Page Last Updated: Saturday, August 24, 2013 4:59 PM
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When I launched my site back in April 2007, I had the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Zoo Atlanta, and Memphis Zoo cams, later adding the San Diego Zoo cams. At that time, the National Zoo cams were Microsoft Windows Media Player based, which was easy for me to work with and embed on my websites. When the cams went dark for upgrades on May 29, 2013; I expected the zoo to retain the Windows Media Player or upgrade to Adobe Flash based, like Zoo Atlanta, Memphis Zoo and the San Diego Zoo. When the cams back on-line July 22, 2013; I began to try to re-add them back to website. To my surprise, they National Zoo did not retain Windows Media Player base or upgrade to Adobe Flash based cams. The zoo opted to use proprietary JW Player based cams, with Apple HLS Streaming. (More information: JW Player | Apple HLS Streaming)
After trying many different things, contacting people, reading website and online forums and not succeeding, I contacted JW Player to see if they could assist me. They informed me that I needed to purchase JW Player Premium for $299 per year to be able embed an HLS Stream cam on my websites. JW Player has 4 versions: Free ($0 per year), Pro ($99 per year), Premium ($299 per year), and Ads ($499 per year). Premium and Ads are the only two versions that support Apple HLS Streaming. I could not find any other way to embed it without paying for the Premium version.
I have over 18 years and counting of technology experience including hardware, software, networking, and coding. Add to that an Associates of Applied Science in Computer Applications, and a Bachelors of Information Technology degree plus countless certificates; but this just has me stumped. At the time of writing this, the only way to embed the National Zoo cams is to pay for JW Player Premium for $299 per year; unless I find a cheaper/free work-around. I love my website and my fans even more, but $299 per year is a lot of money, that will add up over the years. To host my website and maintain it, it’s cost me only my Comcast cable TV/Internet bill which includes personal websites. I have no need to upgrade to a paid hosting service, when Comcast offers everything that I need. Even if I did upgrade to a paid hosting service, it would not help me re-add the National Zoo cams.
For now, I am no longer going to work on trying to re-add the National Zoo cams back to website; by no means is this ultimatum. Between life, work, and the free time I have on the weekends; I don’t have the time to devote to this. For now, I will focus my attention on my site overhaul, since there are a lot of things that need to be updated and fixed; once that is done, I can re-focus my attention on re-adding the National Zoo cams. For the time being, I have added two buttons above the cams to that will take you directly the Smithsonian’s National Zoo website. I hope everyone understands.
Sincerely, Your Web Master
~ Daniel Reidel - firstname.lastname@example.org ( PDF version of this statement )
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