So you wanna add an Online Video Player for your Xamarin iOS app ? How hard could it be, just add a WebView and screw up the whole thing right ?😉 lol
Stream an online video? from Youtube? Vimeo? or wherever?
Yep one day I was given a task by my boss to implement a Video Player in one of our Xamarin iOS apps, that could play an online video…
So basically our app should be able to play an online video within the application frame. Add a Video Player control to the Xamarin iOS app but it should have all the controls with in the page itself, and more specifically this Video Player should be able to play Online Video, as in should be able to stream an Online Video over the internet. :O
After going through the Xamarin documentation, to my surprise I found out about this control that Xamarin provides called MPMoviePlayerController, which is like a built in controller for playing Videos, but in their documentation they had shown only an example of how to play a ‘locally stored video file’. Seriously? Who would wanna store a video file locally nowadays?😛 lol
Anyhow, with a bit of uncertainty, I implemented this control, and after a bit of a struggle, I finally got it to working!😀
So as usual, here I am sharing my experience with you guys… Hold on tight, it’s about to get bumpy!😉
How to implement…
So basically we need to create an instance of the MPMoviePlayerController as follows, to be able to access it from any other methods in our ViewController, so that we could control the actions of the MPMoviePlayerController.
Next let’s go ahead with the implementation of the MPMoviePlayerController
As you can see above, this MPMoviePlayerController a lot of flexible customization and features for us to implement. Notice that PrepareToPlay() method will set the Video Player in a ready state to play the video on click. (It’s actually a nice option).
Also keep a note that you could choose any type of ControlStyle as you like as it provides a several options for the embedded controls of the Video Player.
Keep in Mind…
When you provide the Online Video URL to the control, make sure that URL has a video file extension for it. Otherwise this will not work, hence it requires the file extension for the video to be played. This control does not support direct Youtube or Vimeo video playing with their web browser link, you need to provide the online FTP location of the video to be played.🙂
A little Cherry on top…
Now to put some cherry on top of the basic implementation I added some extra functionality by adding few custom buttons to control the Video Player implementation.
There you have it, a four button implementation for controlling the Video playing of MPMoviePlayerController.
As you may have noticed in the ‘Play Full Screen Video’ button action, I have called the method moviePlayer.SetFullscreen(true, true); which allows us to play the video in full screen mode. Once the click even fires, the Video controller will nicely stretch itself to the fullscreen of the app and play the video.
Alright, now let’s see how this actually looks after the implementation.
Here’s how it’ll look like…😀
there you everyone, now go crazy with it.😉
Here’s something extra…
Did you know you could detect the state changes in the MPMoviePlayerController and control its behavior ? Yes MPMoviePlayerController has a set of Observable notification methods that we could register and use for our own needs as follows.
Yep there you go another set of awesome features we could play around in MPMoviePlayerController.
There’s a whole set of Observable events you could register yourself to based on your requirements and to play around with!😉