FAQ

Online Video Platform

Are audiofiles supported by the Blue Billywig Online Video Platform?

Yes, audiofiles are supported, you can upload them in the same way as you can videofiles. The most common audio codecs are supported. These are:

  • PCM, uncompressed audio.
  • MP3, compressed audio.
  • AAC, compressed audio.
  • AC-3, Dolby Digital. Will be downmixed to two-channel audio.
  • WMA pro.
Are there limits to the number of languages we can use for the subtitles?

When using the subtitling functionality, we will add a large number of languages by default. Adding other languages is no problem, so when you want to use a language you can’t find in the list of supported languages, please contact Blue Billywig.

Can I grant permission to external suppliers to upload videos to my Online Video Platform?

Yes, we recommend using the ftp service for that purpose since your suppliers won’t have access to the user interface of the Online Video Platform. Please contact Blue Billywig for more information or for creating a ftp account.

Can I upload several videos simultaneously?

Yes, you can select multiple videos on your (network)disks and upload them all in one go.

Can I have (MRSS) feeds imported directly into the Online Video Platform?

Yes you can, If you deliver us a standardised (MRSS) feed. When using (m)rss please check whether your feed is valid: http://www.feedvalidator.org/ We can virtually import any RSS, XML or Json based feed containing video items. A typical feed contains 10-50 items and is updated periodically. If you have more items, please provide pagination or a way to limit the amount of items returned. Make sure your feed contains the following details for each video:

  • Unique identifier.  Mandatory. This is used to verify whether a video already exists in the VMS or needs to be updated.
  • Title. Mandatory.
  • Description. Optional.
  • Category. Optional.
  • Keywords. Optional.
  • Video url. Mandatory. This is the link to the video source file.
  • Image url. Optional. This is used as the main video thumbnail. If no image is provided, the VMS will generate a set of thumbnails.
  • Updated date. Optional, but highly recommended. Without an updated date we are not able to determine whether a video item or metadata has been updated, hence not updating the item in the VMS.

Any other metadata provided could be stored in custom fields, depending on your needs. Please also provide us the following information:

  • How often is your feed updated? (Usually we check feeds every 5 minutes.)
  • Is it a true feed where new items appear periodically, or is it a one-time migration of a video archive?
  • Do we need to update the metadata in the VMS when an item is updated in the feed? (Manual changes in the VMS will be overwritten.) 
  • Should a video be published or draft by default?
  • Will videos expire after a certain date or amount of time? Videos will remain published, but not available to the public.
  • Should videos automatically be deleted after a certain date or amount of time?
Can we add custom metadata fields?

Yes, most of our customers use custom metadata fields to make use of their current workflow to publish video more easily. Please contact Blue Billywig to find out how you can add more metadata fields and connect them to current systems.

How are live events supported by the Blue Billywig system?

Live events are supported by the Blue Billywig system, but there are a few steps to go through:

  1. Go to the “Upload & Transcode” screen, and then click the “Live stream” tab
  2. If you’re a user of the Blue Billywig live platform, follow step 2, if not skip ahead to step 3
    1. Choose the Blue Billywig stream option
    2. Enter a title and a stream name. The stream name must be unique among your Blue Billywig streams.
    3. Choose if you’re setting up a video or audio stream. (For video streams, you’ll usually want a simple RTMP stream. If not, select one of the other options.)
    4. Press “Create Live stream”, you’ll be taken to your stream’s live detail screens that will allow you to start broadcasting.
  3. If you’re using a third party to host your streams, you can still play those back with the Blue Billywig player. Choose the “Third Party Stream” option.
    1. Enter a title for your mediaclip.
    2. Enter the source URL provided by your third party host on which the stream is viewable.
    3. Enter if it’s a video or audio stream.
    4. Enter information about the mediatype, bandwidth and in case of video width and height of this stream. You can edit this information afterwards too.
    5. Press “Create Live stream”, a new mediaclip will be made with the stream added as an asset.
Is there a maximum file size while uploading to the Blue Billywig Online Video Platform?

Practically uploading files in the Blue Billywig Online Video Platform is not limited, though there is a file size limit of 1 GB through the “upload and encode” button. When uploading using the API the file limit is set to 2 TB.

Is there a preferred browser for using the Online Video Platform?

For both Mac and Windows we recommend using Chrome. Firefox is the least recommended since it generates the heaviest load while using the Online Video Platform.

What is the difference between streaming and progressive download?

The main difference between content streaming and supplying content through progressive download is the way in which the content is “fed” to the player. With progressive download, the video asset is downloaded as a file on to the computer of the end user, and the player will show the file as it is downloaded.

With streaming there is constant communication between the player and the streaming server and the video asset is not downloaded to the computer as a complete file but only up to the point in the timeline where the end user is watching. Streaming helps users skip through a video more easily, because with progressive download you can only skip to a point further in the timeline if the download has reached this point. Streaming can also save on distribution costs since it will only download the video asset up to the point of watching (or switching off) while with progressive download it will always try to download the complete file. Especially for long video clips streaming can be cheaper and deliver a better user experience.

What source video format will give the best transcoding results?

The Video Management System (VMS) supports virtually any source file format. However some formats will give better results than other formats.

Generic considerations
Interlacing: Transcoding to web video formats always results in progressive video output files. Although the VMS will suppress artifacts resulting from an interlaced source file, best results are obtained when the video source file is progressive instead of interlaced. Frame rate: Most video source file format use constants frame rates, for example 25 frames per second. Some file format make use of variable frame rate. Use of variable frame rate is not recommended, as this can be a cause for audio sync issues. Bitrate: Always try to use a bitrate that is sufficient high to give good results for the best-quality output format. The minimum bitrate depends on the video codec being used. See the recommended video formats below.

Container formats
The VMS supports almost any container file format. Most common are:

  • MPEG container, used with MPEG or MPEG2 coded video.
  • MP4 container, used with H.264 or DV coded video, amongst others.
  • MOV container, Quicktime container format.
  • MKV container, generic container format.
  • AVI container, generic container format. Not recommended: because of limited meta-data available in the container format, this format can give issues with transcoding.
  • WMV container, used with WMV and VC-1 coded video. Not recommended: may give transcoding issues, in particular with VC-1.

Video codecs
The most common video codecs are supported. These common are:

  • MPEG-2, used for example in DVD.
  • H.264, modern highly efficient codec.
  • DV, per-frame encoded video codec, often used by editing software. Also video codec used by camcorders.
  • WMV, Windows Media Video. Not recommended:
  • VC-1, Microsoft backed H.264 alternative. Not recommended: only basic transcoding support, which will not give the best results.

The Apple RAW codec is not supported.

Audio codecs
The most common audio codecs are supported. These are:

  • PCM, uncompressed audio.
  • MP3, compressed audio.
  • AAC, compressed audio.
  • AC-3, Dolby Digital. Will be downmixed to two-channel audio.
  • WMA pro.

In general we do not support proprietary codecs, but all other codecs are supported.

Recommended video formats
Best results are obtained by using one of the following video formats:

  • MP4 container with DV coded video at at least 30 Mbits per second.
  • MP4 container with H.264 coded video at at least 3 Mbits per second.
  • MPEG container with MPEG2 coded video at at least 6 Mbits per second.

Player / Playlist embedding

What is a playout?

A playout contains all the settings needed to determine how the player looks and behaves. Find out more about playouts here

How do I load the player when it's necessary?

Please read our embedding article for more information on this topic.

How do I publish a playlist on my website?

There are many ways to publish a playlist on your website. There is an embedcode for a playlist, but the behaviour of your player when embedding this embedcode will depend on your (custom) player. The Blue Billywig default player will show the first clip of the cliplist and the other clips as related items in the exitscreen as the default behaviour.

You can also use playlist through the API. Styling can be done by your CMS, while the content of the playlist is imported through the API or you can publish a playlist as a vodcast. Please contact Blue Billywig for the best way of doing this.

I have uploaded a video and put the embedcode in my website, but the video doesn’t play. What can be wrong?

Clips will only play on your website if and when you have saved them with the published status. Standard clips are put on “draft” status. Please change the status to “published” and save.

Interactive Studio

How can I copy interactivity?

To give a button a function, add an action to it. In some cases you don’t want to copy the whole button, but you do want to copy the linked interactivity. This is done by selecting and copying the interactivity in the actions tab. This can then be pasted to another element.

Copy Interactivity

How can I go back to a previous version?

At the bottom left, you’ll see ‘History’. Click here to go back to a previous version. You can go back to an autosaved, draft or published version.

Previous Version

Help, my video shifted inside my Canvas!

Sometimes your mouse doesn’t fully cooperate and you accidentally zoom in on your canvas. Zooming out doesn’t quite work either and you aren’t able to find the right size. Don’t worry, you can easily fix this. Click on the magnifying glass in the lower right corner of your canvas, exactly between minus and plus sign. The image now adjusts itself to the size of your canvas.

Shifted Video

How do I organise interactive elements?

Organise your interactivity by using filters. At the bottom left you can filter based on various categories, such as ‘images’. In addition, you can search on (part of) a name. This is an easy way to find a specific element.

Organise Buttons

How do I make sure my buttons stay in view at the end of a clip?

To ensure that the interactivity remains on screen and the clip pauses instead of ends, use an end screen. The endscreen is located at the right side of your tracks. Check the box and some extra space will appear. Drag the buttons so that they extend into the end screen. Your video will now pause at the end and the buttons will stay on screen.

End Screen

How can I make sure a button is already loaded?

Sometimes it is important that a button appears at a specific time. In this situation you can use the preload checkbox. This is enabled on the right side of the Actions tab. As soon as the clip starts, it caches the image, so there is no delay in its appearance. This way the button will appear immediately at that second and there is no risk that there will be a delay in loading the image.

Note: if you have a large number of buttons, preloading is not recommended. It increases the loading time of the clip significantly, as it has to cache many images. We therefore advise you to do this specifically for buttons where the timing is essential. Think for example of buttons that run simultaneously with the audio, buttons that are timed immediately after one another and video-in-video buttons.

How do I display a button precisely down to the millisecond?

Underneath your canvas is the timecode of the clip. The blue pointer indicates the current time code in the clip. Copy this timestamp to make a button appear at that exact millisecond. You can add the copied time to your button. Click on the button in the tracks. Then you can change and paste the time code on the left or right side.

Note: Indicate milliseconds with a dot instead of a colon.

Yes: 00:00:03.24

No: 00:00:03:24

How can I add a button with ''more information'' or another extra layer?

Sometimes when someone clicks in the video, you want a new window to appear with more information or perhaps a window showing your contact details. We call this an overlay.

You can add the button in the same way as we explained earlier. The extra layer also works similar to adding a button, only in this case it is not linked to a fixed moment in the video. You only want the extra layer to appear when the viewer clicks. This can be done as follows:

  1. Upload the overlay in the left side panel
  2. Drag the overlay to the canvas
  3. At the bottom of the screen you’ll see the overlay as a layer. On both sides you see a time code with a tick mark. Click this check mark on the front as well as on the back. This ensures that the button is no longer linked to the timeline of the video.
  4. You can now see that there are slashes in your track. This means that the button is active.
  5. Now add an onclick action on your information button. Click on ‘Change widget’, choose the overlay and choose ‘Show’ at control. Don’t forget to add a button with a cross so that the viewer can always choose to close the window. To do this, follow the same steps as explained in 1 to 4. Instead of step 5 you now choose ‘Change widget’ → “Overlay” → “Hide”.

Overlay