All posts tagged ‘netflix’

File Under: HTML5, Multimedia

Netflix Plans to Ditch Silverlight for HTML5

Image: Screenshot/Webmonkey.

Netflix is looking to ditch its Silverlight-based video player for an HTML5 version that would work pretty much anywhere, but HTML5 isn’t quite up to the task just yet, according to the company.

Microsoft has already put Silverlight — once Microsoft’s much-hyped alternative to Adobe’s Flash Player — out to pasture. While Microsoft will continue to support Silverlight for some time, it will be retired come 2021.

That gives Netflix and others eight years to come up with an alternative. For its part Netflix wants to use HTML5, but HTML thus far lacks some key components Netflix needs, namely a way to generate media streams for playback, a cryptography protocol and, most controversially, DRM for streaming media.

All three components are, however, already draft proposals at the W3C and will likely be an official part of HTML before Silverlight disappears. The three things Netflix needs to bring its video player to HTML5 are the Media Source Extensions specification, the Web Cryptography API and the Encrypted Media Extensions specification, better known as DRM for the web.

Netflix has been working with Google to add support for all three — which the company refers to as “HTML5 Premium Video Extensions” — to Chrome and Chrome OS. For now the new Netflix player for Samsung’s Chromebook “uses the Media Source Extensions and Encrypted Media Extensions to adaptively stream protected content.”

Chrome still lacks support for the Web Cryptography API, so Netflix has developed a Pepper Flash plugin to handle that part of the equation for now. Eventually the company plans to remove the Flash element as soon as Chrome lands support for the Cryptography API.

At that point, says the Netflix blog, “we can begin testing our new HTML5 video player on Windows and OS X.”

File Under: Uncategorized

Netflix API Gets Love From Plaxo

When Netflix released its API, I said the coolest thing was that it gave developers access to a database of movies and actors. It also uses OAuth to let third parties create applications that build off of a user’s account.

Plaxo has done just that, by adding ratings integration into its Pulse social network. When you add it to your Pulse account, you are taken to Netflix to login, so Plaxo doesn’t get your login details. Then you choose which of your Pulse contact groups you want to give access. You can just make the ratings public, but then we’ll know your affinity for Harold and Maude (and I totally get it).

The Plaxo team got this Netflix integration done fast, which Plaxo credits to the way Netflix created the API:

“Netflix chose to build it with existing, open standards. Specifically, they’re using OAuth to let users grant Plaxo access to their non-public data, and they’re using protected ATOM feeds for the ratings (along with RESTful APIs for getting additional data). Since Plaxo already knows how to crawl ATOM feeds, and we already know how to take users through the OAuth flow, it was trivial for us for hook this all up.”

This is good stuff from Plaxo, too, which has a bit of a reputation to get over. Now attempting to be known for openness, to many Plaxo is still seen as a spammer due to emails that made us update our friends’ address books.

There are probably many who wouldn’t join Plaxo, let alone give it access to their Netflix queue, but for those willing to give them a shot, it looks like the sort of place where you’ll see fun new features sooner than later.

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File Under: Uncategorized

Netflix API Brings Movie Catalog to Your App

delivered by NetflixMovie rental site Netflix announced an API to access its massive catalog of films and movie people. Applications written on the API can also let users login using OAuth to access their movie queues.

In the past Netflix has fostered its developer community by providing private feeds and sponsoring the Netflix prize for improving its recommendation system. When the API announcement came through, I had to think twice because it seemed unlikely that Netflix didn’t already have an API.

Surprisingly, this is the first official API from Netflix, though developers previously went as far as creating a third party API. It looks like the wait was worth it, as Netflix has opened up its database of movies, actors, and directors. Applications can also manage a user’s queue and link directly to instant viewing, meaning developers can create entirely different ways of accessing the most common Netflix.com features.

As I’ve alluded to, the great thing here is its catalog of movies. Search by title and you get a list of results with information about movies that match. In addition, Netflix provides a list of several related movies for each search result. Super cool.

Like the recently-released Evernote API, Netflix uses the OAuth standard for authenticating users. Major props to Netflix for embracing this standard, a big step toward distributing services across the web.

Highlight URL template and Flixotize it, Flixo asks for missing arguments

As part of the release, Netflix created a Firefox extension, Flixo, to browse the API without having to write code. This is a great way to get a feeling for how to use the API. It shows XML results from the API, so it’s for developers. It might be a little buggy, but it’s better than trying out API calls manually when you just want to see what the results will be.

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