Service FAQ

Questions and answers on the products.

How does this thing actually work?

Our service takes care of all the big tasks that come with online video. That means video encoding, quality switching, analytics, global delivery, and management of multiple videos.

You just upload the videos, build a player to your needs by clicking a few options, and embed the video on your site. We try to keep the whole process as simple as possible.

How is this better than the other options?

Instead of enterprises or engineers our service is designed for humans . We've stripped out the UI bloat and unnecessary options that are only meaningful for video-transcoding professionals. Our system studies your original video and makes the complex decisions for you. It's our job to be the specialist.

We're the one simple option on the market that anyone can use. Perhaps surprisingly, our system works better for large enterprises too, because ultimately they are humans too.

Why should I care?

Whether you are a blogger, a small business, or a large enterprise you'll benefit from great online video that is a seamless part of your design and behaves exactly the way you want it to.

What makes Flowplayer's encoder so special?

All videos uploaded to Flowplayer are encoded in two phases.

First, we carefully analyze the uploaded video and determine the best encoding parameters for that particular video before the actual encoding begins. This concept – known as “content-adaptive transcoding” – is typically reserved for the big players like Netflix.

Next, we encode the video and split it into hundreds of small “HLS segments” to provide support for automatic quality switching. The player will pick the most suitable segment depending on the screen size and connection speed.

We use various tricks to optimize video quality and reduce file size. For example, we use different algorithms for downscaling, namely the bicubic algorithm and gaussian blur .

What is your stance on pricing?

Our goal is to be helpful and fair:

  1. The Pay As You Go plan let's you test the system without monetary stress
  2. The bigger your needs the less it all costs

You'll also get 50% off the cost of videos with the Flowplayer watermark. This might make sense, for example, on more deeply positioned pages that are less crucial to your brand.

What can I expect from the future?

We're dedicated to simplifying things on all levels of our service. Another direction we're pursuing is making streaming cheaper by avoiding redundancy with intelligent buffering and stopping streams of unviewed players.

Perhaps the most exciting thing we're working on is worry-free viral videos – you no longer need to stress about streaming costs if your video suddenly becomes popular. We'll be launching this feature by the end of 2016.

When should I pick the player-only option?

In certain situations, you may want to buy the player-only version and host the videos on your own servers. In this scenario, you need to take care of video encoding and global streaming yourself. Note that automatic quality switching is rather hard. The current generation of high-quality HLS streams requires years of encoding experience.

What is video streaming?

Video streaming is the act of delivering reliable and uninterrupted data stream for the video player. HLS streaming refers to quality switching where the video file is split into multiple segments of variying quality.

What is video encoding?

Video encoding is the art of transforming a video file to a format that works on the web. For example, a .mov file is transformed into multiple HLS-segment files for quality-switching support.

How can I customize the player?

Our UI provides simple checkboxes for the most common scenarios. Start as image? Controlbar visible? Start playback automatically? After building the correct setup you'll get a short embed code to be copy/pasted to your websites HTML source code.

All videos that are hosted on us are served logo- free. The Flowplayer branding is completely absent. If you want to display your own logo the a player license is needed.

Should I edit the video before uploading?

Absolutely. Just strip out the boring parts! These are typically at the beginning and end of the video. You cannot change the length of the video after uploading.

You may also want to change the aspect ratio of the clip. Sometimes you might want a vertical video, which plays nicely on mobile.

How can I upload my videos?

From the video management interface or by using the API . You can upload multiple videos at once. We're also working on an command-line tool so you can just flow upload *.mov and follow the progress.

Can I serve ads?

Flowplayer is ad-free by default, but ads can be activated with a simple click for each video. Learn more .

Do you keep the original video?

Yes. The original videos are kept safe so we can re-encode them later, possibly with different settings. For example, with the Flowplayer watermark or without.

Can I download the results?

Yes. All the full- length versions (original and encoded) can be downloaded from the Flowplayer UI. Individual HLS segments are not available.

Can you help me more?

Sure. Please contact us .

Billing FAQ

Do you have bigger plans?

Yes. We serve customers with massive streaming needs. Please tell us what you need and we'll give you a matching offer.

How are the encoding costs calculated?

The calculated output video means the summarized duration of all generated video formats, so for a five-minute input video, the output length will be five minutes of WebM plus five minutes of MP4 for the standard resolution (max 640x480).

You can choose on an individual basis whether the video will be encoded to multiple bitrates or not. This can result in seven-times higher encoding costs compared to encoding to the standard resolution only, but offers adaptive bitrate switching and optionally additional manual selection of high-res MP4/WebM versions.

More information

Can I switch plans?

Sure. You can always switch between the plans on this page. We will adjust your bill automatically.

Can I cancel?

Of course. Go to your account page and hit the cancel button.

How are watermarked videos billed?

Watermarked videos have Flowplayer logo on bottom/left corner of the video. These videos are 50% cheaper. We simply log half of the network usage from these videos.

Which cards do you accept?

We accept payments from VISA, MasterCard, VISA Debit and American Express.

When am I charged?

Your plans will be charged at the end of the billing period. The additional streaming costs will be charged once they reach 50 EUR, or at the end of a monthly period.

Do I need to pay taxes?

All prices are net. EU residents will be charged VAT (according to the VAT rate of their country); to avoid VAT please supply a valid VAT ID when purchasing. VAT will always be applied to purchases from Finland.

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