The JW FLV Player 5.1 is a powerful and extremely versatile application for viewing video on web pages. The Media Player module acts as a wizard to deploy and configure the JW FLV Player. It doesn't require any coding abilities and is possibly the quickest, easiest, most comprehensive and robust method of deploying and configuring video in Moodle.
The project code and documentation are hosted on Google Code at: http://code.google.com/p/moodle-mplayer/
The most recent downloads and documentation are available there.
Jeroen Wijering's FLV Player is an ideal method to deploy Flash video in Moodle. It's extremely versatile and supports a number of features that are particularly useful for e-learning:
- Section 508 (accessibility) compliance.
- Support for TimedText XML and RealText (SMIL) captioning.
- A selection of plugins and skins are available.
- Developers can create their own skins and plugins.
Although this Moodle module is open source, Jeroen Wijering's FLV player, included within, is not open source. It is commercial software which is available free for noncommercial use, but requires a (small) license payment for all other use. Please see Jeroen Wijering's web site for licensing details.
Supported Video Formats
Supports all video formats supported by Flash Player 9 and above. Currently (5th February 2009) file types:
It also supports the new standard high-definition CODEC, H.264, and AAC audio (Advanced Audio Compression) which is similar to MP3 but gives better quality at very low bit-rates.
The FLV Player module makes it much easier to deploy captions with the JW FLV Player. Simply do the following:
- Prepare the video and TimedText (RealText is also supported) files.
- Upload them to the moodledata course directory (you can also upload these from the FLV Player module form)
- Create an instance of the FLV Player module and select the video file and desired parameters.
- Select Show Advanced if not already shown.
- At the bottom of the Behaviour section, type accessibility-1 into the Plugins text input area.
- Select Choose or upload file in the Timed Text Captions input area and select or upload and select the desired TimedText captions file.
- Select Save changes (Moodle 1.8) or Save changes and preview (Moodle 1.9)
Here are example FLV video and TimedText caption XML to download and try (7.75 MB).
MAGpie2 captioning editor can export Adobe Flash WC3 DFXP captioning files which are compatible with JW FLV Player accessibility-1 plugin. However, the editor cannot play FLV files therefore an intermediary video file type, such as AVI, is necessary for creating caption files, i.e. create and export the caption file before encoding the video to FLV.
There are two main types of video connection, progressive download, where the video FLV file is downloaded into the browser cache and the user can start to view the video content after a second or two, and streaming, where specific portions of the video stream are served to the video player as and when requested. Progressive download is the easiest to implement and the most commonly used.
The JW FLV Player supports:
- Progressive download (default)
- HTTP streaming (pseudo-streaming)
- LIGHTTP streaming
- RTMP streaming (Red5 and Flash Media Server)
Playing YouTube.com Videos
Playing videos directly from YouTube.com's servers is possibly the easiest way to play videos with the FLV Player Activity Module. Just follow these steps:
- Find the video you want to show on YouTube.com
- On a Moodle course page, select 'FLV Player' from the 'Add an activity...' list
- On the YouTube.com video page, copy the URL in your browser's address bar, e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lp1-OrycKs
- Now paste the URL in the 'Video URL' text field of the FLV Player form
- Select 'Show Advanced' if not already set
- Select 'youtube' from the 'Type' list
- Select 'Save Changes' (Moodle 1.8) or 'Save and Preview' (Moodle 1.9) at the bottom of the FLV Player form
- The YouTube.com video should play and all the parameters, such as icons, links, etc. will still function.
Skins are a quick and easy way to change the appearance of JW FLV Player. The FLV Player Activity Module comes supplied with 27 skins which you can select from a list.
Plugins add extra functionality to JW FLV Player. They are hosted on LongTail video's website so no downloading or installing is necessary. The Media Player setup wizard includes specific configuration panels which make deploying plugins as easy as possible. See the Media Player project site wiki for documentation. Supported plugins are:
- Audiodescription External audio track synchronised with video
- Captions SMIL TimedText and SubRip captions which are more flexible and easier to read that embedded subtitles
- HD Users can switch between high-definition and normal video streams
- Infobox Convenient way to display credits and info about video
- Livestream No need to keep refreshing the web page while you're waiting for a live broadcast, polls the live server every few seconds
- Logobox Put your logo on your videos
- Metaviewer View video stream metadata (debugging and info tool)
- Searchbar Search for videos, YouTube.com by default, can be used with custom search scripts
- Snapshot Take a still frame "snapshot" of a video and save it in the course files directory
There are also subscription and paid for plugin services available. Find documentation and further details here.
The module form allows users to set most of the parameters supported by JW FLV Player 4.3. You can find documentation on the following parameters here.
- flvfile 'Video URL'
- type 'Type'
- streamer 'Streamer'
- width 'Width'
- height 'Height'
- skin 'Skin'
- image 'Image'
- icons 'Icons'
- logo 'Logo'
- controlbar 'Control Bar'
- playlist 'Play List (position)'
- playlistsize 'Play List Size (pixels)'
- backcolor 'Back Color'
- frontcolor 'Front Color'
- lightcolor 'Light Color'
- screencolor 'Screen Color'
- autostart 'Auto Start'
- fullscreen 'Full Screen'
- volume 'Volume'
- mute 'Mute'
- flvstart 'Start (position in seconds)'
- duration 'Duration (seconds)'
- flvrepeat 'Repeat'
- shuffle 'Shuffle'
- bufferlength 'Buffer Length (seconds)'
- quality 'Quality'
- displayclick 'Display Click'
- link 'Link'
- linktarget 'Link Target'
- item 'Item'
- resizing 'Resizing'
- stretching 'Stretching'
- plugins 'Plugins'
- captions 'Timed Text Captions'
- author 'Author'
- flvdate 'Date'
- title 'Title'
- description 'FLV Description'
- tags 'Tags'
- configxml 'Config XML File'
- version 'JW Player Version'
- client 'Client'
- tracecall 'Trace Call (debugging)'
- flvid 'ID (For Linux OS Users Only)'
- abouttext 'About Text'
- aboutlink 'About Link'
If you have any problems or issues with the FLV Player module, please list them, as clearly as you can, here.
- Does not have a backup.php or a restore.php file. This indicates that FLV activities will not be backed up or restored when these processes are run.
- Browsers cached video files, images, icons and XML files. Users still saw old (cached files) after they had been updated on the server. The FLV Player Activity Module now prevents caching.
- NCAM MAGpie2 (Media Access Generator) for authoring caption and subtitle files*
- Jeroen Wijering's web site Including plugins, skins, tutorials and licensing details.
- An article on the Closed Captioning component in Flash CS3 and its benefits for accessibility.
- Matt Bury's website FLV Activity Module project developer.
- Xmoov HTTP (pseudo) streaming open source project.
- RTMP streaming media servers
- Red5 open source media server
- Adobe Flash Media Server
- Lighttp open source project which includes a streaming server
(*) MAGpie2 can export TimedText caption files for JW FLV Player but its video player does not support the FLV file type. It is therefore necessary to use an intermediary video file type, such as AVI, in order to create the captions.
Other Projects by Matt Bury
- Development:SWF SWF Activity Module, in development, which will enable deployment of Flash and Flex Framework learning applications (RIAs) in Moodle and leverage AMFPHP (Flash Remoting).