The purpose of upgrading EF Media Player 2 to EF Media Player 3 is to, firstly, fix the bugs and problems found in the second version and, secondly, to implement some new features to make the application become more user-friendly. Same as the previous two versions, useful features like playing FLV and other types of audio and video files as well as streaming videos stored in SkyDrive are still available.
In this project, there are additional features implemented, such as full screen mode, history recording and video bookmarking. The challenging part of this project will be the implementation of video bookmarking which caused me to spend about two days to figure out the way to do it (Read more: https://cuteprogramming.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/ef-media-player-3-the-code-the-idea/).
In addition, there is a minor change made to the SkyDrive videos viewing. User is now allowed to play the videos by directly dragging and dropping the, to the File Path area.
Full Screen Mode
In both the YouTube Re-Player (Desktop) and EF Media Player 2, there is no full screen mode available although there is a “Full Screen” button which basically does not trigger anything. Full Screen mode is previously not necessary because YouTube Re-Player is built for collecting and playing favourite music videos from YouTube site, not watching those videos. In addition, due to the fact that the player was embedded in AxShockwaveFlash object, the “Full Screen” functionality that comes together with the YouTube player cannot be easily triggered.
Full Screen mode become important in EF Media Player because it is an application used to watch videos. Same as YouTube Re-Player (Desktop), the “Full Screen” button in JW Player which is used in EF Media Player does not trigger anything as well. This may be due to the fact that the JW Player is put inside the AxShockwaveFlash object.
Hence, this project is to figure out how to add the Full Screen functionality to the application. In this version, for users using more than one screen, they can also have EF Media Player to be in full screen mode in one of the screens while they are doing their work on other screens. This is something which cannot be done in the YouTube site itself.
History Recording and Video Bookmarking
Another exciting feature implemented in EF Media Player 3 is keeping the videos viewing history. All the video watched previously will be kept and thus the user can play those videos again by choosing them from the drop-down selection box.
For those videos which were watched previously but not watched again in the next run of EF Media Player 3 will be removed away from the history. By doing so, the list will always keep track of the videos that are always watched by the user.
In addition, Video Bookmarking is also an interesting feature available in EF Media Player 3. It enables user to basically bookmark the videos that they like. Those videos which are bookmarked will stay forever in the history list. Hence, the users can watch again next time when they run EF Media Player 3.
SkyDrive Videos Drag-and-Drop
Users can already watch videos stored in their SkyDrive using EF Media Player 2. In this project, a new functionality is added to the application. It allows users to directly drag and drop the SkyDrive videos into the application and play them. It also allows user to download the videos by directly clicking on them.
Future Work: What Is the Next Related Video?
YouTube XL is YouTube optimized for the TV. It is made to be simple to use and interact with on big screens. Among all its features, auto playing the next related video is very interesting. However, for some unknown reasons, this feature is not working correctly most of the case. Hence, for the next release of EF Media Player, the focus will be on implementing this functionality which make the application to auto play the next related video. It requires an algorithm which can cleverly analyze limited knowledge and decides the next related video based on those knowledge. After the completion of this feature, EF Media Player can be also be shown on TV as well, just like YouTube XL.