Using IIS Media Services Web Playlists with JW Player
So you’ve decided you want to use JW Player for Silverlight and IIS Media Services Web Playlists together.
One of the reasons to use Web Playlists is to hide the true path of your video. This makes it difficult for users to download a full copy of your video, perfect for streaming copyrighted or pay-per-view content. Although users can still use screen capture software (such as Camtasia) to record your video, the process is more involved and less likely.
JW for flash and most other players require the media file (.mpeg, .mp4, etc) to be in a folder below the root path accessible by visitors. Web Playlists for IIS allows you to add videos from any folder on your server, and does not directly access the video when a viewing is requested. It uses a one-time security token to obfuscate the path.
Step 1 – Add a New Playlist in IIS
Here you’ll add a new playlist by opening up the IIS Manager, selecting your website and double-clicking on “Web Playlists.” Once it is open, on the right-hand side click on “Add Playlist.”
Once you type in a name for your playlist it will generate a URL that needs to be used by your web-based player. As you can see here, we are looking at iishacks.com/VMWareCertificate.isx.
You’ll need to add the specific video file by going to “Media entries” and clicking “Add.” You can select a Physical Path (excellent for hiding a file above the root folder), a Relative URI (if the file is in the root folder or below), or a Remote URL (if it is on another server or domain). I’ve chosen Physical Path and selected a folder that is not accessible via IIS.
You’ll notice you have options to disable skip back/forward or seek. If you choose to attach multiple videos together, or have required advertisements before, between or after videos, these options are for you. Networks such as Global TV utilize these options to ensure visitors are viewing the advertisements before a video starts.
Step 2 – Add the Playlist to JW Player
Once you’ve added your video file(s) you can now add the playlist to a web-based video player such as JW Player. JW Player for Silverlight is the only free player that supports the ISX playlist format and doesn’t require ASP. IIS Web Playlists supports .asf, .avi, .flv, .m4v, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .rm, .rmvb, .wma and .wmv.
You can download JW Player for free here: http://www.longtailvideo.com/players/jw-wmv-player/
Here is the code I used for my VMware video. This can be embedded into WordPress or any PHP/HTML file.
As you can see the ISX/ASX playlist is located at http://iishacks.com:80/VMWareCertificate.isx . If you try and open the file it will direct you to either a broken link or a text file with the following:
Notice how the ISX playlist has a tokenized session id appended to the URL? Try and open that. It’s a dead end. You’ll never be able to simply download the file. Here is a full set of features with Web Playlists.