OpenTok JavaScript client library 2.2 preview

At the WebRTC Expo on November 18, we announced some new features. Since then, a number of developers have asked about how to take advantage of them. In response, we are providing a preview version of the OpenTok JavaScript client library: version 2.2. This includes an advanced look at these new features:

  • Archiving—You can record audio-video streams in a session and download the recording as an MP4 file (with H.264 video and AAC audio).
  • Dynamic frame rate control—This feature lets you reduce bandwidth usage of a Subscriber’s video stream. This reduces CPU usage and the network bandwidth consumed, and it lets you subscribe to more streams simultaneously.

These are just a couple of the new features to be included in version 2.2.

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Introducing Dynamic Frame Rate Controls

artificial intelligence. Image shot 2008. Exact date unknown.Today we’re announcing new Intelligent Quality Controls in the OpenTok platform. To catch everyone up, Intelligent Quality Controls are the features and enhancements we’re developing to make sure that each participant in a video call has the best possible experience.

Update (Nov 25): Developers, check out our new blog post that provides details on using dynamic frame rate controls.

You may recall that over the summer we launched traffic shaping for the audio-only fallback feature. This feature drops video in low bandwidth situations to prevent a participant with poor QOS from dragging down the video quality for everyone else. Essentially, we built the automatic (video) mute button for “that guy on his cell phone in a convertible!”

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New Pricing from TokBox

As we announced on August 29, today TokBox introduced new pricing for the OpenTok platform. Please take a moment to check out the new pricing section of our website: http://www.tokbox.com/pricing.

Our new pricing starts with a 30 day free trial during which we hope developers check out everything the OpenTok platform has to offer.

Customer who wish to continue working with the OpenTok platform after the trial period can do so by entering credit card info in the account’s dashboard – or by contacting business development (bizdev@tokbox.com) for invoicing information.

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Audio Fallback: Real-time Traffic Shaping with OpenTok

feature-optimizationAt TokBox, we aim to push boundaries and deliver the best possible WebRTC-enabled experience for application developers building face-to-face video applications. One of our guiding architectural philosophies has been to provide the right primitives for developers to build rich and powerful applications. In addition, we want to make sure we abstract the underlying nuts and bolts and enable the cloud service to dynamically react to changing environmental conditions (bandwidth, packet-loss, etc.) in order to deliver the best possible experience.

The multiparty stream routing component of the OpenTok platform is also capable of shaping traffic in real time. Let’s take a look at how this this capability delivers a significantly improved quality of experience for users.

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Firefox support opens up new world of WebRTC possibilities

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We’re incredibly pleased to see Mozilla launch Firefox with WebRTC enabled by default.  With Mozilla’s Firefox joining the WebRTC family, millions of people will have the opportunity to experience high-quality plugin-free face-to-face video within web applications.

TokBox’s OpenTok platform provides APIs and infrastructure that make it incredibly easy for web and mobile developers to build and deploy WebRTC-powered video applications.  WebRTC enables Firefox to give Javascript access to your webcam and microphone, and supports powerful P2P networking protocols.

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Firepad Plugin: WebRTC video collaboration

Yesterday Firebase launched Firepad, a Firebase-powered open source collaborative text editor. Here’s the product pitch, Michael Lehenbauer says it best:

Firepad provides true collaborative editing, complete with intelligent OT-based merging and conflict resolution. It’s full-featured and has support for both rich text and code editing. Some of its features include cursor position synchronization, undo / redo, text highlighting, user attribution, presence detection, and version checkpointing.

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LiveNinja: Video chat face-to-face with experts

There is a new breed of Ninjas taking over. Instead of covert agents wielding nunchucks and wearing ninja-yoroi, you’ll find gentler individuals donned in yoga pants, weaponed with guitars and Adobe CSS. LiveNinja, our App of the Week, is responsible. They’ve created a searchable marketplace of experts (Certified Ninjas) in the topics you care about, using the OpenTok API to facilitate live video consultations.

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What I learned on my cross platform development panel

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of being a part of the Mobile + Web developer conference held at the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco. I spoke on a panel about where development was headed in a world where Web + Mobile are the two predominant platforms. There were four of us total, and we had a great time talking about how each of us lived in, and viewed the future of development in this two platform world. The panel was composed of (beyond myself) John Hammink, a QA engineer from Mozilla, Jonathan Smiley, a partner at Zurb building their own HTML5 framework, and Ted Drake, a senior accessibility engineer from Intuit.

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OpenTok for Mobile: now on Android OS

Nearly 7 months ago, we publicly announced that the OpenTok API would extend its reach to native mobile application developers by publishing the OpenTok iOS SDK. In the time since, we have tightened the performance of the SDK runtime for iOS devices and spent a good deal of time learning about how best to deliver video to the mobile platform. While iOS commands a large portion of the mobile app market, it is intuitive that we should build similar SDKs for other popular platforms outside of the browser. It is a pleasure to announce that we are developing the OpenTok Android SDK, to allow native Android developers to bring live video chat to their apps.

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Getting Started: Streaming from iOS to browser via webRTC

 With all the excitement going on with webRTC and iOS interoperability, I’m sure many are excited to get started. If you don’t have time to navigate through the docs, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’m going to show you how to get started! If you didn’t know already, webRTC is a new HTML5 spec for interactive media streaming on the web.

Browser to Browser

This is very simple. All you have to do is go through our getting started tutorial. The basic idea behind OpenTok SDK is a publisher/subscriber model in a session. First you connect to a session, then you publish to a session. As other people publish to a session, you’ll get a streamCreated event, in which you’ll simply subscribe to their video stream. If you open up multiple tabs you’ll be able to see multiple videos. By default, the tutorial uses our flash stack. But we want WebRTC, so all we have to do is change our javascript library:

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