Saturday, February 7, 2009

Next Generation Ooyala Player Coming Soon to a Site Near You

Ooyala has been busy rebuilding their video player from the ground up with speed and innovative publishing tools in mind. During my visit to Ooyala this past week I learned about their next generation video player which they had expected to be released the following day.

I had lunch with Ooyala's software engineers who discussed their work on the next generation player which had been going on for months. Scotty Allen was very excited about the release and said that it was already up on the Ooyala corporate site. He had also come to Ooyala from Google and had spent two years there making web search as fast as possible and speed was ingrained in him. So when the engineers rewrote the code that was utmost important.

Scotty said much of what we discussed over lunch on the Ooyala blog, "A fast site means happier users and more revenue. Thus, one of my big goals as the technical lead of Ooyala's video player is making sure we help make our customers' sites as fast as possible. The first rule of making a web page fast is to not download what you don't need. The second rule is to only download what you do need when you need it.

Most flash players don't follow these rules very well, present company included. They usually take a one-size-fits-all approach - the user downloads a single monolithic package (sometimes split up into a couple files), which includes all the features the player supports. Don't use ads on your site? Too bad, your users download the ads code anyway...

That is, until now. Starting this week, Ooyala is testing our next generation video player, which has a completely modular design. Don't use ads? Great, your users won't download the ads module. Don't need any UI at all? We won't make your users download all of the modules containing pretty chrome they'll never see. Moreover, your users won't download the code for a feature until they need it. For instance, if your video is configured to start playing when the page loads, we'll download the UI modules after the video starts playing.

Using the numbers from Bismarck's recent post, here's how the latest version stacks up against other players:
See the Ooyala blog for more information:

After lunch with the engineers I spoke with Co-founders Sean Knapp, CTO and Bismarck Lepe, CEO about the soon-to-be-released video player in this video. While I also uploaded this video to Tubemogul, I took advantage of the free trial of Ooyala Backlot to feature the video in the current Ooyala player.

Scotty Allen added that, "In the coming months, we'll be opening up our module api to the world, allowing our customers and partners to write modules that run inside the Ooyala player, with access to the powerful core framework, with all of the relevant events and apis to do just about anything you can dream up. We've significantly improved our bandwidth detection and adaptive bitrate playback algorithms so that we can deliver higher quality video over the same speed network connection without buffering. We are currently doing an alpha test of the new player on to work out any last kinks. Kick the tires, and tell us what you think at In the coming weeks, we'll contact specific customers for a closed beta test."

He included a a demo video running in the new player, thanks to one of their new customers, Bonnaroo:

To start your free trial of Ooyala Backlot, go to: