January 13th 2009 | Jens C Brynildsen
Open Video Player is an Open Source initiative from Flash streaming provider Akamai that could make in much easier to build custom video players. The codebase offers several practical functions such as bandwidth detection, so you don't need to write this stuff yourself.
The framework is developed by Akamai lead engineer Will Law and the code is released as "Open Source" and can be used and extended freely. Akamai have chosen not to use one of the standard licenses, but they use a custom license that says that you get "a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright) license". Community contributions are welcome and there's several examples of how you'd use the code to create a custom FLV video player.
The framework is not a fully blown framework or a pre-made player. It's a set of classes that extend the native NetConnection classes with useful features for video such as:
In other words, these classes are a clever way to start developing your own Actionscript 3 (AS3) video player for either streaming or progressive download. Several streaming video partners support the initiative such as EyeWonder, Panache, Microsoft, Adobe and others. Adobe is already using the classes in their Adobe.tv player.
The site offers several videos featuring the partners, but the video you'll want to check out is the one by Will Law (called "Media Framework Overview"). Here he explains the basics and also shows how to build a simple video player using the system. More tutorials by Will should follow soon.
Visit OpenVideoPlayer.com to learn more
Also worth noting, today Adobe released Adobe® Flash® Media Interactive Server 3.5 and Adobe Flash Media Streaming Server 3.5. Both products have been announced earlier, but from today they're also available.