Free Embedded Web Video Player Scripts/Code

Embed a video on your website: HTML5, Flash, Silverlight versions


Free Embedded Web Video Player Scripts/Code

Have you ever wanted to embed a video on your website, but don't want to use a free video sharing service like YouTube? The scripts and/or code listed on this page provide you the facility to do just that. Some (or perhaps most) of the code here will provide an HTML5 based player that you can embed on your page, but will automatically use a Flash-based video player (or even a Silverlight-based player) should your visitors not be using a web browser that supports HTML5. Most of the players listed require your visitors' browsers to support JavaScript, though not all. (See the annotation for each software below for more information.)

To support all HTML5 browsers on all platforms, you may have to encode your video in different video formats, like both H.264 and WebM (in addition to whatever others you may want to use). As you probably already know, different browsers support different formats. At the time I write this, IE and Safari supports H.264, while Firefox and Opera support WebM. Chrome currently supports both, but Google promises to remove H.264 in the future in favour of the free WebM version. Note that since H.264 is patent-encumbered, if you post H.264 videos on your site, you may need to find out whether you need to pay licence ("license" in US English) fees to the patent holders of that format. Check carefully, because as far as I know, the licence terms are updated on a 5-year basis, so if your information is too old, any free-use terms that has been offered in the past may have already expired, or even been rescinded before it's over. Anyway, I'm not a lawyer, so take what I say here with a pinch of salt. It's best to seek proper legal advice for such things.

Note that if you already use a video sharing site to host your videos, you do NOT need any of the scripts listed on this page to display the video on your site. Such video sharing services typically provide you with some sort of code which you can insert on your site without the need for you to install any of the things below. For example, if you use YouTube, you can read up on how to insert a YouTube video into your site with Dreamweaver or how you can do the same with KompoZer on thesitewizard.com. No third party video player scripts are needed.

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Free Embedded Web Video Player Scripts/Code

Video.js

This JavaScript will use HTML5 if your visitor's browser supports it, or falls back to using Flash if HTML5 is not available. Your video can be in any format supported by your visitors' browsers, namely Ogg Theora, MP4 (H.264) or WebM, although, as I mentioned at the top of this page, you'll probably have to put up your video in more than one format if you want to support all browsers. The JavaScript player can be self-hosted (ie, installed on your own website), or you can use their version, hosted by them. Your video itself, however, has to be hosted yourself.

Before you write to ask me, for those wondering about the possible advantages or disadvantages of self-hosting, if you self-host your own script, you control everything, including the exact version of the player you use (and therefore which features are available and enabled). However, you will have to update to new versions of the script yourself should there be newer versions. If they host it for you, you have less control. As and when they update the script and make new features available, it will be enabled on your site as well. They will also get statistics on the popularity of your video, whether or not you want them to (since the script will be loaded from their servers). If their servers are overloaded, your own web page will be slow to load, even if your server is fine. In addition, should they ever decide to discontinue the free hosting of the script, your player will no longer work. On the other hand, you won't have to bother with updating the script when there's a new version. The cost of bandwidth consumed by the script file itself (which is probably small) will also be borne by them. Note that whether these pros and cons are significant depends on your site, your video and your personal preferences.

Open Standard Media (OSM) Player

This is a JavaScript-based player that will use HTML5 if available. It automatically falls back to using Flash if your video is not in a format that can be played using HTML5. The appearance of the video player can be customised ("customized" in US English). It also supports playlists and can integrate with certain video hosting services, namely YouTube and Vimeo. The player is standalone (that is, you can download it and put it on your own website) and open source.

Video for Everybody

Video for Everybody, or VfE for short, lets you embed a video on your website. It uses HTML5 and falls back to Flash on older browsers. Unlike some of the other software listed on this page, it doesn't need nor use JavaScript, and so it should work in RSS readers which don't allow JavaScript.

MediaElement.js

MediaElement provides a fully skinnable player using HTML5, Flash and/or Silverlight, that provides a consistent interface to your users whether they are using an HTML5-capable browser or not. You can configure what buttons appear on your video player's control bar as well as add plugins to the player. Plugins are available for WordPress (a free blogging software), Drupal and Joomla (both of which are free CMS software), etc.

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