08 Dec November Updates
November Has Brought a Bunch of Interesting Features and Changes to Our Digital Services
Stream Timed Text Components
We have made it possible for the user to add or replace subtitle components to new or within existing streams. Subtitle components are presented to the audience as selectable items within the player allowing the viewer to decide whether they want them on or off. At the time being, the input subtitles need to adhere to the TTML specifications, but we have plans to extend this feature to accept any input format in the near future.
Validate Metadata List Items
We have rolled out an update to the metadata validation system that allows us to inform the user if the selected list items are unsupported for certain platforms. A list item is for example a movie genre like Crime, which is supported by some platforms, but not all.
This new update enable us to address this scenario within the metadata section, so that the user can adjust the metadata to meet such platform requirements prior to attempting an export. This extension to the validation algorithm is currently effective for iTunes and Google, but more platforms will be added soon.
New Media Player
A year ago we began adopting a new media player within our digital services to ensure a great user experience across devices and browsers. We have now completed the migration of our entire media catalogue of video files to this new player meaning all our digital services will benefit greatly from this improvement.
The Supply Chain
The player itself is provided by bitmovin, an Austrian company very much involved in improving the audiovisual playback of media content on the internet. Accompanying the player is a new streaming server provided by Dutch company Unified Streaming.
A streaming server is responsible for pushing content from our servers to the player in the most appropriate format depending on the end-user environment. Finally we have developed an application that glues our MediaCloud DAM system together with the player and streaming server, providing several critical elements, most prominent of which is securing content sources and collecting statistics.
The new player introduces too many new features to list them all here, but these are some of the key features:
- No dependency on Adobe Flash, although it will attempt to fallback on Flash if browsers does not support other methods of playback
- Subtitles as standalone components, meaning they can be switched on/off by the end-user
- Chromecast and Airplay support, allowing the end-user to cast the media to a TV
- Thumbnail seeking, meaning that a still image is displayed according to where the end-user points on the timeline
- Adaptive quality switching, meaning the player will try to determine the best quality based on the available bandwidth
- Skinning, allowing us to easily create completely unique user-interfaces