[whatwg] Limiting the amount of downloaded but not watched video

Roger Hågensen rescator at emsai.net
Mon Jan 17 19:59:12 PST 2011

On 2011-01-18 01:30, Boris Zbarsky wrote:
> On 1/17/11 6:04 PM, Boris Zbarsky wrote:
>>  From a user's perspective (which is what I'm speaking as here), it
>> doesn't matter what the technology is. The point is that there is
>> prevalent UI out there right now where pausing a moving will keep
>> buffering it up and then you can watch it later. This is just as true
>> for 2-hour movies as it is for 2-minute ones, last I checked.
>> So one question is whether this is a UI that we want to support, given
>> existing user familiarity with it. If so, there are separate questions
>> about how to support it, of course.
> I checked with some other users who aren't me, as a sanity check, and 
> while all of them expected pausing a movie to buffer far enough to be 
> able to play through when unpaused, none of them really expected the 
> whole movie to buffer.  So it might in fact make the most sense to 
> stick to buffering when paused until we're in the playthrough state 
> and then stop, and have some other UI for making the moving available 
> offline.
> -Boris

A few other things to think about are the following:

It may sound odd but in low storage space situations, it may be 
necessary to unbuffer what has been played. Is this supported at all 

A lot of times I hit play, the movie buffers, fine. Then I skip to the 
middle maybe, but I can't since it hasn't buffered to that point yet.
I'm forced to wait for it to buffer up to that point before I can skip 
there. Which is a waste of time for me and more importantly a waste of 
bandwidth for both me and the server.

I think that the buffering should basically be a "moving window" (I hope 
most here are familiar with this term?),
and that the size of the moving window should be determined by storage 
space and bandwidth and browser preference and server preference,
plus make sure the window supports skipping anywhere without needing to 
buffer up to it, and avoid buffering from the start just because the 
user skipped back a little to catch something they missed (another 
This is the only logical way to do this really. Especially since HTTP 
1.1 has byterange support there is nothing preventing it from being 
implemented, and I assume other popular streaming protocols supports 
byterange as well?

And I agree on the offline UI, a way to say... right click and choose 
"Save for offline play" (and possibly a "Save" button if the player GUI 
on the page decides to present it obviously).

Roger "Rescator" Hågensen.
Freelancer - http://www.EmSai.net/

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