OU Media Player rebooted

Its been a long time since I've blogged about the OU Media Player project. So what has been going on? I thought I'd take a brief look back, then look forward...

Last spring and summer we developed an embeddable player based on the open-source Flowplayer Flash-based toolkit. Two designers form Learning and Teaching Solutions here at The Open University, David Winter and Peter Devine created to bold and attractive designs or themes.

The 2011 player hit many of the original aims of the project.

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OU web developer's coffee morning - OU player

These events are fairly informal, but some topics we may like to cover:

* What is OU player?
* What is OU embed?
* What is oEmbed?
* What are the benefits, for developers, end users etc.?
* How can you embed using these systems - in Drupal/ in Wordpress/ using Javascript/ in Moodle?
* What is the status of the project? Future plans?

OU media player project

Tony Hirst has just blogged about the Office for Disability Issues new accessible media player AKA the "Most Accessible Media Player on the Web". Both he and Will Woods have alluded to work that The Open University is undertaking. I thought I'd fill in the gaps.

The OU is at the start of a 6 month development to create a multimedia player that (we hope):

  1. Will be an "attractive" player that the average designer/ blogger would be happy to use on their site.
  2. Can be used in a variety of contexts - our Moodle-based virtual learning environment, OpenLearn, OU-Drupal sites, blogs, Cloudworks...
  3. Will deliver content mostly from the OU podcast site in the contexts mentioned above.
  4. Will be accessible to users with disabilities - both in terms of control, and display of alternatives like transcripts and captions.
  5. Usable on a variety of devices, including mobiles and tablets.
  6. Will be delivered in a maintainable way.

5 steps to being an oEmbed provider

In the words of the specification,

“oEmbed is a format for allowing an embedded representation of a URL on third party sites. The simple API allows a website to display embedded content (such as photos or videos) when a user posts a link to that resource, without having to parse the resource directly.”

MALT Wiki player with personalization mockup

Wendy Porch and I presented an evaluation version of the new MALT Wiki player at Techshare, in September. Since then I've been busy with other projects, but I've now had time to produce a mockup demonstrating personalization options and how I hope to get people to contribute. This is based on my own thoughts and some interesting points raised by people including Jonathan Hassell during our presentation.

The screenshot below shows the player with a panel below starting "About Learn about Moodle". The player works, while the meta-data and personalization panel is mostly just a mockup. This panel would be hidden initially, with a "show/hide" button. And the thinking is that the panel would always be available, including when a video is embedded in a third-party site like a blog, a virtual learning environment or video sites like YouTube.

MALT Wiki player, with mockup meta-data and personalization panel

MALT Wiki player with personalization and meta-data mockup, on Flickr