Brightcove Player Sample: Limited Plays

In this topic, you will learn how to use a Brightcove Player that limits how many times a user can view a video in a single day.

Player example

This example uses a Brightcove Player that sets a browser cookie each time the viewer watches the video. After two video playbacks, an error message will display stating that you have reached the view limit for the day.

Start video playback, and then refresh the page. You don't have to watch the entire video. Then repeat. The third time you try to play the video, you should see an error message.

Clear your browser's history/browsing data to remove the cookie and start over.

See the Pen Limited Plays by Brightcove Learning Services (@bcls1969) on CodePen.

Source code

View the complete solution on GitHub.

Using the CodePen

Here are some tips to effectively use the above CodePen:

  • Toggle the actual display of the player by clicking the Result button.
  • Click the HTML/CSS/JS buttons to display ONE of the code types.
  • Later in this document the logic, flow and styling used in the application will be discussed in the Player/HTML configuration, Application flow and Application styling sections. The best way to follow along with the information in those sections is to:
    1. Click the EDIT ON CODEPEN button in the CodePen and have the code available in one browser/browser tab.
    2. In CodePen, adjust what code you want displayed. You can change the width of different code sections within CodePen.
    3. View the Player/HTML configuration, Application flow and/or Application styling sections in another browser/browser tab. You will now be able to follow the code explanations and at the same time view the code.

Development sequence

Here is the recommended development sequence:

  1. Use the In-Page embed player implementation to test the functionality of your player, plugin and CSS (if CSS is needed)
  2. Put the plugin's JavaScript and CSS into separate files for local testing
  3. Deploy the plugin code and CSS to your server once you have worked out any errors
  4. Use Studio to add the plugin and CSS to your player
  5. Replace the In-Page embed player implementation if you determine that the iframe implementation is a better fit (detailed in next section)

For details about these steps, review the Step-by-Step: Plugin Development guide.

iframe or In-Page embed

When developing enhancements for the Brightcove Player you will need to decide if the code is a best fit for the iframe or In-Page embed implementation. The best practice recommendation is to build a plugin for use with an iframe implementation. The advantages of using the iframe player are:

  • No collisions with existing JavaScript and/or CSS
  • Automatically responsive
  • The iframe eases use in social media apps (or whenever the video will need to "travel" into other apps)

Although integrating the In-Page embed player can be more complex, there are times when you will plan your code around that implementation. To generalize, this approach is best when the containing page needs to communicate to the player. Specifically, here are some examples:

  • Code in the containing page needs to listen for and act on player events
  • The player uses styles from the containing page
  • The iframe will cause app logic to fail, like a redirect from the containing page

Even if your final implementation does not use the iframe code, you can still use the In-Page embed code with a plugin for your JavaScript and a separate file for your CSS. This encapsulates your logic so that you can easily use it in multiple players.

API/Plugin resources used

Player API Methods Player API Events
on() loadedmetadata
one() play

Player/HTML configuration

This section details any special configuration needed during player creation. In addition, other HTML elements that must be added to the page, beyond the in-page embed player implementation code, are described.

Player configuration

No special configuration is required for the Brightcove Player you create for this sample.

Other HTML

Remember to add the id attribute to the video-js tag in the player embed code.

<video-js id="myPlayerID"

For testing purposes, we've added an element to display the number of video views that have been watched. This field is updated when the browser is refreshed.

<p>Number of views = <span id="cookieDisplay1"></span></p>

Application flow

The basic logic behind this application is:

  • Read the browser cookie.
  • Define a custom error message.
  • Increment the browser cookie.
  • Display the custom error message.

Read the browser cookie

Find the code which is labeled:

// +++ Read browser cookie +++

Initialize variables and read the browser cookie associated with Brightcove video views. The cookie is named BC_views.

Define a custom error message

Find the code which is labeled:

// +++ Define custom error message +++

Define an error message for when the user has reached the max number of views. For details on how to do this, see the Display Error Messages Plugin document.

Increment the cookie

Find the code which is labeled:

// +++ Increment the cookie +++

Each time the user plays the video and refreshes the browser, increment the browser cookie.

Display the custom error message

Find the code which is labeled:

// +++ Display custom error message +++

If the cookie value is greater than or equal to 2, then display the custom error message. This will take place the next time the browser is refreshed.

Application styling

There are no additional styles for this sample.

Plugin code

Normally when converting the JavaScript into a Brightcove Player plugin nominal changes are needed. One required change is to replace the standard use of the ready() method with the code that defines a plugin.

Here is the very commonly used start to JavaScript code that will work with the player:

videojs.getPlayer('myPlayerID').ready(function() {
  var myPlayer = this;

You will change the first line to use the standard syntax to start a Brightcove Player plugin:

videojs.registerPlugin('pluginName', function(options) {
  var myPlayer = this;

As mentioned earlier, you can see the plugin's JavaScript code in this document's corresponding GitHub repo: limited-plays.js.

Using the plugin with a player

Once you have the plugin's CSS and JavaScript files stored in an Internet accessible location, you can use the plugin with a player. In Studio's PLAYERS module you can choose a player, then in the PLUGINS section add the URLs to the CSS and JavaScript files, and also add the Name and Options, if options are needed.