JW Player 6 is designed to support its full-featured set on all popular browsers and devices. This page clearly enumerates which browsers and devices are supported, including any existing limitations and differences between desktop and mobile.
Under the hood, JW Player is essentially two players (one in HTML5 and one in Flash) with a small wrapper that selects which to use - on the backend. The selection process is described below.
This table lists which desktop browsers are fully supported by JW Player 6, using HTML5 and/or Flash:
|Internet Explorer 8||-||yes|
|Internet Explorer 9||yes||yes|
All JW Player 6 features are supported on these browsers, with the exception of media playback. In a nutshell, not all browsers support WebM video and Vorbis audio. See Supported Media Formats for details.
One additional limitation is HTML5 Fullscreen support. Internet Explorer 9 does not (yet) support true fullscreen in HTML5. Instead, the FullScreen button in JW Player will enable full-browser-screen playback of the video.
This table lists which mobile devices are officially supported by JW Player, using HTML5:
|iOS 1 (iPhone & iPad)||yes||-|
|Android 2.3 (Honeycomb)||yes||-|
|Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)||yes||-|
|Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)||yes||-|
For many devices not on this list (e.g. Android 2.2 or BlackBerry 7), JW Player 6 will still provide users with an option to play the embedded audio or video file. Instead of a full-fledged player, a nicely formatted link to the file is then displayed. See Download Fallback for more info.
There's a few differences in the JW Player's approach to mobile devices compared to desktop browsers:
As with desktop browsers, playback support for the various media formats varies. In a nutshell, MP4 video and AAC/MP3 audio are safe formats for mobile. See Supported Media Formats for more details.
JW Player 6 has two so-called rendering modes; two underlying browser technologies it can use to play a media format:
All features of JW Player (playlists, skinning, scripting, etc.) are available in both rendering modes. Whether JW Player renders itself in Flash or HTML5 is therefore totally dependent upon the media format(s) that is/are embedded. See Supported Media Formats for details. Here's a quick overview:
At large, the market is moving away from Flash towards HTML5. Therefore, JW Player 6 prefers to use HTML5 over Flash if a piece of content can be played in both modes on a certain browser. This behavior can be changed however, by setting the configuration option primary to flash. See Embedding the Player for more info.
If an embed contains multiple media sources, JW Player 6 will walk through all sources to select the first one that can be played in the primary mode. If none of the sources can be played, JW Player falls back to the secondary mode. A few examples:
See Working with Playlists to learn how to setup multiple sources.
If a playlist contains multiple items, JW Player will base its mode selection upon the first item. Any subsequent items that cannot play in that mode (e.g. FLV videos while the player selected HTML5) will get filtered from the playlist. Again, see Working with Playlists for more info.
In certain cases, neither Flash nor HTML5 mode can be used. For example, a visitor might use an older BlackBerry phone. In such cases, JW Player can render a so-called fallback. Which fallback is rendered is defined by the embedded media format:
The fallback option can also be disabled by setting the configuration option fallback to false. In that case, the original HTML is not touched by JW Player. This is useful for setting your own fallback message (e.g. a notification to install Flash). See Embedding the Player for more info.