Using JW Player as a Data source

Introduction

Applicaster offers an integration with JW Player. This guide will walk you through the following:

  • Prerequisites
  • Adding a playlist as a feed
  • Managing series using JW
  • Enabling content Geo-Blocking
  • InPlayer integration

Prerequisites

  • To Integrate JW you'll need to ask your Customer Success representative to setup JW Middleware for you.

Note We are using Firebase as a middleware to protect you API secrets and to allow to add updates without the need of rebuilding the app.

  • Provide your Customer Success representative the following JW credentials:

    • V1_API_CREDENTIALS_SECRET
    • V1_API_KEY
  • Your Customer Success representative will update you once your Middleware server is up and running and will give you a link to your middleware BASE_URL

Create a JW endpoint

  • Go to your app Endpoints section

  • Create a new JW Endpoint if it doesn't already exists:
    • Name : JW
    • Context Keys - leave blank for now
    • URL - <BASE_URL>/jw/ (replace the <BASE_URL> with your middleware URL )

Create a simple Playlist feed

Creating Playlist feeds are good for promoting content on your app - e.g. Create a playlist on JW with promoted videos, create from it a feed as described bellow and than add it to your app's home screen.

  • Go to the Layouts V2 feeds section and add feeds for your playlists as you see fit

For creating a Series / Episodes structure for dynamic series screen - read the section bellow instead.

  • Click on the New Feed button and choose Pipes Feed - A modal will pop up. Give your feed a name (the name is for administrative usage, the name will not be reflected in the app).
    • For the Endpoint pick the JW endpoint your created before.
    • For the Feed Locator add playlists/<JW_PLAYLIST_ID> (replace <JW_PLAYLIST_ID> with your desired JW Playlist ID )

Note you can only used playlists from your JW account - according to the API keys you provided

  • Click Create - You can now preview and use the feed on your app.

Create a search feed

  • Go to the Layouts V2 feeds section.
  • Click on the New Feed button and choose Pipes Feed - A modal will pop up. Give your feed a name e.g Search (the name is for administrative usage, the name will not be reflected in the app).
    • For the Endpoint pick the JW endpoint your created before.
    • For the Feed Locator add playlists/<JW_SEARCH_PLAYLIST_ID>?search={{q}} (replace <JW_SEARCH_PLAYLIST_ID> with your desired JW Search Playlist id )
  • Click Create.
  • Create the search screen on the Studio as described here (Make sure you follow the Layouts2 Guide).

Create an episodic structure using JW Playlists

JW Player supports only the creation of video assets and the ability to group them on playlists. For each video item JW allows users to add title, description, a single thumbnail, tags and custom params. To overcome this problem we offer the option to mimic a Series / Episode Hierarchy by creating fake videos of series on JW.

Before you begin if you would like to group episodes directly under a series (see step 1A) or if you prefer to create sub-groups of episodes by seasons (see step 1B)

Step 1A - Create a playlist per series

Note: If you want to group episodes by seasons see Step 1B instead.

Follow JW documentation and create a playlist for each series. Use a manual playlist if you would like to manually control the order of the videos.

Note - when uploading the videos to JW it’s recommended to tag each episode with the name of the series - this will make it much easier to group the episodes by their shows as JW offers playlist filtering options by tags.

Create a manual feed and name it with the show name.

Then go to the videos section and search for the show’s tag name. Select all the videos and add them to the playlist that you created.

Once done you can order the videos manually as you see fit in the playlist. Lastly copy the playlist Id of the playlist

Step 1B - Create a playlist per seasons

Note: If your content comes directly under series without seasons separation see Step 1A instead .

Follow JW documentation and create a playlist for each season on a given series. Use a manual playlist if you would like to manually control the order of the videos.

Note - when uploading the videos to JW it’s recommended to tag each episode with the name of the series - this will make it much easier to group the episodes by their shows as JW offers a playlist filtering options by tags.

Create a manual feed and name it with the show name.

It is recommended that you give full meaningful title to your playlist like <SERIES_NAME> SEASON <SEASON_NUMBER>. This will help you to easily find it later ond

Then go to the videos section and search for the show’s tag name. Then select all the videos that belong to the given season and add them to the playlist that you created.

Once done you can order the videos manually as you see fit in the playlist. Lastly copy the playlist Id of the playlist

Step 2 - Create a show video item

When building apps, it’s very common to provide an image for the series itself, and not only to the episodes in that series. As mentioned above you can only upload an image to a video. So, to overcome this problem we will add a video per series and use it to hold the show metadata. When adding a video to JW, JW requires users to upload a valid video to the video field. To tackle that issue we’ll connect the video to fake video as a placeholder.

Choose the upload button on JW and give a fake URL to your video and pick the option - No, don't host media on import.

Change the title of the video to the title of the series and add the show description to the description field. Click on the “Edit Thumbnail” button to upload the series' thumbnail.

JW supports only opaque thumbnails - please don’t use transparent PNGs for images.

Add to the video a tag named series-item . This will enable filtering show videos easily when searching items on JW.

As mentioned on step 1, you have 2 options to arrange your data; Have all the episodes under the show directly or if your show episodes are separated to seasons, create a playlist per season.

If you group all your episode under the series add a custom param named playlistId and paste the playlist ID of the show you copied previously from your clipboard

If you group the episodes by season create a custom param per season named season1, season2 etc. And paste the right playlists ids.

Step 3 - Create an “All Series” playlist

To automate the process on Zapp of showing a list of show items in the app. Create an “All Series` playlist on JW and add all the series “Videos” you created.

You can set the order of the shows as you see fit. This order will be maintained on the app.

Step 4 - Create the All-Series feed on Zapp

  • Create a new JW feed
    • Give your Feed an administrative name e.g. All Series
    • For the Endpoint pick the JW endpoint your created before.
    • For the Feed Locator add all-series-playlists/<JW_PLAYLIST_ID> (replace <JW_PLAYLIST_ID> with your All Series Playlist id you created on step 3)

Step 5 - Create a dynamic JW playlist feed

  • Create a new JW feed
    • Give your Feed an administrative name e.g. Episodes
    • For the Endpoint pick the JW endpoint your created before.
    • For the Feed Locator add playlists/{{playlistId}}

Step 6 - Add All-Series feed to the home screen of your app

  • Add the All-Series feed to a component on Zapp

If you want to show the header use it in a group component

Step 7 - Create a new screen called Series

Option 1 add a single component for all the episodes

  • Add a new general-content screen on Zapp
  • Add to it a component with the Episodes feed
  • Zapp will ask you to set up your playlistId key - choose entry and right extensions.playlistId

Option 2 add component per season

  • Add a new general-content screen on Zapp
  • Add a component per seasons e.g. "Season 1", Season 2" and choose the Episodes feeds
  • Per component, Zapp will ask you to set up your playlistId key - choose entry and right extensions.season<THE_WANTED_SEASON_NUMBER?

Step 8 - Map the series screen to the series map

  • Open your layout type mapping and set the series type to the series screen you created on step 7.

Your JW integration is now complete

  • You can now see all your series listed on the home screen
  • Tapping on each series will lead you to the series screen
  • Tapping on an episode will open the video player

Appendix 1 - InPlayer integration

InPlayer integration is done behind the scenes - no setup is required on the feeds.

  • If you have an integration with InPlayer and you want to offer some videos without the need of login - just tag those videos with the free tag in the JW console.

Appendix 2 - Geo Blocking

JW does not offer a way to use its Geo-Blocking feature with a server-to-server API.

Step 1

  • Remove all Geo-Blocking restrictions for JW
warning

Using Geo Block both on JW and on Zapp might result undesired blocking of content

Step 2

  • Add the signedDeviceInfoTokenToken context key to your JW endpoint

Step 3

  • Tag any content you want to make available for a specific country with geo:<country code>, e.g. geo:US will enable content to be seen in the US.
note

Country codes are defined by ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1_alpha-2)

  • Note that you can add more multiple to an item to allow it in several countries.
  • If you don't add any geo tags to your videos they will not be geo restricted.