Brightcove Player Sample: Related Videos from a Playlist

In this topic, you will learn how to a Video Cloud playlist as the source of related videos. The related videos will appear when the viewer pauses the video or the video completes playing.


Player example

This example displays an interactive overlay of related video thumbnails when playback is paused or has ended. Start playback for the video below. Select a thumbnail in the overlay to load the associated video in the player and start playback.

A maximum of nine videos can be displayed using the dimensions of the player and thumbnails used here, but those settings can be changed to fit your needs.

See the Pen Related Videos from a Playlist 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

API Methods API Events Plugins
catalog.getPlaylist() play videojs-overlay
catalog.load() pause  

Player/HTML configuration

The Overlay plugin is defined and initialized in the JavaScript code for this example. The reason it is done here, is that we need to get the related videos metadata before initializing the overlay.

If you want to include the Overlay plugin in your player configuration, you can add the Overlay JavaScript and CSS files in Video Cloud Studio's Players module. In the Plugins section, leave the Name property blank, so that you can initialize the plugin within the code.

Other HTML

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

		<video-js id="myPlayerID"

Application flow

The basic logic behind this application is:

  • Get the playlist using the catalog.
  • Format the overlay content to show the thumbnails for each of the related videos.
  • When a user selects one of the related video thumbnails, then load it into the player and start playback.

Get the playlist

Find the code which is labeled:

		// +++ Get the playlist +++

Use the catalog.getPlaylist() method to retrieve the playlist associated with the given playlist ID. Save the first 9 videos in the playlist to be used for the overlay.

Format the overlay content

Find the code which is labeled:

		// +++ Format the overlay content +++

To format the overlay content, you will do the following:

  1. Save the each related video object in an array.
  2. Looping through the related video array, create a video list which will become the overlay content.
    Raw Overlay HTML
    Raw Overlay HTML

Initialize the overlay

Find the code which is labeled:

		// +++ Initialize the overlay +++

Call the Overlay plugin with the related video thumbnails, and set the overlay to display on pause or video end.

Load and play related video

Find the code which is labeled:

		// +++ Load and play related video +++

Create a function that loads and starts playback for the related video that is selected by the user.

Application styling

The CSS styles the related videos thumbnail grid for the overlay.

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: related-videos-playlist.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.