Tag: Video

jwPlayer on iOS

by Danny Gershman (Senior Software Engineer) @dannygnc

Here at Cinchcast we use jwPlayer for handling syndication of our audio content. Because of certain functionality of iOS, the jwPlayer library overrides it’s own functionality in favor of allow iOS to handle the video tag in HTML.

As we don’t use video on our platform and have our own custom implementation using slides with PopcornJS, this causes a lot of issues for us.

Here is a snippet from jwPlayer’s website as to why they do this.

iOS specific limitations

In order to ensure the best possible user experience on iOS devices, Apple has placed some stringent controls on how video can be viewed and controlled on these devices. The JW Player works around these as best as possible, but the following limitations still persist:

  • Video cannot be viewed in context on the iPhone – video is always viewed in fullscreen in the native playback application.
  • Video cannot be started programmatically – users must click on the screen to trigger playback. Additionally, no visual elements sitting over the video tag will receive click events while the video is visible (playing or paused).
  • Volume can only be controlled via the built-in controlbar and the device controls.

To get around some of these issues, the JW Player uses the native iOS controls, but continues to send out all API events. Note that some API commands will not function as expected.

There is a very easy to work around this. Essentially you override the function in the library prior to jwPlayer being initialized that tells the player that you are never on a specific mobile device.

jwplayer.utils.isMobile = function () { return false; };

Once the player is called, it will show the jwPlayer HTML5 player instead of the native iOS one.

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