Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Auto play HTML5 video on iPhone and iPAD

One of the holy grails of the online advertising industry, is the ability to automatically play video ads on mobile devices. 
Both Apple and Google prevent auto playback of video files on mobile devices running iOS and Android.
There are few solutions for this issue, most of them rely on rendering an image sequences to a Canvas element.

I've made some simple changes to my inline playback demo to enable auto playback of HTML5 videos on iOS. Sadly, this solution doesn't work on Android.
The solution is very simple. The video starts muted, as required by the online advertisement industry. Clicking the video enables audio as well.
On the iPhone, auto playback starts muted and inline. Clicking the video jumps to fullscreen playback with audio.
  • Demo: Open this link on your iPhone or iPAD to see the demo.
  • Code: View the full source code on Github
Code sample:

    var vid = document.getElementById("vid"); // get reference to the video object
    var intervalID = null;
    var time = 0;
    var speed = 15; // frames per seconds (fps). Change this value to balance quality against performances

    // wait for the onloadedmetadata event to get the video duration
    vid.onloadedmetadata = function() {
        var duration = vid.duration;
        intervalID = setInterval(function(){
            if (time / speed <=  duration){
                vid.currentTime = time / speed;
                intervalID = null;
        },1000 / speed);

    // clicking the video stops inline playback and triggers native playback including audio. No need to seek.
    vid.addEventListener('click', function(){
        intervalID = null;


  1. Define the playback speed in FPS (frames per seconds)
  2. Wait for the onloadedmetadata event after which video currentTime property can be set
  3. Open a timer interval according to the defined speed and advance the video currentTime property on each interval
  4. Stop the interval when the video reaches its duration or clicked upon
  5. Upon video click execute the play() command on the video element
That's it!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Video spectrum analyzer using video frame colors

I've been playing with HTML5 audio API for a bit and came up with this video spectrum analyzer. 
It uses the Color Thief library to grab the frame colors at runtime and uses these colors to create the spectrum bar gradients.
The spectrum itself is drawn onto an HTML5 Canvas and updated using the requestAnimationFrame API. 
See the demo below and feel free to explore the code on Github and the official demo page.
This demo works best on Chrome and FireFox.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Video filters - image adjustments using CSS3 filters

CSS3 filters can be used on native HTML5 video objects as well as on images. 
I've recently created a little widget that opens an image adjustments menu on top
of the playing video (thank you Muli Dayan for your help with this one!).

The widget allows video image manipulations using these CSS3 filters:

  • Brightness
  • Contrast
  • Greyscale
  • Saturation
  • Hue-rotate
  • Sepia
Chrome and Safari except CSS filers by defining the "webkitFilter" property.
FireFox requires definition of the "filter" property.
IE is not supported as it lacks support for CSS3 filters.

Feel free to play with the demo and download the source code from Github.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Inline video playback on iPhone - my solution

As iPhone users know, when viewing an online video on the iPhone, the video plays in full screen using the device native player.

This presents a major limitation for advertisers since video ads are not clickable and overlay ads cannot be displayed. 
Any custom user interaction during video playback is not supported which prevents interactive videos and games.

There are few approaches for a solution, and here is mine, which I hope you find helpful.

Demo (open on an iPhone): http://amirch1.github.io/VideoInline/
Github code under MIT license: https://github.com/amirch1/VideoInline

The solution:

  1. Create an Audio tag and give it the source of the Video tag. Audio tags support any video format (mp4, m3u8 HLS streams, live) and play inline.
  2. Hide the Video tag native controls using Shadow DOM CSS rules.
  3. Add custom Play / Pause button and a progress bar.
  4. Clicking the Play button triggers the Audio tag play() method. It also invokes the Video tag load() method which enables video seek operation.
  5. A timed interval is set to sync the Video tag currentTime property to the Audio tag currentTime property. The time interval actually defines the playback frame rate enabling balance between quality and performances. It also updates the progress bar.
  6. Seeking using the progress bar sets the Audio tag currentTime value. The Video tag updates accordingly by the timer refresh.
Thats it! 
Rather simple, provides real audio sync and supports all video formats including mp4, HLS and live streams.
Can be easily enhanced to support fullscreen playback without loosing interactivity and additional video controls.

Feel free to play with the code, submit pull requests and star the Github repository :)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Moving to Github Pages

I've just started using Github Pages.
My first project is an updated Video Color Sampler and I will add additional projects soon.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Calculating video frame average color and displaying its name

This little demo shows how to calculate the average color value of a video frame during playback. 
The color name is displayed as well as the color value. 
This can be useful when creating 508 accessible content, for example for color blinded people. 

I used the colorThief library for calculating the average color. 
Note that you can also calculate the frame average palette if you need to display more colors, 
however this results in slower performances.
After getting the color value, I use the "Name that color" library by Chirag Mehta to display the color name.

You can view the source code for this demo by right-clicking the demo and choosing "View Frame Source".

Saturday, August 29, 2015

My first commit to a Google open source project

I'm so proud that my first commit to a Google open source project was accepted and merged: https://github.com/googlecast/CastMediaPlayerStreamingDRM/pull/8
This commit enhances Google's example of a Chromecast custom receiver.
While the example demonstrates support for DRM, HLS and smooth streaming, it doesn't provide support for regular MP4 videos (progressive download).
After merging my pull request, I continue developing Kaltura custom Chromecast receiver for OTT, web and mobile.

Check out the example:

About Me

My photo
I've been developing Internet and rich-media application for 15 years. In my work I emphasis usability and best user experience as well as sleek design. My main expertise are JavaScript, Flex and Flash.