This summer was packed with big changes to our platform, including a complete re-brand and the beginnings of new infrastructure changes designed to improve overall performance in both the back-end and front-end.
As we head into the fall we’ll continue to work towards our new player and more infrastructure improvements. As far as new app features are concerned, over the past few months our weekly/bi-weekly platform updates have been mostly improvements and polishes to existing features, though some changes worth noting are described below.
- vooPlayer becomes Spotlightr
- Reorganized accordions and options in the app interface
- Rebranded app and homepage
- v3 shutdown and sunset
- Whitelisted domains API
- oEmbed provider updates
- Spotlightr supported as vooAPI
- disablePictureinPicture added
- New Vimeo integration app
Stripe Customer Portal
- Stripe Customer Details
- Accept Spotlightr for isVooPlayerPI
New AWS conversion and encoding
- reportedBandwidth tracking of non-CDN traffic
- Correct API domain handling
- Facebook switch to high res
- Removed Hertzner dependencies
- Improved CDN handling and tracking
- Don’t attempt to load insecure URLs as video sources
- Vimeo videos title update
- Fixed contact page URL
- Updated correct AWS and CDN zones
- Affiliate attribution fix
- API docs updated with REST createVideo example
- Bandwidth usage fixes
- SMS webhook integration for notifications
- Including user data in playerSettings response
- New fileSize / storage calculation with precise AWS data
- Fixed after watch event
- Removing v3 references from DB queries
- Updated DB configs and security settings
- Fixed sign up error delay in DB replication
- Various conversion process improvements
- Webhook imrpovements for Stripe and amember event handling
- Allowing unlimited mass upload via links
- Chapter marker fixes
- Pre and post roll improvements
- Fixing tap to pause issue
- Skip and rewind fix for mobile
- Loading indicator while videos inactive
- Support for lowercase player-id
- onSeeked added to API docs
- Added option for funnel redirect
- 4.2.2 Beta release
- Continue towards full 4.2 release
- Changing CDN providers to improve service
- Changing storage providers to improve service
vooPlayer becomes Spotlightr
CEO Bill Zimmerman purchased all shares and rights to vooPlayer from the only other stakeholder and becomes the sole owner of vooPlayer. In light of that and the desire to change many company policies and directions, in addition to some complications with that buy-out, we decided to re-brand to Spotlightr. With the new brand comes a fresh look, new outlook and core company principles, as well as huge improvements to the player and infrastructure of the platform.
Within the next 3 to 6 months Spotlightr will go above and beyond anything vooPlayer was in terms of performance, features, and customer service.
With that re-brand came a reorganization of the user interface and accordions inside the Spotlightr application. We removed useless clicks and multi-level accordions to make it quicker and easier to move around from feature to feature. We also consolidated features in that reorganization so feature groups make more sense. The result is a much simpler, cleaner interface.
Stripe Customer Portal
Previously we were using the app to show invoicing and subcriptions. It worked OK but we saw some improvement that could be made. Since Stripe released it’s customer portal feature we decided to implement that instead. Now if you go your Billing & Account section of your profile you will see a link to the Stripe Portal.
You’ll be able to see your plan, access your invoices, see when you will be billed next, and cancel your plan.
If you want to upgrade your plan, you will need to do that within the application and not on this page.
We have moved our conversion and encoding to AWS so we are now managing all video uploads and conversions via the AWS infrastructure. The entire process is much easier to manage and troubleshoot and much more stable. We can also scale that processing at-will for any large influx of new customers or large influx of video uploads from customers migrating from other platforms.
As a customer you will notice less failed uploads and less failures for the conversion process. You should also notice much quicker overall uploading and conversion, as vidoes are not queueing up as they had previously when we experienced an overload of uploads.
Some bugs and holes in the way storage and CDN usage is tracked were fixed, so some customers will experience usage data that exceeds previous monthly usage.
After over 3 years of support and maintenance we decided to shut down and sunset the previous version of the application. All databases, videos, and unneeded user data were deleted. All customer were given notice as to this decision and were required to move any remaining videos from v3 to v4.
Over the next few months we will continue to work towards large-scale improvements to the application, player, and infrastructure. Because of this many new feature requests will be put on hold. You can see everything that’s coming up, vote on new features, and submit new feature requests here: https://spotlightr.com/ideas/
We’re confident that the delay in new features will be a positive move, as the improvements in the platform overall will allow you to deliver your video content with a faster and lighter video player, with a state-of-the-art infrastructure running in the background to stream your content flawlessly.