Launch Site

PopcornFlix was an interesting build. At it's heart it's a movie distribution website, similar to Netflix, but the movies are essentially free with commercials. Think of public tv versus cable. It was using Brightcove as a backend and the advertising module for monetization.

Although I've written a Brightcove .NET library myself I recently came upon Velir's Brightcove SDK. They're known for good software and I like to know know my competition so I decided to use it as the core. I ended up communicating with Dave Mills, since he's the guy at Velir managing the project, and he was very responsive whenever I hit snags. It's not really surprising considering he even had the audio API blown out with his project (not yet done myself so props).

The project itself implemented a few interesting features such as an age verification form if the video was rated R. The video hover box was actually pretty difficult to nail down. I have a new found respect for whoever designed the Netflix detail window. The trick was to hesitate showing the window until the user was on it for a couple seconds. That prevents a lot of jumpy hits. For the search aspect (browse), I ended up using jQuery ajax. Also since there it is making a lot of video calls to Brightcove I decided to cache the resulting video list for a brief period to prevent excessive calls and leave some performance for the page loads.

Overall, it was a pretty cool project. I hope the masses end up getting some use out of it, and thanks to the efforts behind the Brightcove .NET MAPI Wrapper.

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