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Converting FLV to MP4 for HTML5 Video
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Nov 30, 2018 at 6:36 PM

Last night was openlayers (Open Street Map) headache night. Spent many hours pouring through contradictory documentation from the bazillion different versions of openlayers, and eventually discovered that there's a fundamental bug in it (or at least the version of it I'm using) where WebGL browser animations on the map cause the moveend and dragend events to fire about 50 times in a row. Eventually, the really ugly hack I came up with to be able to dynamically load more map pins on moveend/dragend was a timer which only adds more pins if it's been at least 5 seconds since last time. I can imagine this will lead to unpleasant little bugs where some pins don't show up after a quick series of zooms or pans. So it goes. At least Open Street Map now has some sort of support for dynamic pins. I was also able to make manual map location selection on the submit/edit map work for OSM. The biggest missing piece now is driving directions.

Today is video headache day. After spending the whole morning trying to get WSN to play videos and wondering why it wouldn't, I found a couple of problems. First, the easy one, I added $nobuffering = true; to download.php to prevent output buffering from messing up streaming video. The harder issue is that it turnes out HTML5 video only supports MP4, WebM and OGG. All other formats require the Flash browser plugin, which is no longer enabled by default in Chrome. This is a particularly big problem for all of you who've been using the convert to FLV switch and now have thousands of FLVs that a lot of people can't view.

So there's two things I needed to do for this. First, I needed to change the conver to FLV switch into a convert to MP4 switch -- so that videos people upload in unsupported formats get converted to a supported format. Then I needed a utility admins can run to convert existing videos. The latter will be far too resource-intensive to run automatically, so there's a prompt for it on the front page of the admin panel and then you'll leave it running for hours/days (this could cause you extreme server load if you have long videos, though). These changes are all included now in the 10.3.18 Beta 1 I've just released.

The ultimate quality of the converted videos is questionable, as resampling will result in quality loss. WSN uses the FFMPEG defaults now for quality/speed. If anyone needs custom parameters, get in touch.




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