S3 Video and Audio Player For WordPress, Amazon S3 and CloudFront - S3 Media Vault - WordPress Plugin for Amazon S3 and CloudFront That Provides a S3 Audio Player and a S3 Video Player

S3MediaVault v26

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault

S3MediaVault v26.0 Beta is here with some really cool new features...

Check out the full change log here.

  • NEW: S3 PDF Viewer that lets your members click on the PDF link, and an online web viewer will open up the PDF right within the browser itself.
  • Click here to see a demo.
  • They no longer have to download the PDF first in order to read it - they can read it right on your website itself, right within their browser.
  • Of course, this is an additional option for PDF files - the existing option of creating a regular downloadable PDF link is still available.
  • This new feature makes is REALLY REALLY HARD to download the PDF, because it hides and obfuscates the source as much as possible without impeding the usability and without impacting viewer experience.
  • There will always be ways around downloading a PDF - like taking screenshots of every page. So this is not guaranteed to prevent the PDF download. But it does make it pretty hard for most casual users.
  • Use this option IF and ONLY IF you actually want to prevent your members from downloading your PDF's.
  • We still recommend using the old regular option of allowing your paying members to download it, but if there's a critical reason why you prefer not to let them download the PDF's, now you have that option as well.
  • NEW: Ability to set custom start and end times for the video right in the shortcode itself.
  • Eg., [s3mvp id="10" s="30" e="90"]. With this shortcode, when viewer clicks play, the video will start at 30 seconds into the video, and will automatically stop at 90 seconds.
  • If you use this custom start and end times in the shortcode, it will allow you to skip past some of the intro of the video, and start playing the video at an important part. And you can make it stop right before the outro, if you feel that the intro and outro are not important to the viewer's experience.
  • NEW: Closed Captions now available for Video Playlists as well (they were already available for single Videos)
  • When you create a Playlist, each video in the playlist will now allow you to specify a Captions File (.vtt) and the Captions Language to the video. Captions are optional.
  • For eg., if you have a Video playlist with 4 videos, 2 of them could have captions, and 2 of them not have captions. Or none of them could have Captions. Or ALL of the could have Captions.
  • NEW: New checkbox that will allow you to automatically create a download link for Standard Videos (non-streaming) by checking a check box in the Video Settings section of a shortcode.
  • This will allow you to not have to create a separate shortcode just for the standard video (both S3 & CloudFront). And it provides your members an easy way to download your video even if you don't explicitly create a download link. Saves you some work, and makes it easy for your members. Win/win!
  • FIX: Small change to "Browse" S3 browser button on the shortcode page to exclude unnecessary files.

Check out the full change log here.

Check out my podcast SubscribeMe.fm below:

How to create Membership Sites & Online Courses, Create, Sell and Deliver Digital Content, Digital Marketing, WordPress, Creating Audio, Video, PDF's, Kindle Books, Podcasting, and other tools, techniques and tips that you can use to create a long term, profitable online business.


S3MediaVault v25

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault

S3MediaVault v25.1 now is FINAL (so you can upgrade to it even if you're on a live website).

These are the updates and new features part of version 25.0 & 25.1. Check out the full change log here.

  • NEW: Now you can add a Watermark to your videos - either an Image or Logo, or Text. You can add it in any corner of your video.
  • NEW: Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left and Bottom Right.
  • NEW: If you use text, you can choose the text color as well as the background color for that text.
  • NEW: Both the image/logo or text can also be linked to any URL of your choice, so that if someone clicks on the image or text, it will open a new tab and take them to that website URL.
  • NEW: "Unmute to Watch Video" animated label shows on Auto-Play videos which start playing on Mute (to satisfy browser restrictions on auto-play)
  • NEW: If they click "Unmute" on the volume icon, or if they click on the animated label "Unmute to Watch Video", or if they click anywhere on the video, the video will automatically start playing from the beginning, so that they don't miss out on the few seconds that they watched while the video was on mute.
  • NEW: Video Playlists now highlight which video is being played via the buttons below
  • NEW: Video Playlists will no longer loop when it reaches the end of your playlist
  • NEW: Improved Auto-Play management in Video Playlists
  • NEW: Video.js version upgraded to latest in the Video Playlist Player
  • NEW: S3MediaVault version number added to the top of Settings page so you don't have to go to Plugins page just to check the version
  • NEW: Improved Plugin License Management
  • FIX: Bug fixed in Watermark Color settings (Elite license feature)
  • FIX: Bug fixed in files conflicting with our other plugin, CoolCastPlayer.com

S3MediaVault v24

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault

What's in v24.0 & v24.1

  • Just released: S3MediaVault version 24.1
  • NEW: In-Video Ads: You can now show ads within your video (Overlay Ads) at 3 separate locations: At the Start (Pre-roll), anywhere in the middle (Mid-roll) and at the end (Post-roll).

    The content of the ads can be anything: Any image, text, image and/or text with a link, a Video, Audio, any kind of HTML, iFrame, WordPress Shortcode, and even a YouTube video.

    You can use one, or all three ads in the same video (or none, too, of course). This feature is available to Elite licenses only.
  • NEW: YouTube Support: You can now use S3MediaVault to play YouTube Videos. You can still customize the player and use all its features (like speed, fast-forward, rewind, captions, etc) with the YouTube video. It can be a video from your YouTube channel, or any third-party YouTube video that has enabled embedding.
  • NEW: In-Video Ads on YouTube Videos: You can now turn the tables on YouTube and show your own in-video, overlay ads - Pre-roll, Mid-roll and Post-roll - on YouTube videos that you've embedded on your website! How about that!
  • NEW: Voice Recorder and Voice-mail: Accept Voice-Mail from your visitors, fans, followers, members, podcast listeners, YouTube subscribers or just about any other audience, directly from a page on your website. They won't need any special software to leave you voice feedback.
  • NEW: Several performance enhancements made to the Video Player to load faster and utilize fewer resources.
  • NEW: Bug fix in Streaming files creation that might cause issues with certain videos encoded in a specific way.
  • NEW: Introducing new ELITE license. If you purchased a license of S3MediaVault before September 23, 2020, you have a PRO license.
  • All licenses sold up to September 25th are called PRO licenses. And now we've introduced a new license called ELITE.
  • PRO licenses still available for purchase, and are one-time payments.
  • The new ELITE  license is a subscription. See the comparison between PRO and ELITE here.
  • We're adding all upcoming new and major features to ELITE licenses only. So if you want the full-featured version of S3MediaVault with every feature it has now, as well every feature we will ever develop, then choose the ELITE license. You may cancel your ELITE subscription at any time. Cancellation will revoke the license.
  • But if you purchase a one-time PRO license, then it's a one-time payment, and there are no recurring fees. See the feature difference between PRO and ELITE here.
  • Charging a subscription for ELITE allows us to support ongoing research & development and pay for our developers and support folks. But we also want to make sure S3MediaVault is affordable to everyone, which is why we have the less-expensive PRO licenses, which may not have as many features as ELITE, but is still packed with features that most people would want and need from a plugin like this.
  • If you wish to upgrade to a ELITE license, please open a support ticket and we can tell you the best way for you to upgrade based on your current license.

Video Resolution Switcher

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault


S3MediaVault's Video Player now offers your viewers a Video Resolution Switcher with Multi-Resolution Streaming and Automated Streaming Optimization.

S3MediaVault allows you to create streaming video in multiple resolutions. You can choose the resolutions in the Settings page - 1080p, 720p, 360p, 240p and 144p.

And when the viewer first presses Play on the video, S3MediaVault video player will automatically choose the lowest-but-best resolution for the viewer based on their internet speed.

If they're watching from a device which has slow internet speeds (like 3G, or 4G or maybe they're using a service that doesn't offer high-speed internet, offers slow speeds, or has tiered or metered access), S3MediaVault will automatically serve them the most optimized quality of video for their internet connection.

That means, your streaming videos will load quickly for them regardless of their connection speed, saving them bandwidth, as well as saving you on your AWS bandwidth bill (win/win FTW!).

Basically, this is exactly the same as what happens on YouTube: Your viewers will be able to change the resolution of the video to a higher or lower number, and the switch will happen seamlessly, without affecting their viewership experience.

Streaming Videos vs. Progressive Downloads

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault

"Streaming": A Misused Word

Some use the word "Streaming" to describe any video that's playing in their browser.

But just because you are watching a video online, doesn't mean it is being "Streamed". Maybe true in the general meaning of the word, but not true in the technical sense. Let me explain, because it might not be of relevance to regular folks, but it is highly relevant to digital content creators.

Progressive Downloads

Regular videos - aka “progressive download” videos - are progressively (aka continuously) downloaded to the viewer’s browser first, even if the video has been paused. And that's why using plugins like Video Downloader and Video Downloader will let you download the video you’re watching.

But as a creator, progressive download videos can increase your bandwidth costs to deliver that video. That's because, as soon as the viewer hits "Play" on the video, the video starts to download to their computer (in whatever the "temp" folder of the browser is, where it stores all temporary internet files).

And then, even if the viewer clicked "Pause" right after they clicked "Play", the video will still continue to download all the way until it is completely downloaded. So if it's a big file, then the entire file of tens- or hundreds of MB's of data is downloaded to their device first (whether it's their computer or mobile device). And regardless of whether they end up watching a few seconds video or a few minutes of the video, the video was downloaded in full to their device.

That means, the video provider (your S3 account) ended up delivering the entire video, even though they may or may not watch it, or only watch it partially.

So more bandwidth cost for you, the creator. And for the viewer as well, their internet bandwidth is used to download the full video, even though they may or may not watch it, or just watch it partially. So more bandwidth costs for your viewer as well. And especially more so if they're on a mobile device and are using their data and have a limited data plan.

Streaming Video

And that's where "Streaming Video" is much more beneficial to everyone involved - well, almost to everyone involved, which I'll explain in a minute. And that's because with streaming video, the video is delivered as a "download as you watch" stream of data. The web service Amazon MediaConvert converts the single .mp4 file into a number of smaller chunks of file "segments" which have the extension ".ts". 

There could be tens or hundreds or thousands of such segments depending on how long the video is. And those segments are delivered one by one to the viewer's device, as they continue to watch the video. But if the viewer hits Pause on the video player, then the segments will stop being downloaded.

So only the bare-minimum amount of video data is delivered to the viewer, as need, as they continue to watch. And that ends up saving you - the provider - money in terms of bandwidth costs; and also reduces the viewer's data usage as the consumer.

Downsides of Streaming Video

But there are two small downsides to streaming:

1) It costs a bit more in terms of your AWS bill, because to create a streaming video, you need to use Amazon MediaConvert, a cloud-based service that can take a .mp4 file and convert it into streaming "segments" (but it's a one-time cost).

2) If some of your audience are from countries where they have slow or poor internet access, streaming videos will be almost unwatchable to them, because their internet access will never be fast enough to download the video "segments" fast enough for them to continue watching normally. And may result in the video freezing up every few seconds while the downloading of the segments catches up to their viewing. But with progressive downloads, those who have poor internet access speeds, will be able to hit Play on the video, then hit Pause, and come back in however long, and the video would continue to download the whole time they're away from their device, because that's what progressively downloading means. But you can't do that with streaming where you can Play, Pause and come back later to a fully downloaded video, because the video doesn't download full with streaming.

So if you deliver your videos as regular "progressive downloads", you need just Amazon S3, and you get possibly (slightly) higher bandwidth costs because the video is fully downloaded to the viewer's device regardless of how much of it they watch.

And if you deliver them as "streaming videos", then you'll need S3 + CloudFront + MediaConvert. So the addition of CloudFront and MediaConvert increases your costs slightly, but you could also end up saving a little bit on the bandwidth costs, because only as much of the video is necessary, is delivered to the viewer's device.

Which is more secure? Streaming or Progressive Downloads?

Using S3MediaVault, you can create both progressive download videos as well as true-streaming videos that cannot be downloaded. So you don't necessarily have to use CloudFront to create secure videos, audio, PDF etc. You can do it using just S3 alone.

So media files created by S3MediaVault.com using both S3 and CloudFront are both extremely secure - the links to the videos (audio/pdf/etc) are expiring links, and are generated afresh every time the page on your website loads (which has the S3MediaVault shortcode).

And only that page can generate those links to those videos (audio/pdf/etc), and trying to share the link to the video on Amazon S3 will not work.

However, Streaming Videos are the most secure - because they are streamed in real-time, in bits and pieces, to the viewer’s browser. That means plugins like Video Downloader, Video DownloadHelper and even the most popular video downloading software Internet Download Manager won’t be able download your video (their only option is to record their screen to make a copy).

So here's the bottom-line:

  • Both Streaming Videos (created with CloudFront) and Standard Progressive Download Videos (created with S3 alone) created by S3MediaVault are very secure.
  • Standard Videos (progressive downloads) could be downloaded using third-party browser plugins like Video Downloader, Video DownloadHelper and Internet Download Manager, even if you do not provide a "Download" link to your video on the page. Of course, your viewer has to know about such plugins and should want to download them in the first place. But the bottom-line is, even if they can't share the link with others, they can still download the Video and Audio to their computer.
  • Streaming videos created by S3MediaVault are the most secure because they CANNOT be downloaded using third-party browser plugins like Video Downloader, Video DownloadHelper and Internet Download Manager.
  • We recommend that you allow your members to download the videos and audio they've paid for, because that way, they can watch it offline, without having to use their internet bandwidth.
  • But if for some reason, if you think there's a lot of piracy in your niche and that your members are more prone to illegally downloading and sharing videos with other unauthorized people, then use Streaming Videos and Audio (S3MediaVault can stream both video and audio).


S3MediaVault uses Amazon AWS MediaConvert service to create the streaming version of your mp4 and mp3 and then delivers that to your viewer, and makes it really easy and manage everything from within WordPress without having to log in to AWS or know any of the technical stuff behind creating a streaming video.


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