JW Player and Platform the BEST alternatives to YouTube, Vimeo or Dailymotion
August 24, 2016

JW Player and Platform the BEST alternatives to YouTube, Vimeo or Dailymotion

Ross R. Mason | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with JW Player

Our firm, Motion Media Solutions is a video production company producing business videos for online use by business professionals, corporations and nonprofit organizations. We deliver a majority of our client videos via a video website we host at VideoproFile.net. In doing so, we not only provide the JW Player embed code our clients may use to put the video on their own websites, but we optimize video pages to help establish video SEO for them, linking the page to their social media profiles online, as well as to syndicated locations of their video on sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Dailymotion, SlideShare and others.
  • Responsive HTML5
  • Provides share functionality built into the player
  • Platform use enables playlist functionality and playlist players which can be customized or versioned for specific uses
  • Videos uploaded to the JW Platform automatically provide multiple image frame options for selecting video thumbnail
  • Technical support is extremely slow to respond to inquiries and often does no more than point to existing documentation on its knowledgevbase, which is often inadequate, and slows down proper resolution to issues.
  • No access to cases established for customer record of all correspondence with support.
  • JW Platform Playlist RSS feed is not currently compatible with iTunes video podcast submission parameters which is a real disconnect.
  • Positive in the sense that we have been able to integrate its use and their platform for our VideoproFile.net client videos hosting and distribution, with far greater functionality and features than just using the stand-alone player as a plugin for the site.
  • There have been some negative impacts such as the playlist RSS feed iTunes incompatibility as already mentioned.
  • Another negative impact on some videos with the JW Platform is its encoding qualities seem to be lesser than popular video sharing sites such as Vimeo, YouTube and Dailymotion; this is only evident on certain videos, however serious enough that the only alternative is to encode our own, load to our own CDN, then load via URL to the JW Platform, then uploading a separate image for its thumbnail. This is a work-around, but seems completely unnecessary given that since most clients are inclined to just use the FREE video sharing sites anyway, we cannot afford to see some videos appear to display blurry images at places within the videos encoded and hosted on JW Platform. This also places a greater burden on us to review every video hosted with JW Platform as a measure of QA...steps we'd prefer NOT to take if we could rely on its quality of encoding matching that of the most popular video sharing sites.
  • VideoJS, Flow Player and MediaElements
JW Player is competitive with VideoJS and MediaElements. Though we preferred VideoJS based on some features for its player attributes for years, we ultimately switched to JW Player due to its platform capabilities, functionality and recent investments the firm was making to significantly improve its overall offering.
It's very well suited for any firm desiring to maintain a high-quality, fully functional online video player that is automatically mobile compliant and contains built-in sharing functionality for email, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest among others.

As previously mentioned, the JW Platform playlist RSS feed NOT being compatible with iTunes video podcasting submission parameters is a huge disappointment as that was originally one of the reasons we chose to use the platform.

Using JW Player

604 - Since we distribute and host the client videos produced by Motion Media Solutions on VideoproFile.net, we use the JW Player and integration with JW Platform for streaming the videos and make its embed code available for clients to add to their own websites. This is also true of the playlist player functionalities as well.
1 - General knowledge of basic HTML programming is required to maintain or troubleshoot the JW Player plugin use on our website(s). However, due to our use of the JW Platform, the only knowledge required for adding video content between the platform and our VideoproFile.net site is a series of basic steps which can easily be followed by any level of properly trained administrative support.
However, some recent shortfalls with regards to quality of encoding on certain videos requires that we monitor closely the quality of all videos uploaded to the platform and thus resort to loading to our own CDN account then adding its path for the JW Platform integration, a step we'd prefer NOT to take. However, in certain instances, JW Platform does not seem to execute the same level of encoding as the popular video sharing sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and Dailymotion. Therefore, in these instances, subjective assessment of quality and the workaround steps to resolve require a bit more process understanding, access to FTP software, access parameters, etc. in order to resolve.
  • Client Video distribution
  • Client Video hosting
  • Video streaming
  • Mobile video streaming
  • Integration with our HWDMediaShare module on Joomla.
  • Hopefully iTunes RSS feed parameters compatibility for the JW Platform playlists for video podcasting
Just made the decision to renew given demonstrated improvements being made to the platform to expand compatibility for its player use on devices such as Apple TV, as well as improvements made recently to its JW Platform Dashboard.

Evaluating JW Player and Competitors

Yes - VideoJS was used previously on VideoproFile.net. When JW Platform emerged, we had also previously used hosted platforms from zencoder, encoding.com, Brightcove, Wistia and others. We decided on JW Platform based on its features, especially its access to APIs needed to integrate with our platform using Hwdmediashare, and pricing.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Analyst Reports
Ultimately, JW Platform features were most important factors in our decision.
We do evaluate this decision annually, though migrating to alternative solutions is not an insignificant task. With our experience, I would certainly place a higher emphasis on service levels and attempt to gain some indication from the company whether steps are being taken to improve.
Similarly, it seems completely out of step with the market for playlist RSS feeds NOT to include a single data element which iTunes podcast registration requires (language) and would want to see this resolved before seriously considering our renewal.

JW Player Implementation

One of the primary features promoted by JW Platform is its SEO definition. However, there did not seem to be a way to integrate that data to our platform if selected thus only leaving the benefits of that data to be established on the individual video page hosted by JW Platform, which isn't useful in the end to the client value we are trying to deliver for our VideoproFile.net solution.
Change management was a small part of the implementation and was well-handled
  • Finding the right way to configure our platform so that its historical content could still be maintained on AWS, with a plan to migrate over time, while support all NEW content from JW Platform.

JW Player Support

Slow responsiveness; staff seems overwhelmed OR does not seem to have SLAs established for performance and there is nothing online for customers to measure responsiveness to cases other than maintain their own tracking methods.
ProsCons
Problems get solved
Slow Resolution
Poor followup
Not kept informed
Escalation required
Difficult to get immediate help
Need to explain problems multiple times
Slow Initial Response
Yes - Some issues have been resolved satisfactorily; however several important issues were not, such as iTunes video podcasting RSS feed incompatibilities with JW Platform playlists and quality of encoding sub-par to that of popular video sharing sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and Dailymotion. As important however seems to be a tendency of support to not pay attention to the requests submitted but rather to quickly assume that issues submitted relate to articles already established in the online knowledgebase, thus mechanically responding with simple links to those articles and OFTEN this requires additional follow-up and reference back to the original request which would have made clear that the information in such articles WAS NOT sufficient for resolving the issue submitted.
It has been helpful that JW Platform accounts seem to have an account manager assigned and that person's contact and ongoing availability has been the ONLY way in which certain support cases submitted EVER get the proper attention and responsiveness. Sadly, in certain cases the issues were still not resolved promptly, nor to our satisfaction even with this manager's intervention.

Using JW Player

Reliability and compatibility on a majority of platforms.
Would have received a 10 except recent versions of browsers such as Firefox are now defaulting against Flash components and thus prompting approval from users BEFORE loading which is a HUGE obstacle to an effective user experience thus creating concerns by end-users unnecessarily and risking that they will NOT accept the prompts, thus leaving unable to view video content hosted using the JW Player. Assurances by JW support suggest they will resolve this, so we'll see...
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Ability to upload video OR add using URL
  • Ability to select from multiple thumbnail images automatically generated from uploaded videos
  • Access to important defining attributes such as runtime
  • Ability to customize multiple player configurations and apply to individual videos
  • Playlist RSS feeds are incompatible with iTunes podcast registration parameters (no language data element)
Yes - JW Player performs flawlessly when viewing video from mobile.