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Cloudinary Studio

I knew that Cloudinary worked with video as well as images but, the other day, I was curious if Cloudinary offered a video player embed just like other video hosts do (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, etc). Like an <iframe> that comes with a special player.

I was curious because, as much as I appreciate the simplicity of just tossing a <video> on a page, there is one little hurdle that I always forget: you have to use a poster attribute if you want anything but a blank white rectangle on mobile browsers. Having to cut a special poster for every video I use is a step I’m frankly just too lazy to do most of the time.

Turns out Cloudinary does a have a player, and it allows for a bunch of nice customization, including handling the poster for you: Video Player Studio.

If I use this player instead, not only do I get a free configurable poster, but other advantages you’d expect from Cloudinary, like serving the video in the best possible format and optimizing the size.

But there is another thing that is a kind of big deal here, particularly for long videos: “adaptive bitrate streaming.” Behind the scenes, some library probably needs to be downloaded, but the bandwidth savings likely pay for that almost instantly. I’m not an expert on any of this by any means, but I’m referring to HLS and MPEG-DASH, which seem to be the big players, and this Cloudinary player offers both.

For the record, this post is not sponsored by Cloudinary. I was just thinking about all this the other day because we frequently embed video here on CSS-Tricks and I already use Cloudinary for all sorts of stuff.

Here’s an example:

In running this past the Cloudinary team, they said two things:

  1. The player is built on top of VideoJS. Credit where credit is due.
  2. They’ve got a blog post that goes far deeper into customizing the player than I talk about here.