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Extensive Video Controls for All Web Videos

Brightness, saving out user-defined clips, seek skipping, talking with friends while watching on diff sites, etc
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(+6, -1)
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========== THE EXISTING PROBLEM ==========

I notice online while watching videos such as on YouTube, or watching Trailers online via streaming on Yahoo, etc there are a number of inherent problems due to being "online exclusive videos"...this includes:

1. Not being able to seek skip ahead in the video (YouTube finally does this -- but it is not consistently wide spread across other sites).

2. Can't go full-screen consistently (some Flash videos can though), such as when using QuickTime online via the web browser.

3. and many more problems...

============ PROPOSED SOLUTION ===========

I propose the idea of incorporating a plugin inside FireFox (sorry, no IE support!) that, when enabled, will detect the video that is running on a website you visit and automatically overlay a polished, univerally consistent skin ontop that existing web-specific player (regardless of thar original web player's type e.g., Flash video, Quicktime, RealPlayer, wmv) and provide new video functionality. Such features would include:

================ FEATURES ================

1. Seek skipping (forward/backwards) so as to skip by ads or move ahead to wherever you want (this feature would only work once the video has streamed enough onto your side in the background-- since sites normally stream in sequence and prevent skipping ads).

2. Chat with friends across different sites watching the same video at that moment (e.g. you watch a trailer in Quicktime on Apple's site while another person watches the same trailer inside a flash player on Yahoo's site and now you both can chat with each other about the video, regardless of the different sites u are both on).

3. Related videos list -- while watching your video it recommends other videos around the net that you can click and jump to, to watch (takes you to other site where the video exists before playing -- to keep things legal). Related videos are based on what other people have watched.

4. Create and share playlists of videos you find across the net. And browse a list of publically available video playlists others have made and shared e.g., someone makes a playlist of the "When Deadliest Animals Meet Stupid People" and that list when started jumps from site to site and each time starts playing the related video on that list (with potential user created comments throughout).

5. Save video to disk in a variety of available formats.

6. Full-screen playback or windowed playback so you can drag the video outside the browser and keep it on your desktop (has a "stay on top" feature.

7. Save video segments out to disk and/or email them (a link that when clicked will take you to that site and show the segment only).

8. Playback speed rate (slow down/speed up).

9. Save out audio clips you custom select.

10. Audio channel controls -- for those cases when the video has annoying audio hissing that u want filtered out.

11. Color controls (i.e., brightness, hue saturations, and contrast).

quantass, Nov 04 2007

Firefox add ons ... https://addons.mozi.../firefox/addon/3590
...are getting close to this idea [sophocles, Aug 13 2008]


       Gratuitous nudity finder button?
the dog's breakfast, Nov 04 2007

       Unfortunately we seem to be past the time this would work well, but maybe we'll come into a new era its possible. The problem is that video playing is never done directly, but through things like Flash. There are defined ways to embed video directly into a webpage and let the browser or plugins handle the controls, but there was never a good way to interact with that or add additional functionality. We need to bring that back into the forefront and allow combining it with the things developers need, like custom controls, control of playback, and integrating the video play into other elements.   

       Firefox is working on some interesting stuff that renders video playback into SVG primatives.
ironfroggy, Nov 04 2007

       ironfroggy....interesting comment...by video being embeded into the browser wouldn't it be possible to look for a streaming video signal of some sort coming from the internet into the browser? I believe each type of video (be it for Flash, Quicktime, wmv) have unique headers that could be identified..If one could intercept the incoming video into the browser then one could technically by-pass the existing emebded plugin who is to receive that video and have this new plugin take over (and add new video functionality to the signal)..The goal is to seperate the video signal from the original plugin player who was to handle it...With the video signal you could do anything you want...
quantass, Nov 04 2007

       thanks for the replies
quantass, Nov 06 2007

       Very nice. There are many ways to do this, technically.   

       The most brute-force method, which could never be subverted is simply to do a screen capture type recording on what was shown on screen (combo'd with an audio capture on the audio output). That way, they can't change the API/feed/protocols to subvert your workaround on skipping ads & such.   

       If it's shown on screen, then you grab it from the screen, period.   

       Your idea to get it more raw from the feeding protocol is more efficient likely, but would be vulnerable to the extremely likely changes the providers will do to make sure the video is controlled by the provider, not the viewer.
sophocles, Nov 07 2007

       thanks for the comments
quantass, Nov 25 2007

       I Don't understand why a video site would want to give you the ability to skip past ads.   

       Seems like WIBNI as all these controls are able to be put in, they just are not.   

       By the way, I use Democracy player to download the videos off of youtube, and then using my PC's video player, I can play them, adjust brightness, seek, etc.
fancypants, Nov 25 2007

       Yeah, not sure how you'd do this. The majority of internet video is now done via flash - the video files themselves are flv's and are streamed by the flash file. If you have the url of the flv then you can build any skin you like for it (granted, stuff like an integrated video editor for slicing out clips is going to be very complex indeed and is best not done in flash) in flash and stream it via that.   

       I just don't know how to get that url. It is often within the swf, although YouTube probably stores it's url's in a database. Swf's are compiled files and cannot be disassembled, so you can't find out how they get that url.   

       PS Just building a flash video site with NO controls whatsoever. I know it's a bit of a risk but I think it's appropriate for the use.
wagster, Nov 25 2007

       [wagster]video streams aren't that difficult to identify from incoming packets so it being through flash wouldnt be a problem since as far as that flash player would go, this new player would sit overtop (overlay it) and look for incoming video stream to that specific flash video applet...identifying the URL held within that flv file isnt difficult at all considering you can easily see it through such means as say netstat,httpanalyzer etc in Windows. I could write a windows hook to identify this the same way.
quantass, Nov 30 2007

quantass, Mar 30 2008

       You could download the video using one of various FF plugins like Youplayer or Media Pirate, then do whatever you want to it using software such as AVIdemux.
Spacecoyote, Mar 31 2008


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