iPad compatibility has been top of mind for the last couple of months or so, and like all web producers, I’d like the ability to deliver video to the million plus iPads that have sold in the first few weeks since launch. Well here’s how in thirty seconds or less.
By way of background, I was chatting with the Sorenson Media folks (of Squeeze and Sorenson 360 fame) about a new product/platform they’ll be announcing sometime in 2010. I can’t share much, but during the conversation, they did mention that the current version of Sorenson 360 could deliver videos to iPads.
I’ve had a gratis account with Sorenson for a while now, but found their player too unconfigurable for my needs, so I preferred free or low fee UGC sites like Vimeo or Viddler (love those video tags on the player timeline) for video on Streaming Learning Center. But neither Viddler or Vimeo provides iPad compatibility, so I decided to test Sorenson’s claim.
A quick copy and paste of the embed codes, and I was done. Click here to go to http://tinyurl.com/2ajnhwp. If you’re on a desktop computer, you’ll see two players displaying my latest peer review video. The top player, from Vimeo, won’t appear on an iPad, leaving a big, blank gap. The bottom video is from Sorenson 360, and plays in Flash on a desktop computer, and via QuickTime on my iPad.
I did nothing special to accomplish this – just told Sorenson 360 to encode for desktop and mobile, and pasted in the embed codes. I’ve also pasted in the embed codes below – you’ll see the same video on both the iPad and desktop computers. Though I haven’t tested, I’m guessing that the file will also play on iPhones and perhaps other mobile devices.
I don’t know if Sorenson is the only online video provider (OVP) that provides iPad-compatibility; Brightcove and Kaltura have announced HTML5-compatible features, though I don’t know if they operate the same way as Sorenson, and I’m guessing others have or soon will. The point I want to leave you with is that if you run your own streaming video operations in-house, and you’re struggling with how to add iPad playback functionality to your web site, perhaps it’s time to consider an OVP like Sorenson.
And, of course, if you’re already using an OVP to distribute your videos, make sure that your current service provider can deliver to iPads, especially if you’re a consumer-oriented site. Because I know from experience that Sorenson 360 can give you iPad compatibility in 30 seconds or less.