the video publishing capabilities of Windows Live Writer. According to Allaire, “(t)here was now way we could properly support the diversity of current and future video hosting services with a feature baked directly into the product.” So Windows Live Writer has exposed the necessary infrastructure to developers, who are free to build video player plugins using the Live Writer SDK. View: beta.search.live.com/video/ […]

3. Video Search, Live Drive, Video Publishing at Windows X’s Shrine - August 25, 2006

[…] And finally, JJ Allaire sheds a little more light on the video publishing capabilities of Windows Live Writer. According to Allaire, “(t)here was now way we could properly support the diversity of current and future video hosting services with a feature baked directly into the product.” So Windows Live Writer has exposed the necessary infrastructure to developers, who are free to build video player plugins using the Live Writer SDK. […]

4. External News - August 26, 2006

News Roundup: Video Search, Live Drive, Video Publishing

From around the web, today – first Brandon at MSTechToday points out the link to the new video search

5. External RSS Feeds - August 28, 2006

Blog list: Bullpen

Bullpen Charles Mike Bonnie J.J. Joe Rebecca Spike

6. Windows Live - September 3, 2006

News Roundup: Video Search, Live Drive, Video Publishing

From around the web, today – first Brandon at MSTechToday points out the link to the new video search


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