The September update
This month brings a selection of improvements to the platform to improve performance, appearance and usability:
- You can now use custom field names and labels in your gates to provide whatever your backend or CRM requires, saving you from having to spend time manually renaming them afterwards. For example in the UK you may want to use a field name to ask for postcode while users in the US would instead ask for zipcode.
- In the player we are now using a different engine for parsing subtitles/captions. This is more reliable than relying on native browser events (such as oncuechange on a track element). It makes parsing multiple tracks (for different languages) much simpler too.
- We now don’t use the redundant poster attribute on the HTML5 video tag. It can cause complications if a browser blocks preload (which often happens on mobile to save data) and can be delayed due to the video element itself taking a moment to render. Using a separate element lets us control its speed and size independently of the video element. And results in one fewer network request being required to load that image.
- Added chapters, if present, to the JSON-LD we generate.
- The buffered bar in the player is now more visible to show the amount of data downloaded ahead of the viewer’s current position.
- The landing page and embed code URL support passing a ?t= parameter in the query string to jump to a time (in seconds). Handy for when you want to send a link to a particular moment in a video.
- The progress bar hit-area (where it listens for clicks) is now larger and so more forgiving.
- We now use fonts the system provides, rather than add extra ones. Custom fonts can look more attractive but the trade-off is the additional request needed to load the styles and files, such as a .woff file.
- Player icons are inline SVG files and so we don’t need to load an external icon set.
- The subtitles/captions option is now part of the settings menu, meaning one less button is needed in the player’s control bar. This is helpful when space is limited.
- The player now loads a cache-busted thumbnail image and so if a video’s thumbnail has been recently replaced, that should avoid users having to clear their browser cache in order to see that change be applied. Since we use long cache-control headers to improve performance.
- The polyfill for features such as fetch has been removed from the embed code. All modern browsers support the features our player requires with Internet Explorer usage dropping to below 2%. Any latency with the polyfill site would cause the player rendering to be delayed, even when the features it loaded were not needed (as the browser already supported them).
- The player is now embedded at a larger size on landing pages.
- When using hotspots as part of our clickable video feature, during a 360/spherical video those hotspots no longer need separate pitch and yaw values to work in 3D space.
- Fixed an issue with the player where a preview thumbnail image, shown above the progress/buffered bar, could overlap the edge of the player.
- Fixed an issue in the dashboard’s dark mode where some panels kept a light background colour.
- Fixed an issue where the main play button would not expand on-hover in desktop Safari.
- Added the ability to set a content rating for a video, such as to mark it for mature audiences. Currently that is just for reference or for use in your own applications.
- In the dashboard, added an in-page folder editor to avoid losing context when adding or editing a folder in the library. Previously those had to be managed on a separate page.
- Adjusted the dashboard’s colour palette to make links and buttons more prominent.
Updated: September 15, 2021