Skip to main content

ActionScript: JavaScript Event Handlers for JW Player

JW Player has a rich JavaScript API. One of the things you can do is to create JavaScript event handlers for ActionScript events. However, there are a few things that can bite you in the butt if you don't keep them in mind.

First of all, as the documentation points out, you can't set an event handler until JW Player is ready for it. If you set it too early, it won't work, and you won't even get an error message. If you have a function called playerReady, it'll automatically be called by JW Player. That's a great place to setup your handlers.

Next, when JW Player calls playerReady, it's supposed to pass an obj containing the ID for the HTML DOM object. In my experience, it doesn't. Hence, you have to lookup the object manually. See my previous post about the fact that you can't use jQuery's $() to lookup the object, but should instead stick with document.getElementById.

Last of all, remember that when you give JW Player your JavaScript callback, you have to pass the function's name as a string. It feels natural to pass a function pointer or even to have an inline function, but that doesn't work (nor will you get an error message).

In summary, here's the code:
function playerReady(obj) {
"TIME", "handleTimeEvent");

function handleTimeEvent(e) {


Jeroen Wijering said…
Thanks for your posting. You totally confirm what we feel to be the "pain points" in our current API. Unfortunately, these issues directly relate to communication restrictions on a lower level, between actionscript and javascript.

For the next release of the Flash version of our player (5.3), we are working on a dedicated javascript wrapper (something like SWFObject) that will work around these issues:

*) Listeners assigned before the player is "ready" will be queued up by the wrapper.
*) Support for jQuery will be added.
*) Function references will be translated to strings inside the library.

Would love to hear any other suggestions people have for improving our javascript API!
Unknown said…
hmm, can't an error message be generated that is kept as an internal string if you try to set an event handler too early and then when the player is all set up it get then log the internal string?
jjinux said…
Hi, Jeroen, thanks for your response!

I'm not actually complaining ;) I've had a much harder time coping with Boxee than I have coping with JW Player. About the only thing that really sticks out to me about JW Player's JavaScript API is that obj["id"] doesn't work as promised in playerReady.

> Unfortunately, these issues directly relate to communication restrictions on a lower level, between actionscript and javascript.

Yep, that's what I figured.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said…
Hi, I have a BIG QUESTION: ¿How do I "execute" an actionscript function? I have to execute it in order to get a decrypted URL by changing some variables... the thing is:

1) You have an URL

2) Somehow it pass trough a function
and it returns it a different result in base of the function's work. BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW TO EXECUTE IT!! ¿Can you help me?
jjinux said…
You're going to have to modify the source code for JW Player itself. Take a look at the file named, especially the calls to ExternalInterface.addCallback.

Popular posts from this blog

Ubuntu 20.04 on a 2015 15" MacBook Pro

I decided to give Ubuntu 20.04 a try on my 2015 15" MacBook Pro. I didn't actually install it; I just live booted from a USB thumb drive which was enough to try out everything I wanted. In summary, it's not perfect, and issues with my camera would prevent me from switching, but given the right hardware, I think it's a really viable option. The first thing I wanted to try was what would happen if I plugged in a non-HiDPI screen given that my laptop has a HiDPI screen. Without sub-pixel scaling, whatever scale rate I picked for one screen would apply to the other. However, once I turned on sub-pixel scaling, I was able to pick different scale rates for the internal and external displays. That looked ok. I tried plugging in and unplugging multiple times, and it didn't crash. I doubt it'd work with my Thunderbolt display at work, but it worked fine for my HDMI displays at home. I even plugged it into my TV, and it stuck to the 100% scaling I picked for the othe

Drawing Sierpinski's Triangle in Minecraft Using Python

In his keynote at PyCon, Eben Upton, the Executive Director of the Rasberry Pi Foundation, mentioned that not only has Minecraft been ported to the Rasberry Pi, but you can even control it with Python . Since four of my kids are avid Minecraft fans, I figured this might be a good time to teach them to program using Python. So I started yesterday with the goal of programming something cool for Minecraft and then showing it off at the San Francisco Python Meetup in the evening. The first problem that I faced was that I didn't have a Rasberry Pi. You can't hack Minecraft by just installing the Minecraft client. Speaking of which, I didn't have the Minecraft client installed either ;) My kids always play it on their Nexus 7s. I found an open source Minecraft server called Bukkit that "provides the means to extend the popular Minecraft multiplayer server." Then I found a plugin called RaspberryJuice that implements a subset of the Minecraft Pi modding API for B

Creating Windows 10 Boot Media for a Lenovo Thinkpad T410 Using Only a Mac and a Linux Machine

TL;DR: Giovanni and I struggled trying to get Windows 10 installed on the Lenovo Thinkpad T410. We struggled a lot trying to create the installation media because we only had a Mac and a Linux machine to work with. Everytime we tried to boot the USB thumb drive, it just showed us a blinking cursor. At the end, we finally realized that Windows 10 wasn't supported on this laptop :-/ I've heard that it took Thomas Edison 100 tries to figure out the right material to use as a lightbulb filament. Well, I'm no Thomas Edison, but I thought it might be noteworthy to document our attempts at getting it to boot off a USB thumb drive: Download the ISO. Attempt 1: Use Etcher. Etcher says it doesn't work for Windows. Attempt 2: Use Boot Camp Assistant. It doesn't have that feature anymore. Attempt 3: Use Disk Utility on a Mac. Erase a USB thumb drive: Format: ExFAT Scheme: GUID Partition Map Mount the ISO. Copy everything from