Streaming Video for the web is becoming more and more commonly used on personal and corporate websites online.
Before you embed an video file to your website, it's important to understand that online videos are different from images --- a single video file can take up hundres of MB (or even GB) of your web server storage space.
And every time someone visit your website to view the video online, they will be taking up a signification amount of your allocated bandwidth.
For online videos which you do not mind sharing, you can simply host the video files on Youtube, Yahoo or Google all provide video sharing tools. All you need to do is upload your video file to their website, then copy and paste the HTML code to embed video to your website.
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However, if you prefer to keep the video file on your own server for easier management and privacy, without watermark from Youtube or similar sites, the best solution is to use a flash video player to add FLV video to website.
Firstly, do not embed your WMV, AVI or MPG movie files directly to your web page. You should convert your video file into a streaming video file format. This way your visitors can watch the video as it is getting downloaded (otherwise they can't see anything before the video file is fully downloaded).
As of today, the most popular and commonly used video file format for website is the Flash FLV video format.
There are several reasons why Flash FLV is the best choice for adding video to your website:
1. Flash Player is supported by 90% or more browsers, more than any other player. Flash works on Windows, Linux. MacOS. And flash works in all types of browser including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. In contrast, your WMV video file can only work on MS-Windows using MSIE.
Yes you can embed a Windows Media Player into your website. However it is an ActiveX component which cannot be supported by all browser, and the loading speed is very slow.
2. Flash Stream video is the leading format using by video websites such as YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo video etc. Once you have your .wmv , .mpeg, .avi, .mov video converted into Flash format, you can use them on your own website, as well as sharing them on those video websites anytime.
3. Flash FLV does video streaming automatically -- there is no need for any special processing of the file. All you need is to embed a flash FLV player component or template, and the FLV file will play in streaming mode automatically.
4. Developers will have more control over the presentation of Flash video files -- video editing can be done using Adobe's Flash product, you can design your own player user interface.
There are freeware and shareware flash video software you can use without buying Adobe Flash, and without learning any flash programming.
A flash video player software can automatically convert your windows media file (wmv, or avi) into .FLV file for streaming, and allows you to easily embed your video into a pre-designed video player template.
You can also also embed a remote video file, such as a youtube video with different types of player, simply enter the full path to the remote FLV file, for you to embed it in your custom video player on your own website.
OSMF is Coming: Adobe has introduced a new Open Source Media Framework (OSMF) that can dramatically lower the time, costs, and risks of creating video and media players, This framework simplifies the development of a video player, and it adds flexibility to developers to customize the player for browser or desktop usages. OSMF not only includes basic video player functions like playback controls, data buffering, video navigation and dynamic streaming. It also includes the plug-in architecture which allows developers to expand the functionality of their OSMF Player. It supports all popular video formats. Tasks such as advertising, reporting and content delivery can be easily implemented using OSMF.
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