OzPlayer 2.0 released

We’re proud to announce that version 2.0 of OzPlayer, our accessible video player, has been released!

This new version includes a whole pile of improvements and fixes behind the scenes, plus two really nifty user-visible changes:

  1. YouTube videos now use the native YouTube player wherever possible; and
  2. Video buffering has been tuned considerably, for faster start times in most cases.

Full change-log is below the video of Benny, which we include both as a quick demo of the player and because he was a cute little dog we all miss terribly.

Change log for OzPlayer 2.0

Major

  • overhauled the player’s loading and buffering behaviour, removing the extra buffering that used to occur, so that playback can begin sooner.
    • for most users this will produce a noticeable improvement in apparent loading speed, allowing playback to begin almost immediately
    • in low-bandwidth conditions, the video will now buffer more frequently for shorter amounts of time, rather than infrequently for longer periods
  • added support for audio descriptions in IE9
  • added support for fullscreen mode in IE11
  • fixed an accessibility bug in several browsers with native YouTube whereby the video couldn’t be started with the keyboard, because the keyboard-accessible play button was disabled until playback began
  • restored the ability of Safari on Mac to view YouTube in fullscreen mode
  • retired support for IE7, Opera 12 and Firefox 15 or earlier
    • Firefox 9-15 are still unofficially supported but don’t have fullscreen mode, and won’t be tested in future
    • Firefox 3-8 and Opera 12 will have native video support limited to whatever codecs and interface they implement natively
    • IE7 and earlier will only see the fallback content
  • removed support for autoplay
    • previously it was disabled by default but could be enabled by config but now the config option has been removed and it can’t be enabled at all

Medium

  • YouTube will now use native video rather than Flash where supported
  • YouTube videos will no longer show annotations
  • YouTube videos will no longer show related videos at the end
  • the spinner will no longer appear when buffering for less than 250ms
    • this avoids flickering of quick appearing and disappearing e.g. when seeking between pre-loaded or nearly-loaded portions
  • fixed a number of edge-cases in several browsers whereby the video would hang in a loading state and never resume playback
  • fixed a bug in Chrome on Android whereby two sets of captions might be shown
  • fixed a bug in Chrome on Android whereby the fullscreen button sometimes failed
  • load failure for audio descriptions should now be announced in screenreaders
    • support for this varies by browser/reader combination, by what it’s doing at the time the error occurs, and by whether AD are enabled by default but when it works, it will say “Audio descriptions are not available” when triggered by an audio loading error

Minor

  • increased the load error timeout for Flash to 20 seconds
    • this reduces the possibility of returning a broken video error when it’s simply very high latency taking time to establish a connection
  • Chrome on Android will now use the custom interface in fullscreen mode
  • fullscreen will only show large controls and captions if the screen height is greater than 480, retaining the standard controls for smaller screens
  • the central click-to-play icon won’t appear until the toolbar play button is enabled (except in iOS and Windows Mobile)
    • in some desktop browsers the main toolbar play button doesn’t become enabled until specific loading events have fired, before which the central click-to-play icon wouldn’t function but would still be apparently clickable
    • in iOS and Windows Mobile the toolbar play button can’t be enabled until playback has actually started, so you have to use its native click-to-play icon to play for the first time, after which you can pause and restart using the toolbar play button
  • re-darkened the player’s matte background for cross-browser consistency
  • removed redundent MediaController conditions, since no browser uses them
  • some fixes for overcompressed whitespace in default language
  • updated MediaElement to v2.16.4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.