Ooyala, an online video platform provider has launched version 2.0 of its advanced video player, code-named Swift. The player features improved video playback while incorporating a new, modular design. The modular framework appears to be part of the "next wave" in video player technology. Brightcove incorporates this in their player and Adobe recently announced an open source plugin framework.
The upgrades are intended to give content publishers the flexibility to add feature modules as needed, as well as to improve the overall viewing experience. The modularity is quite innovative. Ooyala says the new player can dynamically load code modules on the fly and that the player only loads modules that are required - resulting in more efficient video playback. A faster loading player offers a better user experience, and thus decreases the likelihood that viewers will abandon the video.
A few months back, I offered a preview of their soon-to-be released next generation player and met with their engineers and co-founders who were excited about the upcoming release. CTO and co-founder Sean Knapp told me that the player was completely rewritten from the ground up and is a fraction of the size of the other players with a plug-in architecture that allows for on-demand loading of modules and the seamless integration of new custom modules to extend the player's functionality with the ability to add surveys, polls or other extensible modules. I've republished the interview with Sean below.
The Swift player will also improve video delivery for their already popular adaptive bit rate video delivery feature. With the new player, it has refined the algorithms for bandwidth detection, resulting in a more accurate model of the user's bandwidth. The player dynamically and continuously checks the bandwidth and delivers the best video for the user at all times.
As a side note, Ooyala says it is the only company able to offer online video delivery in Flash using adaptive technology, without requiring Flash 10 or Flash Media Server 3.5. Their modular framework already includes live streaming and synchronized playback, support for many new ad networks, including VAST-based ad systems, integration of Visible Measures analytics.