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Should I upgrade to JW Player Pro 6 or Premium?

By Rudolf Boogerman | Share this with your favorite social network
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Update 24 September 2014: A question that pops up regularly these days is: “Should I upgrade to JW Player 6?”  This depends on which features of JW Player you are using currently. JW Player 6 has a new set of advanced features which are surely worthwhile to investigate, but keep in mind there are quite a few changes in the embedding code and some plugins become obsolete.

 

If you have already a load of videos or audios on your site and embedded the code by hand, you will have to change the embedding code for each instance.
Customized skins needs to be adapted as well and the old Related videos plugin and other third party plugins are obsolete.  Here is a full overview of changes: http://www.longtailvideo.com/jw-player/

Support for HTML5 fallback has improved considerably and the behavior of the Flash player changed quite a lot as well, being now more or less in line with YouTube. This has the advantage that visitors who frequent YouTube often will be more at home with JW Player then ever.

Some observations while I’m studying JW Player 6:
Updated on 24 September 2014 – testing JW player 6.10

As I go along, I will add items to this list, so you may want to check from time to time.

Example video using JW player 6.10:

I wish I could show an example directly in this site, but  Miracle Tutorials is using S3Media Stream™ with JW player 5.10, so there is a conflict there. But you can have a look at this test page where I tinker around with JW player 6.5 in preparation for the new version of S3Media Stream™:
http://www.raboo.com/test/test2.php Notice how the responsiveness of the player works and the multilingual subtitles, although I still have a problem with the French subtitles file at this time of writing.
Be aware that this may not work on tablets or non-flash browsers currently. It also changes regularly as I add new features.

License policy changes

Another consideration is the yearly renewal plan which adds to the cost considerably. So far, you paid once for your player, but from version 6.0 onward, a yearly renewal is required. Also, if you have a multi-site license, it will become obsolete as well. Currently, you can buy either a 1 site license or a 10 site license. It is possible to get a license for more than 10 sites.  You can contact Longtailvideo about this here: http://www.longtailvideo.com/jw-player/enterprise-contact-us

JW Player Pro vs JW Player Premium

JW Player Pro is comparable with JW Player 5.10, except that internally a couple of things have improved, while other features are dropped (see also observations above). The new version has better HTML5 handling and supports more HTML5 browsers.
Flash support for Android has been dropped as Android changes gear quite often, so Longtailvideo deemed it wiser to fallback on HTML5 for all Android devices.
The Pro version can only be used on 1 site.

JW Player Premium allows you to place it on up to 10 websites. It has a couple of very interesting features you do not find on JW Player Pro:

A full overview of features can be found here: http://www.longtailvideo.com/jw-player/pricing/

We will keep the older tutorials on the site for those of you who wish to remain using JW Player 5.10, but it is possible that some features will be dropped. Like AdSolutions will no longer work. Longtailvideo created a new system that is subscription based. See the right column in http://www.longtailvideo.com/jw-player/pricing/

We are in the process of upgrading S3Media Stream™ to the new JW Player version. When finished, we will create a new tutorial on how to embed videos and audios with JW Player 6.0. Note also that Longtailvideo has to upgrade their plugins for Joomla, WordPress and Drupal. If you use one of those plugins, you need to wait until they are released.

Conclusion

Back to the question: “Should I upgrade or not?”
If you are happy with the features of JW Player 5.10, and your audience is happy with the way you serve your video or audios, there is actually no reason to upgrade.
But keep in mind that the rich media industry evolves all the time and the new player is adapted to the new situation in a sense that it allows for better HTML5 support.
On top of that, the market share of tablets not supporting Flash is growing exponentially so you may find at some point that your audience has problems viewing your content.
Also, Longtailvideo may decide to disable some features native to version 5.10 and lower. therefore you might want to keep using 5.10 JW player confirmed in hte meantime that no features will be dropped in the foreseeable future since there are still many sites with older versions of JW player. That said, I advice you to download the free version of JW Player 6.10 to get acquainted with it, so that you can migrate when the need is there.

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