Update: March 13, 2014 – Please note that this blog post references the archiving functionality in our OpenTok 1.0 platform. This feature is no longer being supported. Learn more about archiving using our OpenTok 2.0 platform.
A few weeks ago we were very excited to release our archiving feature to a wider audience. Now a video conversation is no longer a fleeting moment in time, but something that can be recorded and played back.
What we noticed however was that people wanted a bit more then just having the ability to record and play back archives. Our partners want to take ownership of the individual videos, to modify them, and to more easily share them with family, friends and their own end-users.
What to do?
If I had a nickel every time someone pitched me an app idea, I might have enough to buy an Amazon Kindle Fire.
Unfortunately for me, nobody has given me a nickel. But you, however, are in luck.
We’re running a contest to find the best idea for an application that uses the OpenTok API, and were giving away a spankin’ new Amazon Kindle Fire.
It’s been an exciting few weeks for video quality. In the world of the wild, wild web (www), a stranger riding into town could be good, bad, or something else…
That’s what we thought here at TokBox when Adobe Flash Player 11 galloped into the land of OpenTok last week. From a distance, the stranger looked like a bandit, triggering an old hardware acquisition bug that threatened to break the OpenTok API. But we squashed that bug right quick. After the dust settled, we realized that Flash 11 was actually one of the good guys. There was a new sheriff in town—and Flash 11 was gonna use his H.264 revolver to bring justice and a new dawn for OpenTok video quality. Thanks to Flash 11, the OpenTok API now offers beautiful images that are clearer, crisper, and sharper than ever before.
Here at TokBox we’re always trying to find ways to improve the quality of your video experience. We’ve pushed out H.264 support with the new Flash Player 11 plugin. We’re learning how to pump more bits down the same bandwidth pipe to make sure your video is clear and crisp. And now, we are excited to enable Peer to Peer video for two party video chats.
What exactly is Peer to Peer (P2P)?
Traditional OpenTok sessions stream video via our servers. With P2P, participants stream video directly to each other, resulting in better video quality!
A few weeks ago we sent out an email regarding changes to our session IDs (they are now longer, up to 255 characters). If you are storing session IDs for re-use, make sure that your database field supports this (we recommend a length of 512 just to be safe).
Update #2: We have just pushed the fix for this issue. Please let us know in our forums if there are any problems with hardware acquisition for end users on Flash Player 11
Update #1: Google Chrome has updated their built-in version of Adobe Flash to Flash Player 11. We have not yet released our fix for this issue, but we are hard at work to make it happen.
Let’s play the good news/bad news game.
The good news is that Adobe’s Flash Player 11 brings with it a lot of new goodies including support for the H.264 video codec. More on how that will improve video quality in the OpenTok API in another blog post.
The bad news is there is a very old bug in Adobe’s hardware acquisition flow which Flash Player 11 has resurfaced. Specifically, the release of the Flash Player 11 plugin has broken the work-around that we have had in place since the release of OpenTok.
What does that mean for you, the developer?
Today (9/27) at 5:00 p.m. PT, InTheRooms.com is partnering with Drugfree.org and TheFix.com to host the first ever virtual town hall for their You Are Not Alone Campaign. During this virtual town hall, a panel of experts will gather to discuss how addiction impacts different segments of society.
We’re always on the lookout for cool new schwag to give away to you, our TokBox community. Now that it’s finally summer in San Francisco (woo hoo!), we figured there wasn’t anything more appropriate than a pair of OpenTok sunglasses. The biggest fans of our OpenTok shades so far? The littlest members of the TokBox family.
TriviaTok is a game show app designed and built by TokBox superintern, Ezra Velazquez.
How It Works:
Game is about to begin!
When the host clicks “Next Player”, a user in the audience is randomly selected and goes on screen to video chat with the host. The rest of the audience gets to watch. “Next Question” kicks off the game. The player can pick the right (or wrong) answer – or get help:
- PHONE lets you call a friend (Twilio Client)
- CROWD lets you tweet for help (Twitter API)
- 50/50 eliminates two wrong answers (Ezra’s skillz)
Next weekend is our second HAPI Hack Weekend at our office in San Francisco and we’re excited to have a bunch of interesting APIs there to hack with. One API that I’m particularly excited about is Face.com, which gives developers a set of methods for easy face recognition.
I created a simple app to introduce the basics of using OpenTok with Face.com: