PDA

View Full Version : New video player


Brenda
08-06-2008, 08:05 PM
Please give us your feedback on the new video player here.

nikkibong
08-06-2008, 10:08 PM
A little too Star Trek Enterprise for me, personally. (Visually, it's just far too intrusive in a "look how futuristic we are" kind of way.)

That said, the 'jump ahead 10 seconds' feature is definitely a keeper!

bjkeefe
08-06-2008, 11:01 PM
That said, the 'jump ahead 10 seconds' feature is definitely a keeper!

Must. Resist.

bjkeefe
08-07-2008, 12:30 AM
I like it. So far, I see no problems. I take nikki's point about it being a little garish, but I think that is the sort of thing that one stops noticing after a few days. (Perhaps, as a wishlist entry, we could ask for a button that
hides/unhides that lower row on controls.)

As an option, nikki, does using the full-screen mode appeal? The controls disappear from view after a few seconds in this case.

Specific kudos for the dingalink upgrade. I like that the end point can now be set by clicking a button, and I really like the ability to preview the dingalink in place.

Specific kudos, also, for the link/embed button and associated functionality. Haven't explicitly tested the embed part yet, but all looks in order.

Great job, overall.

One tiny, tiny thing that I would change: I'd move the buttons to jump back/ahead by 10 seconds directly underneath the play/pause button. Usually, when I want to jump, I pause the video first, because things are more responsive that way. (It appears that using the jump buttons while the video is playing causes reloading, or something, but it's more sluggish, no matter what the underlying cause.) So, is asking not to have to move my mouse pointer a whole three inches asking too much? Probably. But if it were up to me ...

And anyway, I had to have one gripe. Wouldn't want to come off as a fanboy or anything.

bjkeefe
08-07-2008, 12:37 AM
I don't know how hard this would be to implement, so I'll just ask.

It would be nice if when I hovered my mouse pointer above the track in which the slider moves that a tooltip-style window would appear, showing the timestamp associated with the current position; i.e., what I'm pointing at. I notice that all the buttons have a tooltip that appears when the pointer changes from an arrow to a pointing finger, and that the pointer does this same change when positioned above the track (that is, it's something equivalent to an HTML <a> tag), so maybe?

I think I've seen this behavior on a few other video players out there; if I can remember which one, I'll update this.

abaris
08-07-2008, 01:48 AM
The functionality of the new player is great, but the user interface must be made far thinner.

Baltimoron
08-07-2008, 05:13 AM
It's a keeper. It will save me time embedding diavlogs. Thanks

But, what's with the Irish unification color scheme, the greens and oranges?

AemJeff
08-07-2008, 10:08 AM
The full screen mode is probably my biggest complaint. On my 16:9 laptop the image stretches, distorting the participants faces. On a 4:3 CRT I don't have the problem.

laura
08-07-2008, 12:52 PM
Even better would be to have a minute scale on the time bar. When I don't listen to the whole thing, I prefer to be able to listen to the subjects in their context since the little menu doesn't always clip in a helpful way. At the moment I just guess.

Otherwise the thing seems fine if a little ugly.

nikkibong
08-07-2008, 01:45 PM
As an option, nikki, does using the full-screen mode appeal? The controls disappear from view after a few seconds in this case.



Don't really like full screen: there is just something profoundly disturbing at seeing, say, Eli Lake's head at 8 inches across. Like it's about to protrude right out of my laptop, or something. Yikes!

TwinSwords
08-07-2008, 03:17 PM
I like it!

It would be nice if you could add the functionality of the "Replay Clip" button (from the "Link/Embed" screen) to the toolbar.

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/9375/sample0mf7.png


The current BETA player has two modes:

(1) Video Mode, where you see the two "heads" and the toolbar.
(2) Link/Embed mode, where you see the screen shown above.

To the maximum extent possible, you should reduce the need to switch between these modes.

The way it currently works, you can use the sliders available in Video Mode to set start and end times. But then to actually preview the clip, you need to switch to the Link/Embed mode. This is not at all intuitive, and many users will get lost at this stage. (The principle is that the button or command label must match as closely as possible the action desired by the user. If the user wants to "preview clip," it's not at all obvious they should click a button labeled "Link/Embed.")

The current dependency on two modes is more cumbersome than necessary. Creating a good dingalink requires "fine tuning" the start and end times, so many users will be forced to switch between modes several times. You could save users this trouble by adding a "preview clip" button to the toolbar.

http://img523.imageshack.us/img523/9661/sample1un4.png

After the user has set the correct start and end times, the next logical step is to click the "Link/Embed" button.

If the sample interface above is too cluttered, you could remove the "clear clip settings" button:

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/9338/sample2kv6.png

The principle here is making the interface easier to use, making it easier for people to create dingalinks.

Easier dingalinks > more dingalinks & more embeds > more traffic to BHTV.



.

TwinSwords
08-07-2008, 03:19 PM
The functionality of the new player is great, but the user interface must be made far thinner.

My opinion: It's fine. It's suppose to provide access to features, and it does that. People won't even be looking at it when they are watching a diavlog. In my opinion, this is a non-issue with the current beta design.

AemJeff
08-11-2008, 10:09 AM
I've just created a dingalink for the first time with the new player. The ease of doing so compared to the older player is siginificantly better. That, all by itself, is a great feature.

AemJeff
08-11-2008, 11:37 AM
A nice enhancement to the clip editing features would a one second nudge, up or down, on the clip start and end markers. Possibly by capturing the left and right arrow keys when one of those controls is selected?

bjkeefe
08-11-2008, 01:19 PM
A nice enhancement to the clip editing features would a one second nudge, up or down, on the clip start and end markers. Possibly by capturing the left and right arrow keys when one of those controls is selected?

After you play the dingalink you have specified by clicking the start and end button, you see a link/embed button in the window. Upon clicking that, you see text boxes that show the start and end times of the clip. Those are editable.

AemJeff
08-11-2008, 10:05 PM
After you play the dingalink you have specified by clicking the start and end button, you see a link/embed button in the window. Upon clicking that, you see text boxes that show the start and end times of the clip. Those are editable.

You make an excellent point, Brendan.

TwinSwords
08-12-2008, 11:24 AM
Another great thing about the new player is that when you follow someone's dingalink, you can easily use the slides to modify the start or end times to see fuller context for the dingalink. Previously, you had to edit the URL, which was a bit more trouble.

The new player is a great improvement!

Brenda
08-12-2008, 11:49 AM
Thanks for the suggestion, Twin. We'll be looking at interface improvements such as this in a future upgrade.

fedorovingtonboop
08-16-2008, 07:53 PM
like it. good job

scted
08-17-2008, 10:10 PM
Like it alot. It addresses my main complaint about accessibility to content very elegantly and gives the user easy and flexible control

Still need to understand why I have to reload a diavlog up to a dozen times before I see the whole player ... sometimes the just the control bar is missing but often a large percentage of the video is missing.

bjkeefe
08-18-2008, 12:05 AM
Still need to understand why I have to reload a diavlog up to a dozen times before I see the whole player ... sometimes the just the control bar is missing but often a large percentage of the video is missing.

Might help in troubleshooting if you describe your set-up, if you want to take the time. For example, what kind of computer, what OS, what browser, what browser version, what browser add-ons? Do you ever experience a similar problem on other video web sites?

Some other suggestions, if you like:

If you use Firefox and have add-ons installed, have you tried viewing a video with Firefox launched in "safe mode?" For example, I know from personal experience that the Firefox add-on called Flashblock caused problems when trying to view dingalinked clips that were only a few seconds long. I disabled Flashblock for BH.tv (you can do this on a per-site basis with this add-on), and the problem went away.

If you usually use one particular browser, have you ever tried to reproduce the problem using another browser on the same machine? If Internet Explorer (PC) or Safari (Mac) is the only browser on your machine, it'll only take you a few minutes to download and install Firefox, if you want to test this, and uninstallation is a breeze, too. See here (http://www.mozilla.com/), if you want to try this.

Is your Flash plug-in up to date? Visit this page (http://www.adobe.com/products/flash/about/) to test, and to download the latest version, if necessary.

Brenda
08-18-2008, 05:37 PM
Thanks for the tips, Brendan. I was having the same problem as scted, so I tried Firefox in safe mode, which eliminated the problem. Then I tried enabling and disabling different add-ons (I have a lot) and I think I narrowed it down to FireFTP, in my case. (I'm on a Mac, by the way.)

bjkeefe
08-18-2008, 07:08 PM
Thanks for the tips, Brendan. I was having the same problem as scted, so I tried Firefox in safe mode, which eliminated the problem. Then I tried enabling and disabling different add-ons (I have a lot) and I think I narrowed it down to FireFTP, in my case. (I'm on a Mac, by the way.)

Thanks for letting me know, Brenda. Glad to have been of some help.

Also, good of you to make explicit the suggestion that one try a systematic approach to enabling/disabling various add-ons. I should have said that myself.

Brenda
08-19-2008, 11:06 AM
Sadly, today I'm again seeing the problem that scted described, and I haven't re-enabled FireFTP.

bjkeefe
08-19-2008, 11:08 AM
Sadly, today I'm again seeing the problem that scted described, and I haven't re-enabled FireFTP.

Do you see it in full safe mode?

osmium
08-19-2008, 04:27 PM
I really like being able to play with the begin and end arrows, and i also like the part where you can type in dingelink start/stop times with digits. Thank you for the cool stuff.

TwinSwords
08-19-2008, 07:38 PM
I have the problem scted describes occasionally, but it's never struck me as a big deal because I can just refresh the window and it renders correctly. It happens infrequently. Maybe once per six videos I watch (whether full diavlogs or dingalinks).

The problem that bothers me much more is when the video freezes. This problem occurs with almost every diavlog -- usually more than once. I'd call it a chronic, ongoing issue. (Nevertheless, I mostly listen to, rather than watch the diavlogs, so it's not as big an issue as it would be if I watched them all.)

Answering Brendan's questions:

what kind of computer,
AMD Athlon 64 4600+ (home built)


what OS,
Windows XP Professional, fully patched


what browser, what browser version,
IE7


what browser add-ons?
Too many to mention.


Do you ever experience a similar problem on other video web sites?
I do occasionally have problems with Flash video on other sites, but not the two problems discussed in this thread (freezing pictures and the incomplete picture described by scted).


have you ever tried to reproduce the problem using another browser on the same machine?
Good question. Maybe I'll start using Firefox for a while to see if the same problems occur with that browser.

NYC10012
08-20-2008, 04:56 AM
I haven't been around here much, and I'm not familiar with the history of the software, but I have viewed bloggingheads.tv from time to time, and I think the engineers/designers are doing a great job.

Good ideas, straightforward implementation- way ahead of almost all the video player twiddling I see on the Web.

TwinSwords
08-21-2008, 06:49 PM
.... and good advice for bloggers and dingalinkers (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/13801?in=35:23&out=36:06).

Kudos again to the design team!

Larry Bird
09-04-2008, 01:00 PM
It's terrible. I hate when I have to pause it to take a call and then when I come back 15 minutes later I have to reload the page because it won't just start at where I stopped again. Also its annoying when I reload the page and only the top half of the screen appears and I have no control over the volume or play and pause. Theres got to be something better out there.

bjkeefe
09-04-2008, 05:10 PM
Theres got to be something better out there.

You could download the WMV file and watch it via your preferred media player.

Larry Bird
09-08-2008, 04:32 PM
Interesting. I'll try that out.

Uhurusasa
09-12-2008, 02:37 AM
i am very happy with the new video player!
however, i feel that it would be better if the audio was volume limited(create a ceiling to avoid distortion), filtered to eliminate low frequency background sounds , then normalized(pushed to almost the digital max). most viewers will probably have to lower the sound, but the sound from diavlog to diavlog will be clearer and of consistent level.

overall, great work!!

Furcifer
09-16-2008, 04:47 PM
I hate when I have to pause it to take a call and then when I come back 15 minutes later I have to reload the page because it won't just start at where I stopped again.
I have to second this complaint. The player dies if you pause it for more than about 10 minutes. There are a lot of distractions in my house, so this happens to me quite often. It was tolerable when I only had to find my place, but now that there are lead-in ads, it's truly irritating. I guess I could always just download the clip, but it's nice to be able to start a new video immediately.

Nonetheless, the beta player adds some very welcome improvements. I especially appreciate the "continue" button that appears after a clip ends. The pause problem is my only real complaint.

Brenda
09-16-2008, 05:39 PM
The player dies if you pause it for more than about 10 minutes.

Yes, this has been a problem since we converted to the Flash format. It's on our list of Things to Fix.

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.

handle
09-18-2008, 04:49 PM
Interesting. I'll try that out.

One thing to remember when downloading the WMV files, and I just learned this the hard way, (I wanted to watch Mcwhorter-Loury on a flight and didn't figure this out at the gate) disable the wmv plugin on your browser, or you won't be able to save the file to disk, and play it later off-line.
In Firefox go to tools, add-ons, and scroll down to Microsoft WMV player and click on disable.
In Safari, you can go to /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/ and drag the "windows media plugin to the trash.
Then you can download straight to your hard drive.

In IE, you are on your own, because I won't open it, due to all the adware that seems to infect it.

bjkeefe
09-18-2008, 05:54 PM
One thing to remember when downloading the WMV files, and I just learned this the hard way, (I wanted to watch Mcwhorter-Loury on a flight and didn't figure this out at the gate) disable the wmv plugin on your browser, or you won't be able to save the file to disk, and play it later off-line.

You can also just right-click on the WMV link and choose "Save as ..." from the pop-up context menu. (The wording may vary depending on browser; e.g., "Save link as ..." or "Save target as ...")


This approach works in general for all filetypes -- you can always override a browser's default behavior to process the file with a plugin (or on its own) by right-clicking a link.

handle
09-18-2008, 06:27 PM
You can also just right-click on the WMV link and choose "Save as ..." from the pop-up context menu. (The wording may vary depending on browser; e.g., "Save link as ..." or "Save target as ...")


This approach works in general for all filetypes -- you can always override a browser's default behavior to process the file with a plugin (or on its own) by right-clicking a link.

I knew there was a better way to do this, thanks!
Since there is no right click on the Mac, use control-click.

bjkeefe
09-18-2008, 07:53 PM
I knew there was a better way to do this, thanks!

y/w.

Since there is no right click on the Mac, use control-click.

Ah, yes. Thanks for adding that in.

Being PC- and *nix-centric, I've always had a two- or three-button mouse, even on my Macs. I always forget about this peculiar blind spot of Apple's, that a one-button mouse is "better."