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A Player is installed on a webpage by a call to the flowplayer() function or its shorthand $f(). See installation on how and where to place this call and see the documentation of the flowplayer() function in the api, Player creation.

Player is the top-level object. Configuration properties and event listeners are placed in the root of the configuration; it is not a sub-object of the configuration. Example:

flowplayer("player", "", {
buffering : false, // set a Player property
onLoad : function() { // provide a Player event listener


This section describes the two configuration parameters of the flowplayer() function:

flowplayer("player", Flash configuration, Player configuration);

Player Configuration (parameter #3)

You can set Player properties and can supply event listeners for a Player in the configuration.

Player properties

Property / DatatypeDefaultDescription



Specifies whether the rotating buffering animation must be shown or not. Set this to false and, the animation will not be shown.



Configures logging of the Flowplayer JavaScript component. This will output all events triggered by the Flash component to the Firebug or Safari Dev tools console.


Configures logging of the Flash component to the Firebug or Safari Dev tools console. This configuration object has properties you can set as described in the table below. Example:

log : {
level : 'warn',
filter : 'org.flowplayer.rtmp.*'



Names of NetStream callback functions to be registered to the Player. This allows a way to listen to custom events that can be triggered by the streaming server or a custom application running in the streaming server.


Names of NetConnection callback functions to be registered to the Player. This allows a way to listen to custom events that can be triggered by the streaming server or a custom application running in the streaming server.



Show errors on screen. Only set this to false when you know what you are doing! For instance when you want to catch a specific error gracefully in the onError event.

Properties of the log Configuration Object

log propertyDefaultDescription



Specifies what will be logged to the console. Possible values are: 'error', 'warn', 'info', 'debug'. Specifying 'debug' means that everything will be logged.



Filters the logging to certain packages of the Flash API or to loaded Flash Plugins. The default '*' means: all packages. Some examples:

  • 'org.flowplayer.view.Launcher' logs what happens in the Player launcher

  • 'org.flowplayer.controller.*' logs controller actions

  • 'org.flowplayer.rtmp.*' logs RTMP messages

  • 'org.flowplayer.pseudostreaming.*' logs pseudostreaming plugin messages

  • '*' logs audio plugin messages

  • 'org.flowplayer.content.*' logs content plugin messages

  • 'org.flowplayer.controls.*' logs controlbar plugin messages

If you write your own Flash plugin you can use the Log package of our Flash API to do your logging.

Player events

You can supply listeners for Player events in the configuration. These are placed in the root of the configuration. See also events in the JavaScript api.

Each Player fires events that can inform you of changes in the Player and of actions the Player intends to take or has just taken. The event listener receives as its this variable a reference to the current Player instance.

Before events are marked in italics in the table below. Not all events have a before event. The 'Cancel action' column says what will happen when a before event listener returns false.

EventWhen does it fire?Cancel action


This event fires: after Flowplayer has been installed on the container, and the container element is not empty (it contains html), and it is clicked.

Flowplayer's load method will save the content of the container and replace it with the Player. The load action will not be invoked if the onBeforeClick listener return false. If you cancel the action, you can later call the load() method to load the Player in the container.

Note: when a new Player is installed, Flowplayer will unload all other Players that were installed on non-empty containers, that is, those Players are removed from the canvas and their containers' original html content is restored, unless their onBeforeUnload event listener returns false.

Flowplayer will not be installed.


The load action of Flowplayer follows the successful installation of the Flowplayer Flash component in the container. If the Player was set up with an initial splash image (or any other HTML), this action saves the container's current content and replaces it with the Player.

Before the load action is performed, Flowplayer first fires the onBeforeLoad event, giving you an opportunity to defer loading or change its behavior or splash image. Returning false from an onBeforeLoad event listener will cancel the load action.

The onLoad event fires after the load action has completed. When this event fires, the Player is fully operational and all API methods are available. It will not fire when the onBeforeLoad event listener returned false.

Player will not be loaded.


Flowplayer's default unload behavior is to replace the content of the container with the originial content. Before Flowplayer performs this action, it fires the onBeforeUnload event, giving you a chance to cancel unloading. Following the unloading the onUnLoad event fires. These events only fire when the container initially contained html.

After the Player has been unloaded from a container that contains html, clicking the container will (again) fire the onBeforeLoad event.

These events will only fire when the container was not empty.

Player is not unloaded.


This fires when the mouse pointer moves into the player area.


This fires when the mouse pointer moves out of the player area.


This fires when a user presses a key on the keyboard while the Player has the focus. The code corresponding to the key which has been pressed is provided as the first argument to the event listener. A list of different key codes is given here.

Default keyboard actions are ignored. (By default, the spacebar toggles between playing and paused states, and the arrow keys seek backward and forward.)


This fires when the volume level is changed (via any of the setVolume, mute or unmute methods). The new volume level is provided as the first argument to the event listener.

Volume level is not changed.


This fires when the player is muted.

Volume level is not changed.


This fires when the player is unmuted.

Player stays muted.


This fires when full screen mode is entered.

Full screen mode will not be entered.


This fires when full screen mode is exited. (Unfortunately, there is currently no 'onBeforeFullscreenExit' event. This is because the current implementation of Flash does not permit this action to be cancelled.)


Since 3.1.1. This fires when a clip was added to the playlist via the addClip method. The first argument is the newly added Clip object. The second argument is the index number which specifies the position in the playlist. This event is not fired when an instream clip is added.


This fires when the playlist is swapped out for another. This typically happens when the play(clip) method is called and the original playlist is replaced with a single clip playlist. The new playlist object (an array of Clip objects) is provided as the first argument to the event listener.


This fires when an error occurs inside the player. The event listener receives two arguments: errorCode and errorMessage, as in the following table.

Error Codes


Plugin initialization failed


Stream not found


Unable to load stream or clip file


Provider specified in clip is not loaded


Player initialization failed


Unable to load plugin


Error when invoking plugin external method


Failed to load resource such as stylesheet or background image

Flash configuration (parameter #2)

The second parameter of the flowplayer() function specifies the Flash embedding parameters. If you supply it as a simple string it is treated as the src property of flashembed which defines the path to the Flowplayer Flash component (.swf). If you want to customize the Flash embedding, you can supply the settings as an object written in JSON (JavaScript Object Notation).

Flowplayer uses our flashembed tool to embed the Flowplayer Flash component on the page. This tool is included in the flowplayer-3.2.13.min.js file and you have all its power available such as version detection and handling of old Flash versions. All Flash configuration options are given directly to flashembed.

See also:

Flowplayer-specific Flash properties

In addition to the standard Flash parameters the Flowplayer API allows you to set the following two extra Flash properties:



The required Flash version for Flowplayer is [10, 1], and this is supplied as the default value. When a Flash version lower than 10.1 is encountered, Flowplayer attempts to use Express Install and if the user has a version lower than 6.56 or no Flash at all, then Flowplayer shows the default error message as specified in this flashembed demo.

For Flash versions 10 and greater the two-member array is computed from the first 2 digits of the Flash plugin's official version string. For older versions the third digit is used, as the second digit is then always 0.


By default, Flowplayer uses this file: for users who have less than version [10, 1] but greater than [6, 56] installed. You can skip Express Install by setting expressInstall to null.

onFail event

The Flowplayer API provides this event listener on the Flash level:

Flash EventDescription


Customizes error handling on the Flash level in its callback function. See the example below. Not to be confused with the onError Player event.

Flash configuration example

In the following example we supply a custom onFail listener for Flash versions which do not support Flowplayer. On Flash versions below 10.1, users will experience an Express Install and additionally our onFail event listener is called, explaining the problem in an info box. The same behaviour occurs if the container is configured with an initial splash image.

You have Flash version 10.1 or above. Enjoy Flowplayer!

See this example as a standalone version.

Here is the JavaScript and html code for this example:

<div id="player" class="player" style="width:425px;height:300px;"></div>
<div id="info" class="info">
You have Flash version 10.1 or above. Enjoy Flowplayer!
// Flowplayer installation with Flashembed parameters
flowplayer("player", {
// our Flash component
src: "",
// Flowplayer requires at least this version
version: [10, 1],
// older versions will see a custom message
onFail: function () {
document.getElementById("info").innerHTML =
"You need at least Flash version 10.1 to play the movie. " +
"Your version is " + this.getVersion();
// here is our third argument which is the Flowplayer configuration
clip: ""


Standard Flash parameters

Here is a list of Adobe's standard Flash parameters.

Note: Only change these when you have to, and if you know what you are doing. Most of the time passing the value of the src property as string argument is sufficient.

Property / DatatypeDefaultDescription


The location of flowplayer-3.2.18.swf. May be given as full URL, absolute path, or relative path. This property is mandatory.



The hexadecimal RGB value in the format of '#RRGGBB'. This specifies the background color of the Player itself. It is visible for a short moment on load before it is overlayed by the Player's canvas.



It is recommended that you do not change this setting. Instead specify the width and height for the container element using CSS directives.



It is recommended that you do not change this setting. Instead specify the width and height for the container element using CSS directives.



Other valid settings:

  • 'opaque'
  • 'transparent'
  • 'direct' (new and as of yet unstable)

Set this to 'opaque' or 'transparent' if you want to place HTML elements on top of the Player, for example, a dropdown menu. Changing this property might affect playback quality. See also Adobe's documentation on wmode.



Allows the Player to enter Fullscreen mode.



This enables Flash-to-JavaScript communication. Other valid settings:

  • 'samedomain'
  • 'never'

If you don't need this feature or are concerned about security, set this to 'never'.



Other valid settings:

  • 'low'
  • 'autolow'
  • 'autohigh'
  • 'best'

'low' favors playback speed over appearance, and 'best' provides the best display quality, but does not consider playback smoothness. 'high' offers the best compromise between visual and playback quality.



Set this property to true to support accessibility via screen readers. Further mandatory requirements: