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Download Content to Go! Announcing support for Offline Playback in the Brightcove Native Player SDKs

Brightcove News 7/17/2017

Customers leveraging the latest Brightcove Native Player SDKs for iOS and Android can now download, manage and playback offline content through a set of out-of-the-box APIs. Brightcove takes on the heavy lifting for media download and playback, leaving developers free to focus on building out exceptional end user experiences. With support for industry-standard DRMs such as Apple FairPlay Streaming and Google Widevine, publishers can rest assured that their content is safely following the rules defined by their unique business logic.

We’ve all seen how popular offline playback has been in some of our favourite applications and the benefits of allowing users to download content to watch on the go. Our goal with this release is to empower customers with the ability to provide a similar experience to their end-users without requiring the extensive investment behind it. To accomplish this, we took on the major components of the Offline Playback flow to expose as simplified and intuitive SDK APIs for developers to employ:

Digital Rights Management

DRM provides content protection that ensures your content can only be viewed when and where you have specified. DRM offers tamper protection, prevents sharing between devices and allows a publisher to set the exact duration over which downloaded content should be viewable through rental or purchase license types.

Download Management

The download manager provides an efficient and reliable way for fetching the content and metadata you need to create an awesome offline experience for your end users. Tell the SDK the rendition quality you want to download, the languages and captions you want, and we’ll handle the rest; We’ll even take care of queuing multiple downloads should a viewer be particularly hungry for content.

As a part of this process we’ll handle a variety of pause and resume scenarios that can be triggered by direct application actions such as exposing a “pause download” button, or by an error that might come up during the download process such as losing and regaining Wi-Fi connection.

And of course no user wants to be stuck watching the progress bar so our download feature works whether the application is in the foreground or the background. We’ll provide status and progress updates throughout the download process that enable your application to keep the user informed at every turn.

Local Content Management

The offline catalog keeps track of where all the data has been stored locally and exposes the details needed to build rich user experiences including video metadata and images. Maintain control of your content using our APIs for monitoring the time remaining in the DRM licenses as well as for deleting content at any point.

Android video player on smartphone

Offline Playback

The player components of both SDKs have been enhanced to support playback of content stored in the offline catalog. Wickedly simple, any existing SDK user will instantly recognize the implementation, and new users will be able to get up and running with a high quality playback experience in a matter of just a few lines of code. Our out of the box player interface has been updated to support detection of multiple local audio tracks and captions for offline videos and is as flexible as ever for any custom design changes you’d like to make.

Analytics

We've added a whole new section of events to the SDKs designed specifically to track various aspects of the download process. Our goal is to empower publishers by providing insightful data on what the download experience is like for end viewers. Are people abandoning their downloads? What are their download times like? Are users in a particular region being affected more than elsewhere? We’re looking to address questions like these and more with a wealth of data collected and exposed through the Brightcove Analytics APIs.

With these tools, developers can now bring Offline Playback into their application in just a fraction of the time it would take to start from scratch. The Brightcove Native Player SDKs bring together a number of systems to provide the powerful features you need while maintaining flexibility for your application design and interface.

Sample Offline Experience

Customers looking to leverage Offline Playback in the Brightcove Native Player SDKs must be enabled. If you’d like to learn more, check out our feature level documentation, as well as our dev docs available for both iOS and Android. If you’re interested in signing up, please reach out to your account manager for more details.