17 Sep 2014

Alternate Audio Streams in HTML Video – Part 1

As streaming video continues to mature and become a more widely used medium for delivering major events, it is becoming more important to not only deliver a clear, reliable video, but to begin augmenting it with some of the extra possibilities it affords. One of those extras is the possibility of including alternate audio tracks that can be selected during playback. These can be used to offer video in multiple languages, provide a commentary track, and in many other creative ways.

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10 Sep 2014

Sublime Text – Search Strings and Filtering

Sublime Text offers many, many options for navigating within your project’s code or searching within either a single file, or the entire codebase of the project. The “Find” Menu offers over a dozen different options for Find and Replace, and depending on which you choose, there are 3 separate “Find” Dialog Panels available.

In this post, I’m going to show a few quick, introductory tips for using the “Find in Files…” Panel. Searching from this Panel will allow you to search across all files in your project, or (as we’ll cover in the second section) select a sub-set of files for a quicker search with more relevant results.

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27 Aug 2014

Debugging on Mobile with Weinre

There is no substitution for actually testing on the device. Between all the different iOS and Android configurations, not to mention the cloud of other manufacturers and OSes, you’re bound to discover some peculiar behavior that only occurs on the device. What to do?

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21 Aug 2014
24 Jul 2014

Quick Tip: IP Multicast Fallback with Apache mod_rewrite

Recently, I was tasked with building a video player that would play live streams via IP Multicast on a supported network and automagically switch to Unicast on an unsupported network. Problem is, with IP Multicast the clients will make a connection and just wait around for data without bombing out. This is because the clients are connected to the IP Multicast address space via their network hardware and not a server endpoint in many other types of streaming.

In the past, this type of configuration might be implemented through a connection timeout in the video player logic. However, I wanted a seamless and immediate way to fall back without making the user have to wait. Enter Apache mod_rewrite.

The general workflow I wanted to follow was this:

  1. The end user hits the video player page on the Apache server
  2. The video player seamlessly and immediately point itself at the right stream.
  3. Everyone’s happy

I accomplished the above with a little mod_rewrite magic in my Apache config.

First, I needed to make sure clients on specific subnets would play back the live stream using Unicast. Second, I needed to properly redirect all other clients to the live stream using IP Multicast. Also, I needed to make sure that VOD requests would be ignored.

Here’s a gist of my rewrites along with some commentary.



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16 Jul 2014

CSS Filters – Current Implementation and usage

Given the wide variance in implementation and guaranteed support, CSS filters (and their cousins) are still a ways from being advisable for any key functionality of a site. That being said, caniuse.com currently lists browser support at almost 65% (includes partial support). With this in mind, CSS filters create some very interesting possibilities for Progressive Enhancement of carefully considered elements.

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02 Jul 2014
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