An explanation of what enhanced video players can do, by the creators of the popular JW Player.
For those of you interested in this particular topic, here is a very good resource that compares most of the players presented in this section, in terms of accessibility. This resource has links to players designed especially for people with disabilities: accessible media player resources and demos.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING A CUSTOM PLAYER
Advantages of enhanced video players:
- Flash or ActiveX/Silverlight fallbacks to make the player work in old versions of Internet Explorer
- Support for all kinds of subtitle formats
- Customizable look’n’feel (add your logo, custom themes, etc.)
- Full screen mode without borders on old browsers (today’s implementations of the <video> element support full screen mode)
- Consistent look’n’feel across browsers (menus for subtitles, etc.)
- 1.5x, 2x, 3x speeds for fast playback
- Social buttons for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Support for chapters
- Support for scrub bar thumbnails
- Extra features for better accessibility
- And so on…
Advantages of relying only on the <video> element rather than on an enhanced player:
- Total control!
- No need for external dependencies
WHICH SHOULD I USE? THE <VIDEO> ELEMENT AND MY OWN CUSTOMIZATIONS OR AN OUT OF THE BOX ENHANCED PLAYER?
Either solution (basic player or enhanced player) is good and HTML5 compliant.
Popular players such as the Sublime video player (now bought by Dailymotion, and no more officially supported, but still downloadable) and JW Player have many explanations and examples on their Web sites, and are either free of charge or come with free versions. The PayPal team open sourced an “accessible video player” used on the PayPal Web site.
Interesting comparisons and reviews are available on the following Web sites:
VIDEO.JS: A FRAMEWORK FOR BUILDING YOUR OWN CUSTOM VIDEO PLAYER
Open source, and made for developers, video.js comes with many plugins (chapters, thumbnails etc.).