Playing large videos on my website

Posted on 2011-04-29
Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Hey Experts,

I have a large video that I need to embed into one of my clients websites.  I've done this before but not with a file size this large.  The file is about 35M, originally it was over 1g!

One my of favorate players is flowplayer, but I I've also used JWPlayer as well.  Either of these players work perfectly, except for the download time.  With a file that large, it's buffering the entire file before it starts to play, so the user has to wait about 1min for the video to start.  

Any ideas on how I can embed this video online and have it start playing 10~20 seconds after it starts buffering?  Maybe I don't have it compressed enough? I'm not tied to these players, but I don't want to use youtube or something like that.

Any help would be great!

Question by:Mach03
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    >> With a file that large, it's buffering the entire file before it starts to play

    No, it's not, or it shouldn't.  It's buffering a percentage of the overall file before playback begins.  To buffer then entire 35meg file would probably take more than a minute for most speeds.  Both the JW and Flowplayer support http streaming which works on a calculation of overall file size and begins playback as soon as the buffer is big enough.  

    JW does support bufferlength as a flashvar (I assume FP has a similar option, but I'm not as familiar with that one) so what you could do is set a custom bufferlength to a very low value (1 - 10 seconds) and that should start your video faster.  

    Your other option in this case would be to compress it even further to get a smaller file that will then load faster but you have to determine the lowest quality you're willing to live with.

    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    I agree with jason1178 that compressing your file to the greatest extent possible within the limits of acceptable quality is a very good idea.  Another thing you might want to consider is hosting it on one of the many video-file hosting sites since their infrastructure is optimized for video delivery.

    Although you probably have a favorite already, Wikipedia has a pretty good list of available options

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