I Need GPL-Compatible Flash Video Player Suggestions

I am in the early stages on recoding my Viper’s Video Quicktags plugin from scratch and in the process I will be replacing JW Player with a free and open-source alternative. JW Player is really great, but sadly it’s released under a non-commercial license which just won’t do.

So please, if you know of any good Flash players that will do FLV, MP4, etc. please leave a comment with a link!

Here’s my list so far of players to compare and pick between: (I’ll update this list with suggestions)

  • Flowplayer (currently leaning towards this one, it seems really badass)
  • OS FLV

26 thoughts on “I Need GPL-Compatible Flash Video Player Suggestions

  1. I use flowplayer – it is pretty badass and i’ve been happy with it. It does just about everything you need it to! If you go with flowplayer, I would add a config option for users to enter a key if they are so inclined to purchase a license for their domain to remote the watermark.

  2. Flowplayer is pretty powerful, and you can download the sources, so you can compile the commercial version without any of the limitations (after swapping a few lines in one source file).

    • The free version is GPL’ed which means you can use it however you want wherever you want on any amount of domains.

      The number of domains restriction only comes into play when you want to remove the branding.

  3. Keep in mind – modifying the source to remove the branding is against the licensing restrictions:

    The Flowplayer Free version is released under the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE Version 3 (GPL).

    The GPL requires that you not remove the Flowplayer copyright notices from the user interface. See section 5.d below.

    Commercial licenses are available. The commercial player version does not require any Flowplayer notices or texts and also provides some additional features.

      • SM2 will play FLV’s, yes – see the “aquarium” video demo on the project home page, for example. There are some quirks and limitations eg. one video per page as the library was written for audio firstly, and MPEG4/FLV/movieStar flash video was added later with the Flash 9 version. If you want an embeddable solution with a single SWF for multiple use on one page, I’d look at Flowplayer, OS FLV(?) or others etc.

    • Yeah, Lloyd had suggested it to me as well. My only concern with using the VideoPress player is that to the best of my knowledge it was written to specially play back a single video file. It does that very well (I love the simplicity of the VideoPress player), but I’ve found a lot of users of my plugin use the Flash player feature for a lot, lot more. For example playlists (XML), audio files, streaming, plugins, total skinning, etc. Flowplayer also has the added advantage that you can interact with it using Javascript, specifically jQuery (which I find plain awesome).

      That’s not to say the VideoPress player couldn’t be updated to support those features (if it doesn’t support some of them already), but I imagine it’d require a very significant investment of time and effort to do so. Not to mention that I don’t know whatever language these Flash players are written in, so I wouldn’t be able to assist.

      I do plan on making my plugin a framework of sorts though so that the Flash player could easily be swapped out for other players.

      • By the way, if the goal is to turn the VideoPress player into the de facto standard for Flash video players, then awesome! My comment above was merely meant to point out that at the moment it isn’t nearly flexible as the current player my plugin uses.

  4. Sorry I misunderstood, I thought there would be different players for different media types. There are no plans to make the VideoPress player do more than video.

  5. First off, I’m not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. But, I think I see a way around the FlowPlayer branding issue.

    Section 7 of the GPL version 3 allows authors to add terms to the license for various reasons. The makers of FlowPlayer have opted to require credit be given to them in the user interface of any derivative works:

    Licensees that do modify the Program, taking advantage of the open-source license, may not use the Flowplayer mark or Flowplayer logos and must change the fullscreen notice (and the non-fullscreen notice, if that option is enabled), the copyright notice in the dialog box, and the notice on the Canvas… notice should read: “Based on Flowplayer source code”;

    So, a derivative work — ie. a modified version — can be released so long as it doesn’t claim to be FlowPlayer and credits FlowPlayer source code in the interface.

    Here’s the trick, section 7 of GPL v3 also says:

    When you convey a copy of a covered work, you may at your option
    remove any additional permissions from that copy, or from any part of

    So, if you had a derivative work of FlowPlayer, which properly credits the FlowPlayer source code, it could be released under the GPL without any such requirements to maintain any sort of branding. Then anyone could take that source code and make the interface as clean as they like and use it however they like.

    At least that’s my $0.02

  6. Hello, I really enjoy your plugin and have nothing but good things to say about it. The only issue I have encounter has been recently and that is myspace chantging the way the host their FLV files. Do you think there will be a fix for this problem in a future release?

  7. Amazing plugin!

    One thing I noted while using it was that the ability to change the embed URL of the player you use (I’m doing this for Blip.tv) would be fantastic!

    Thanks for a great tool!

  8. Peter G, your quote states you can remove additional PERMISSIONS, not additional REQUIREMENTS. What flowplayer wants is a requirement, not a permission…the relevant requirement is the license’s section 7b) which mentions legal notices. It should be argued though whether “legal notices” allows writing “based on” (as opposed to “copyright by”)!

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