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Brightcove Announces Video.js 4.0

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In a blog post this afternoon, Brightcove announced that Video.js, it's open source HTML5 and Flash player, has been upgraded to version 4.0. Key features to this upgrade are improved performance, greater stability, a new plugin interface, more customization, and retina display support.

This is the first version of Video.js released since Brightcove acquired parent company Zencoder last year. In the blog post, Video.js creator and Brightcove director of open player technologies Steve Heffernan notes that ever since the acquisition he's been working fulltime on Video.js, with assistance from Brightcove's video player team.

Heffernan credits using the Google Closure Compiler in advanced mode with helping him achieve an 18 percent size reduction in Video.js 4.0. Improving performance was his top priority this time, and he notes that library size makes a big impact on performance.

"What would seem to be minor size reductions can have a big impact, especially when a library will be loaded millions of times a month all over the world," Heffernan writes.

Early benchmark testing shows that the player now loads in under 50 milliseconds and playback starts in under 150 milliseconds.

Heffernan has been able to provide improved stability by working with an automated cross-browser, cross-device testing suite using TravisCI, Bunyip, and Browserstack. Heffernan writes that automated cross-browser, cross-device testing is the holy grail for a JavaScript library, but he's never been able to perform it before. New tools made it possible, and will speed the product release cycle in the future.

Besides the player update, Brightcove is now making the Videojs.com website open source.

"We consider this simply a jumping-off point for what we expect to be an exciting year for Video.js," Heffernan writes. He notes that community members are already working on requested playlist, analytics, and advertising features.

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