Paratrooper Digital

Looking into OSMF

We’ve heard a lot of great things about OSMF. After an OSMF workshop at a MAX we’ve started to look into it.

It’s totally a flexible library of controls. There’s a fair amount of documentation and samples out there to pull form and there’s access to all the source code. Here’s our overview.

It was super easy to get a video player up and running inside of different flash application. There are even players already created where you can load in all your skin assets via XML, great for people who don’t even own a copy of flash builder/flash pro. The Strobe media player also has tie ins for JS incase you’re looking to incorporate other controls to engage the player.

So much of the framework is generic (which is awesome), but the documentation can also become too weak. It’s something that can be worked through, it just takes time. If you are in a pinch and need to create a basic video player its great. Once you want to start your own plugin creation or deal with other traits, the documentation seems to break down a bit. The moment you need to add an analytics package that a plugin hasn’t already been created for you could find yourself in a rough spot if you are under the gun. Allow yourself enough time to work through it and you’ll be happy you did.

In addition to being great tools for creating basic video players, one of the markets its targeted towards is solving the problem of incorporating other elements on top of video. Video bugs, advertising, integration of interactive purchasing experiences related to the media content presented are all huge places where OSMF can save a lot of time.

One of the other really awesome things we are looking forward to is the HTTP Dynamic Streaming. Adobe pushes Flash Access 2 as a video streaming server, but don’t be fooled, all you need is the free packager and the http origin module. Flash Access is great if you need your files to be protected and are dealing with DRM, but if you don’t need that there’s a free solution.

The free packager takes the headers of multiple files and pulls them together in a new binary file. Players, like those that make use of the OSMF can do the switching of streams from one video to another of a different bitrate.

The origin module helps the player make the change in the request so that the change is as seamless as possible.

Looks like we’ll have to wait for the 64 bit version of the origin module to be completed before we’ll be able to integrate on most production servers, but that’s exciting; especially when supplying video for use on mobile devices.

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About Nate Frank

Nate is currently a Senior Presentation Layer Architect at Razorfish Chicago. As an SPLA Nate: participates in technology leadership team and resource allocations, manage fulltime and contractor resources, represents technology for groups of brands across multiple clients, furthers development of standards within the office, architects project implementations and fosters community and mentoring.

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