Akamai, a provider of cloud-based services for optimizing Web and mobile content and applications, online HD video, and secure e-commerce, has released a new Open Video Player for HTML5 developer toolkit to simplify the task of creating flexible HTML5 based video player applications for delivery of HTTP content.
Akamai, a provider of cloud-based services for optimizing Web and
mobile content and applications, online HD video, and secure
e-commerce, has released a new Open Video Player
for HTML5 developer toolkit to simplify the task of creating flexible
HTML5-based video player applications for delivery of HTTP content.
Akamai officials said the goal of the Open Video Player for HTML5 <video>
is to provide a foundation to allow customers to quickly implement
solutions for cross platform/device/format video applications,
providing their users with a consistent experience through Akamai's
rich media management, delivery and measurement solutions.
The new Akamai Open Video Player for HTML5 <video> toolkit is
available to the public and developer communities at:
http://openvideoplayer.sourceforge.net/html5video. Akamai announced the
new toolkit on June 10.
The Akamai Open Video Player for HTML5 <video> provides a code
library supporting industry best practices and standards such as CSS,
users can reduce the time it takes to create HTML5 <video> based
experiences to support Apple iPhone OS Devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod
touch) and other browsers and devices supporting HTML5
<video>. Simple implementation focused on strategies for
fallback or fall-between HTML5 and other plug-in based runtimes.
This toolkit offers a flexible "strategy" approach to maintain the
current video experience, while adding support for browsers and devices
that support HTML5. Developers will also have the option to build
an entire video experience using the HTML5 <video> tag, CSS or
browser/device/format issues by dynamically choosing the right video
playback engine (Native HTML5, Adobe Flash, etc). The Open Video Player
for HTML5 <video> currently supports HTTP delivery to all
major browsers and devices, and also includes support for HD for
iPhone, part of Akamai's HD Network, for delivery to Mobile Safari on
Apple iPhone OS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) and Apple Safari 4.0
on OSX Snow Leopard (10.6).
In a statement describing why this toolkit is important to the industry, an Akamai spokeswoman said:
"The iPhone is unique because it has rapidly become ubiquitous and
the iPad is quickly following, with more than 2 million devices already
sold. Akamai is working with many of our content owner and broadcasting
customers on mobile delivery models. They are finding that when
offering live or on-demand content they can quickly expand their
available viewership by tens of thousands of global viewers by
efficiently and seamlessly developing video experiences designed for
these devices. With adaptive bit rate video technology that
automatically adjust video quality levels based on a user's connection
speed (wifi, 3G, Edge) consistent security and analytics - all part of
Akamai's HD Network - content owners can deliver the highest
possible quality video experiences - even 24x7 TV channels - on the
portable devices. This toolkit will make it easier for them to create
these experiences for the iPad and iPhone and better service their
audiences through a portable, 'best possible screen' viewing approach."
The Open Video Player for HTML5 news comes on the same day that
Akamai announced its acquisition of all of the assets of Velocitude, a
mobile services platform. The acquisition is expected to further
Akamai's strategic position in the mobile market - adding mobile
content transformation functionality to Akamai's existing line of
products and services.
Akamai officials explained that today the majority of Websites are
not configured for optimal viewing when accessed by a mobile device,
resulting in poor mobile usability. Mobile end users often experience a
site that is difficult to navigate, lacking robust functionality that
end users have come to expect when accessing the same site on a
personal computer. As a result, many companies either support an
entirely separate infrastructure for their mobile sites or chase away
customers by presenting sub-optimal mobile Web experiences.
By offering a new generation of mobile services, Akamai plans to
extend the functionality of its global network by helping enterprises
address the complexity of delivering Websites and applications to a
broad range of Internet-connected devices, starting with mobile phones.
Combining Velocitude's mobile content transformation technology with
Akamai's existing ability to optimize the performance of mobile
delivery, Akamai is focused on helping enterprises effectively reach
their customers, partners and employees on mobile phones in addition to
With analysts predicting that the number of global Internet mobile
users will surpass global desktop Internet users in the next five
years, available market data is forecasting that mobile commerce is
expected to grow to $24 billion by 2015. By adding Velocitude's mobile
platform to its product portfolio, Akamai plans to deliver content to
today's leading mobile phones without requiring the creation of
separate Websites or infrastructure dedicated to mobile content.
"To capitalize on the rapidly changing and growing demands of mobile
Internet users, enterprises must overcome some specific challenges to
ensure both a highly-performing mobile site and a high-quality end user
experience," said Paul Sagan, president and CEO of Akamai, in a
statement. "We believe Velocitude has developed a powerful set of
solutions to enable optimal mobile Internet experiences across a
multitude of different devices. By integrating Velocitude into our
global network, we will be able to offer customers a way to leverage
Akamai cloud-based services for mobile performance, as well as to
translate Web sites into specific device-optimized experiences. Our
goal is to offer the most capable mobile delivery solution available
anywhere that combines the convenience of mobile while offering
readability and fast response times."
"Our unique software-as-a-service mobile platform has transformed
PC-oriented Websites into viewable mobile sites for some of today's
largest retailers and brand-name businesses," said Adam House, founder
of Velocitude, also in a statement. "Unlike desktop Web browsing, where
you can take time to search through a complex site, the average mobile
user is looking to find a limited amount of information quickly.
Convenience and speed, rather than breadth of content, define the
experience demands of the mobile user. Joining forces with Akamai is a
big win for customers, who are increasingly looking to leverage the
power of the mobile Internet to drive revenue, increase market share
and reach, pass their competition, and maximize the performance of
their mobile sites."
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.