Popcorn.js 0.4 is here

Mozilla’s Web Made Movies project is happy to announce the release of Popcorn.js version 0.4 (download now). This is the biggest release the Popcorn community has done to date, with over 70 new features and bug fixes. And with this release, we’ve also re-thought of popcorn not as simply a library for controlling HTML5’s <video> element, but a way of creating an event system for all time-based media on the web.

New features

Popcorn.js 0.4 adds many great features for our users, including new plugins for OpenStreetMap, Google Street View, an RSS Blog Reader, dynamic HTML Templates using Mustache, and much more.

Another important change in this release is how we’re packaging Popcorn.js. Until today, users had to include popcorn.js along with each plugin they’ve wanted to use. This offered flexibility but also complicated things for novice users. Our users asked us to make popcorn.js easier to use, and we listened: we’re now offering a single file distribution that includes all Popcorn’s features: popcorn-complete.js. It’s one JavaScript file to include in your page and you’re ready to rock.

We’ve also added initial support for more popular web video services in the form of Player Plugins. Player Plugins make it possible to use popcorn’s rich event system with all kinds of web media, not just HTML5 <video>. Imagine being able to work with a <canvas> or WebGL based animation, a slide presentation, or a legacy video player. It’s all coming.

In this release we’ve targeted YouTube and Vimeo. Yes, popcorn now has limited support for some Flash players!

Bridging Flash Users to HTML5

Popcorn is the go-to library for those who want to do cool things with HTML5 <video> and <audio>. One of the goals of Web Made Movies is to accelerate the market’s move to open video. We’re doing this by connecting artists to technologists and showing that “open” is more than just a philosophy–it’s a powerful and flexible way to create that allows us to mix the rest of the web with video.

By meeting filmmakers where they are now, we can get there faster. As users transition to these open technologies, we want to provide an on-ramp from existing, Flash-based video to the newer standards. To do so, version 0.4 introduces Player Plugins, which allow Popcorn to work seamlessly with older, existing technologies like Flash until they are phased out. We think this bridge is important as we seek to enable the larger web-video community to transition to HTML5.

One very important note, however, is that native HTML5 video can do things that proprietary players can’t. For this reason, native HTML5 video will always be the best way to work with popcorn.

For example, to mine the exciting potential of the <canvas> element to mix different web sources, explore dynamic content injection, augmented reality, or WebGL you’ll need to use native HTML5 video.

For this reason, we’re continuing to encourage all filmmakers to publish their content using the <video> tag. To make this process easier, we’ll be releasing an HTML5 embed builder within the next week. You can take a peek at our builder if you’re interested—let us know what you think in the comments.

Get Involved

The Popcorn.js community is growing along with the code, and this release is a perfect time for you to get involved. Have you got an idea for what Popcorn should do? Are you interested in using it in your own project? Want to help us continue to improve the web for filmmakers and other video content creators? We’d love to have you join us as we push envelope on what video on the web can mean.

Visit our Get Involved page or follow the links below.

Update: due to an error in how our popcorn-complete.js file was integrating with plugins, we have pushed a maintenance release, 0.4.1, to correct this error. Please download it here.

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  1. Pingback from Defining your own HTML5 Video Object « Software by Steven on :

    […] knowledge and expectation of an interface. While some work in this area has been done for the 0.4 version of Popcorn (out now), the real playground will open for the 0.5 release where it will be as easy to create […]