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Paid video on demand on website... looking for ideas.

Posted on 2011-02-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a customer who wished to have a paid video-on-demand feature on their website...  and I'm brainstorming trying to think of how to accomodate this...

This is what I know...

40-50 videos Some a few hours in length (some detailed medical training mumbo jumbo)

Every video will be individually priced and available for streaming (no download) for a limited period of time... 24 hours.. 36 hours.. Or whatever the time period the customers chooses.  etc. etc.  

Beyond that.. I'm open for suggestions on how to possibly accomodate this.  I know some of the 3rd party shopping cart software packages out there have e-fulfillment for selling things like MP3's and e-books...  but it's a digital download I believe.

Any and all advice is great appreciated!

Thanks in advance,
-Lance





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Question by:ZenQuest
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Designbyonyx earned 2000 total points
ID: 35003049
I would highly advise using a 3rd party for delivering and hosting videos, such as LimeLight.  They can deliver video to just about any device using Flash, HTML5 Video, or Java.

In terms of execution, you are going to have to write some pretty customized code.  If it were me, I would force all content to be use a flash player (sorry, but this excludes apple iProducts and many mobile devices).  The flash player would then actively load information from your database that would contain all of required business constraints.  Whenever your business rules don't get satisfied... then the player stops working.

Example:

On March 1st, at 12:00pm, a user purchases a 1 hour video.  He can have full access to this video until 12:00pm on March 2nd.

If the user wishes to watch the video, he must log into your website.  He can then click a link to watch the video.  This would launch the flash player.  Every 5 minutes or so, the flash player would check your database and make sure the following rules are met:

The current user has access to the video
The current time is > March 1st - 12:00 pm
The current time is < March 2nd - 12:00 pm

This is a very high level overview.  The best thing to do is to draw up a "use case" diagram.  This is best done with several developers where you map out what happens as the user goes through your purchase process and proceeds to watch a video.  All of the rules start to write themselves as you draw things out.  A large white board or butcher paper comes in handy.
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