I have found Rackspace Cloud Files to be one of the most affordable video streaming services on the market. There are times when you have special video content that you don’t want to post to YouTube or any other free video platform.
There is a sea of options when looking for a video host, and many of them are very good. The problem I’ve noticed with all of them is that they are expensive. What if you’re just starting out? What if you don’t have many people looking at your videos yet? As a teacher, I create a great deal of videos. If I want them to be in the latest HD, they end up being rather large files. This is why Rackspace works great for me. Just a few cents per GB and you are on your way to getting started.
How to Get Rackspace Cloud Files to Work in WordPress
I experimented with many video players for WordPress and got many of them to work. The frustrating thing was that they would have to download in their entirety before you could bounce around the timeline. As an online piano teacher, my students need a video platform that can easily be dragged to different points in the timeline.
Before all the digital purists get all wild about streaming vs progressive download, it doesn’t matter, all we want is to be able to drag around the timeline and have the video start up seamlessly at that point.
The steps below will show you how to make this happen successfully:
1.) Download and Install FV WordPress Flowplayer
Get it here FV WordPress Flowplayer
Once you install the video player, go ahead and activate it. Once activated you are ready to go. If you want to customize the skin and several other options with the video player, navigate to Dashboard>Settings>FV WordPress Flowplayer.
2.) Fetching the Rackspace Cloud File Video File Link
Now if you are new to Rackspace, I suggest you go to their website and read up a little. They offer much more than just the Cloud Files- you could get lost in all the services they offer. Check them out here: Rackspace
For this example, we will use the Cloud File services. When I joined, they let me sign up for free. They probably still do. Only when you store more than 1GB of data do they start charging….and its not much. Their fees are very clearly listed on their website.
Navigate to your Cloud Files Containers and grab the very first video link (http) as shown below:
I think it’s tempting for most people to want to grab the “Streaming” link since we are wanting to “stream” our video. Don’t. Grab the HTTP link and copy it. The video format I use is mp4 / h.264 codec.
3.) Insert the Streaming Video Into Your WordPress Post
Since you installed the FV WordPress Flowplayer, you should notice a change when you go to create a new post.
The new little “f” icon is what will insert the video into your post via the FV player. Click on it.
Remember that HTTP link you copied over in Rackspace Cloud Files? Paste it in the video field. If you know the videos dimensions, enter those as well. Also, if you have a pic for the thumbnail there is a spot for that.
Next, click the blue insert button and hit Preview to test it out.
Depending on your video size and your internet connection, the video should start pretty quickly. Additionally, you should be able to hop around in the video timeline, and it should start quickly from any point in the video.
This is a great way to stream video, enabling you to have full control of the content, size, and length of your video content.