Anarchy Media Player 1.5 Adds YouTube Support
October 28, 2006 § 4 Comments
New Version Includes Several New Features
Right on the heels of reviewing another WordPress plug-in called Viper Video Quicktags (Add YouTube To WordPress With Viper Plug-In) – and as luck would have it – I noticed that my good buddies over at An-Archos released a new version of my favorite media plug-in: Anarchy Media Player.
Anarchy brings together the work of several other open-source efforts to provide simplified music and video integration. Version 1.5 embeds (literally) the code from Viper to enable buttons for easier insertion of YouTube, Google Video and IFILM videos.
So, is it better than the two stars I gave Viper? Let’s see…
Using the Plug-In
Just like Viper, once enabling the plug-in you will see a few more buttons in the post editor:
(screenshot: WordPress Rich Text Editor)
These buttons are intended to shortcut the process of embedding video from “The Big Three” (I think that’s what I’ll call them now). You provide the ID, Anarchy adds the surrounding parameters.
(screenshot: Add YouTube by ID)
The resulting code is in BBCode format (extra space added left of ‘youtube’):
And looks like this:
(embedded video: Lexus LS460 Parks Itself)
The advantage I hadn’t realized in reviewing Viper is that these buttons allow you to use the Rich Editor (which I don’t use). People often have difficulty embedding pure HTML tags because the Rich Editor “cleans” them up, deleting crucial pieces.
You also get buttons to directly embed Macromedia Director (DCR) and Shockwave (SWF) files, although who uses these anyway? 🙂
Other Supported Media
Anarchy supports several other file types and bundles two lightweight Flash players – one for Flash Video and one for MP3 files. The FLV player is from Jeroen Wijering (this is brand new in version 1.5.1 – see sidebar for a great story on this).
- MP3 Audio (MP3)
- Windows Media Video (WMV)
- Macromedia Flash Video (FLV)
- Quicktime Movie (MOV)
You don’t get special buttons for these additional formats; support is provided via automatic conversion of anchors to the appropriate embedded player.
In some ways I find this method more useful than a button – just create a hyperlink and any recognized format is automatically wrapped in the appropriate code.
For example, to embed an MP3 file, just make an anchor (hypertext link), like this:
Which results in this:
This works exactly the same way for video files, providing some consistency between formats. You can also toggle the visibility of the actual download link by editing a parameter in the plug-in.
Unfortunately, this method doesn’t allow dynamic changing of video sizes. You must configure playback parameters in the plug-in in the source code (this is a bit better in 1.5 because it’s a separate PHP file).
Anarchy provides some basic configuration options and a couple thoughtful touches that make it stand out over other offerings.
- Provides a replaceable “cover” graphic that shows the video playback frame without actually loading the video – the video is loaded after the user clicks the image
- Gracefully displays a download graphic in place of the embedded movie if the Quicktime player is not installed on a users system
- Attends to basic security by allowing the option to prevent the code from being executed from another location
- Provides editable flags for video loop, autoplay
- Provides color configuration, inline CSS formatting
An-Archos does a great job pulling together several other authors’ work in a relatively seamless manner. The little design touches and super-responsive support make a big difference in the overall effectiveness.
For future releases, I would love to see a configuration panel in WordPress and more consistency for all video playback.
I give this plug-in 4 stars.