Some UX issues playing archived videos



6 years ago
4 years ago


(Reporter: caspy77, Unassigned)


Windows 7

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)


I've noticed a few issues while watching archived videos and thought I'd share them.

- There is no way to tell how long a video is before beginning to play (and therefore download) it.  There are a few videos I wouldn't have started because of length versus my time constraints or investment in the topic.

- There is no readily obvious way to tell how long a video is while playing it.  If you have figured out that hovering over the timeline displays a time marker, you can estimate.

- The fullscreen icon state is problematic.  If you click the icon to go fullscreen and the hit escape on the keyboard to exit (which is my normal flow) the icon keeps the "exit fullscreen" state and clicking it again merely changes the icon appearance.  An additional click is required to go fullscreen again.

- Clicking HD at times leaves the user with only a throbber and no explanation or useful feedback.  I presume this this is a result of a missing HD version.  
See here for an example:
While playing, just click HD to demonstrate.
If we don't have an HD version we should disable/remove the HD button or *at least* give a message to the user so they know what's going on and how to get back to the video.

- I'll file this last under "general play issues".  I've had multiple times in the past where I've tried to play a video and gotten error text to the effect that I didn't have permission to play that video from vidly.  I don't remember the exact text.  More recently though, while I was writing this, I paused a video and when I came back to play, it refused.  At first I got the throbber, then the play button wouldn't bother to budge.

I know it's probably not a highly trafficked site, but I figure for an organization who is so heavily invested in the web and generally keeps high quality sites, that these issues are kind of embarrassing.  Also, I keep getting annoyed with them.
Hi Mark,
Thank you so much for your clear feedback. It's much appreciated. 

Unfortunately most of it is due to the embedding tech we use which is EdgeCast for the live streams and for the archived videos. However, I think there are some things we can address. 

Regarding high traffic, we did have 30k unique pageviews last month which isn't bad. Also it's often a face of Mozilla where non-Mozillians come into contact with so these things are important. 

Truth is, we're a bit behind on resources on Air Mozilla but we'll definitely try to keep an eye on this bug.

Thanks for the feedback, as Peter said, it's very valuable for us.

Some of the problems you describe are buried in's Player, over which we have limited control.

The "missing HD" problem though, is clearly a process error on our part.  We have two different templates to invoke the player, one for SD-only video, and one for video that exists in both format.  In the case you cited, the wrong template was used.  I've fixed that.  I'll have to do a bit of head scratching, but I think we could write a test script to find all the instance where we've made that error.   We'll certainly keep this bug open until we try that.

The inability to pause and restart secured video is a known problem.  We've raised the issue with the folks at but I suspect it's not near the top of their priority list right now. 

The running time issue is one we've been struggling with.  File size alone isn't a good indicator of running time because we use a number of different video formats and different bit rates.  This is something that may be able to help with however.  It will become more important as we move toward the RSS feeds to support video podcasts, Roku and other devices.

The fullscreen icon is an issue in's player.  I'll raise that issue with them and see if we can improve the situation.

Again, many thanks for the problem report.  We do care!
Priority: -- → P2
Thanks. I'm glad I can help and that you guys are working on things.

I also forgot to mention a different annoyance that I'm seeing.  On both Youtube and Vimeo (as well as many others) hitting the space bar when the video is focused or fullscreen pauses or plays the video.  This was my expectation with air, but alas is not so.
Priority: P2 → P3
Priority: P3 → P4
We've added the duration info.  The switch to HLS and Theoplayer may help with of the rest.

Forking the spacebar pause request into it's own bug #1212654.

I've marked it wontfix, but it's really a mixture of fixed, can't fix, and (in the case of the spacebar pause) deferred.
Closed: 4 years ago
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
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