middleware

Middleware

Middleware is a Video.js feature that allows interaction with and modification of how the Player and Tech talk to each other. For more in-depth information, check out our feature spotlight.

Table of Contents

Understanding Middleware

Middleware are functions that return an object, a class instance, a prototype, etc, scoped to the Player with methods matching those on the Tech. There are currently a limited set of allowed methods that will be understood by middleware. These are: buffered, currentTime, setCurrentTime, duration, seekable, played, play, pause and paused. These allowed methods are split into three categories: getters, setters, and mediators.

There are a few special methods that affect middleware: setSource and setTech. These are called internally by Video.js when you call player.src().

setSource

setSource is a required method for all middleware and must be included in the returned object. This method will setup the routing between a specific source and middleware and eventually sets the source on the Tech.

If your middleware is not manipulating, redirecting or rejecting the source, you can pass along the source by doing the following:

videojs.use('*', function(player) {
  return {
    setSource: function(srcObj, next) {
      // pass null as the first argument to indicate that the source is not rejected
      next(null, srcObj);
    }
  };
});

setTech

setTech is a method that associates middleware with a specific Tech once it has been selected by the Player, after middleware make a decision on which source to set. This does not need to be included in your middleware.

Middleware Setters

+----------+                      +----------+
|          |  setter middleware   |          |
|          +---------------------->          |
|  Player  |                      |   Tech   |
|          <----------------------+          |
|          |  getter middleware   |          |
+----------+                      +----------+

Setters will be called on the Player first and run through middleware in the order they were registered in (from left to right in the diagram) before calling the method, with its arguments, on the Tech.

Middleware Getters

Getters are called on the Tech first and are run though middleware in reverse of the order they were registered in (from right to left in the diagram) before returning the result to the Player.

Middleware Mediators

Mediators are methods that not only change the state of the Tech, but also return some value back to the Player. Currently, these are play and pause.

Mediators are called on the Player first, run through middleware in the order they were registered (from left to right in the below diagram), then called on the Tech. The result is returned to the Player unchanged, while calling the middleware in the reverse order of how they were registered (from right to left in the diagram.) For more information on mediators, check out the mediator section.

+----------+                      +----------+
|          |                      |          |
|          +---mediate-to-tech---->          |
|  Player  |                      |   Tech   |
|          <--mediate-to-player---+          |
|          |                      |          |
+----------+                      +----------+

Termination and Mediators

Mediators make a round trip: starting at the Player, mediating to the Tech and returning the result to the Player again. A call{method} method must be supplied by the middleware which is used when mediating to the Tech. On the way back to the Player, the {method} will be called instead, with 2 arguments: terminated, a Boolean indicating whether a middleware terminated during the mediation to the tech portion, and value, which is the value returned from the Tech.

+----------+                      +----------+
|          |                      |          |
|          +----+call{method}+---->          |
|  Player  |                      |   Tech   |
|          <------+{method}+------+          |
|          |                      |          |
+----------+                      +----------+

A skeleton of a middleware with Mediator methods is given below:

var myMiddleware = function(player) {
  return {
    callPlay: function() {
      // mediating to the Tech
      ...
    },
    play: function(terminated, value) {
      // mediating back to the Player
      ...
    },
    ...
  };
};

Middleware termination occurs when a middleware method decides to stop mediating to the Tech. We'll see more examples of this in the next section.

Using Middleware

Middleware are registered to a video MIME type, and will be run for any source with that type.

videojs.use('video/mp4', myMiddleware);

You can also register a middleware on all sources by registering it on *.

videojs.use('*', myMiddleware);

Your middleware should be a function that is scoped to a player and returns an object, class instance, etc, with methods on it that match those on the Tech. An example of a middleware that returns an object is below:

var myMiddleware = function(player) {
  return {
    setSource: function(srcObj, next) {
      // pass null as the first argument to indicate that the source is not rejected
      next(null, srcObj);
    },
    currentTime: function(ct) {
      return ct / 2;
    },
    setCurrentTime: function(time) {
      return time * 2;
    }
  };
};

videojs.use('*', myMiddleware);

This middleware gives the appearance of the video source playing at double its speed, by halving the time we get from the Tech, and doubling the time we set on the Tech.

An example of a middleware that uses Mediator methods is below:

var myMiddleware = function(player) {
  return {
    setSource: function(srcObj, next) {
      // pass null as the first argument to indicate that the source is not rejected
      next(null, srcObj);
    },
    callPlay: function() {
      // Do nothing, thereby allowing play() to be called on the Tech
    },
    play: function(terminated, value) {
      if (terminated) {
        console.log('The play was middleware terminated.');

      // the value is a play promise
      } else if (value && value.then) {
        value
          .then(function() {
            console.log('The play succeeded!')
          })
          .catch(function (err) {
            console.log('The play was rejected', err);
          });
      }
    }
  };
};

videojs.use('*', myMiddleware);

This middleware allows the call to play() to go through to the Tech, and checks in play whether the play succeeded or not. A more detailed example can be found in our sandbox.

Terminating Mediator Methods

Mediator methods can terminate, by doing the following:

var myMiddleware = function(player) {
  return {
    setSource: function(srcObj, next) {
      // pass null as the first argument to indicate that the source is not rejected
      next(null, srcObj);
    },
    callPlay: function() {
      // Terminate by returning the middleware terminator
      return videojs.middleware.TERMINATOR;
    },
    play: function(terminated, value) {
      // the terminated argument should be true here.
      if (terminated) {
        console.log('The play was middleware terminated.');
      }
    }
  };
};

videojs.use('*', myMiddleware);

This middleware always terminates calls to play() by returning the TERMINATOR in callPlay. In play we are able to see that the call to play() was terminated and was never called on the Tech.