iOS video and mobile video playback perfection

 

A critical capability for Gravitylab’s video delivery is to make sure that all of our customers’ videos can be played anywhere. Our videos have always been able to play on iOS – we use a separate HTML5 encoding process to switch seamlessly based on what you’re using to view a particular video.

 

There have been some lingering problems with iOS that frustrated our hosting clients and have bugged us too. Native video implementation on iOS differs on the iPad and iPhone. For instance, issues with mobile video for developers that we work worth is that if you have a dropdown menu element on the same page as a video element, and the dropdown menu opens over the video, then you can’t click the menu.

 

The video start or ‘play’ on iOS isn’t ideal: it starts with a black screen, then moves to a still image, then a play button.

 

Our customers often put in the effort to customize our HTML5 player, and we want their video playback to stand out from others. Stand out and be better. We want to work with you and develop whatever customizations you may need with the iOS video functions you wanted to include, player color you chose, etc.

 

GravityLab now can design iOS video optimizations, and assist our clients in deploying them. But what about fast video and optimized video playback in iOS devices?

 

Designed into iOS software, the built-in video player now supports adaptive bit rate switching during playback. As a user watches a video on their iPhone, iPad, or iPod device, the iOS player will detect the user’s available bandwidth and automatically switch to the appropriate bit rate during playback.

 

This process provides for a much better viewing experience: higher quality (bit rate) videos streamed for faster WiFi connections while lesser quality videos are streamed in low bandwidth situations such as is the case with AT&Ts 3G network (especially in developing nations in South America and many parts of India). And, Apple’s version of adaptive bit rate streaming can be utilized by our CDN with multiple delivery points on the edge worldwide.

 

Adaptive bit rate via M3U8 and HLS is also called Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS). To take advantage of this, you need to create a set of files including a master .m3u8 streaming instruction file, a .m3u8 file for each bitrate you have specified , and all the video segments (MPEG .ts) in the duration specified. The rest is streaming video magic.

GravityLab includes Apple’s iOS Advanced HLS Streaming in our product offering along with Adobe’s HTTP Dynamic Streaming and IIS Smooth Streaming.   When a compatible iOS devices visit your GravityLab powered video we do not simply serve up a single bitrate iOS compatible video file.  GravityLab prepares your video for both an iPad and iPhone adaptive bitrate stream.  Apple’s HLS Streaming prepares your video into 5 or 6 differnt bitrates each in 10 or 9 second segments and will dynamically serve the bitrate most appropriate to the bandwidth of the individual client.  This means that if a user has a high bandwidth environment they can enjoy beautiful high definition video content on their iPad and if another user is trying to watch the same video on a 3G connection they will have a smooth video experience watching a lower bitrate version instead of the dreaded stuttering and stopping of bandwidth negotiation and buffering.

 

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HLS: HTTP adaptive bit rate and iOS streaming video

By in December 7, 2013

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Mobile Video Hosting: Optimized video for phones, tablets, iOS and Android

By in May 22, 2014

Apple updates their HLS recommendations and best practices for encoding and serving HTTP Live streaming video for the iPhone and iPad

By in April 5, 2014

  It’s been a long time since Apple has updated their document ‘Best Practices for Creating and Deploying HTTP Live Streaming Media for the iPhone and iPad‘   Key take aways include:   Apple now recommends using different audio bitrates for the different quality HLS streams, starting at 64Kbps and scaling up to 128Kbps. The […]

iOS video hosting and Android streaming video

By in February 14, 2014

How to: Redirect Android when using HLS video (Wowza or FMS)

By in February 13, 2014

How to redirect Android when using HLS or Apple HTTP Live Streaming Example of using a simple javascript redirect to make sure Android works with HLS I was doing some live HLS webcasting (live broadcast using HLS via FMS 4.5), I realized that many Android devices will playback m3u8 / HLS, but not if the […]

How to: HTTP Live Streaming Video, (HLS Video) : Encoding guidelines and helpful tips

By in December 1, 2013

HTTP Live Streaming Video (Apple HLS) How to encode, embed and stream HLS. Resources, including HLS / m3u8 players   The Apple HLS video codec specs are grouped according to whether the content is intended to be streamed over a 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi network, whether the content is for iPhone / iPod Touch or […]

Why use HTTP Live Streaming (HLS)? When should you use HLS? What is HLS?

By in November 7, 2013

HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) Why use it? What does it do? Why do I even care at all? 3 Reason Why You Want to Use HTTP Live Streaming Reason #1 You want your video in an iOS app, either iPhone or iPad. Apple requires HTTP Live Streaming for that, and they are very strict about […]

Example / Sample of HLS Streaming player with video m3u8 with demo

By in October 26, 2013

How to embed HLS video player m3u8 video (various methods) The .m3u8 file is a metafile that can be generated that acts as options for the device playing back the stream. HTTP Live Streaming, aka HLS, aka adaptive bit rate streaming, using html5 video and no plugins. How to Embed HLS / M3u8 Streaming: Demo […]

Video Kickstarter

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$15/Month
2 Months Free with Annual Payment

Video Grow

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$30/Month
2 months free w/Annual Payment

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Complete control over your video
$50/Month
2 months free w/Annual Payment


 

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