Introducing fleex Player
We’ve been through another period of intense development, to release what we think may radically change the way people use fleex to improve their English: a brand new VLC-based video player that packs all of fleex’s good stuff within a simple desktop app. Here’s what to expect from it.
Back to basics: local files = desktop app / streaming = browser
Using fleex with your own videos was always a bit of a broken experience. First of all, it was essentially made of a weird combination: local files, in a web browser.
The ability to play a video file on your computer has been around for quite a while, as has the notion of streaming a video stream from a website. However, these have traditionally been 2 very separate experience: if you wanted to play a video file from your hard drive, you used a desktop app. If you wanted to stream a video from the web, you fired up you browser. Using a browser to play a local video file was quite unheard of. Somehow though it was at the heart of the ‘fleex your own videos’ experience, making the whole rather convoluted for most users.
With the introduction of the fleex player, we are moving back to a more standard approach: if you want to watch a local video, you can use our desktop app. If you prefer streaming, you can go to http://fleex.tv/Home/Streaming and check out our online catalog.
Better subtitles search
Finding the right subtitles for a video is a pain - if you’ve done it before, you know what I’m talking about. Fleex has paired up with opensubtitles to provide you with the best possible experience in subtitles searching. We don’t use your video’s filename to find matching subs: instead, we look at the file itself to generate a unique digital footprint that we then use to find subtitles. Think of it as a kind of Shazam, only for subtitles matching. This greatly reduces the risk of out-of-sync subtitles, as we are searching for subs corresponding to your exact video, whatever the release, encoding, repack, etc.
While this was already available in previous versions, the fleex player does add a new, long-awaited feature: the ability to submit your own subtitles file. Sometimes, with all the efforts in the world, our algorithm will fail at finding the right subtitles for your video. When that happens though, you’re not left with no options: you can now look for subtitles yourself on subtitles site, and submit them directly from within the fleex app.
Another feature we added to subtitles handling is live updating. If you’re not sure about what subtitles are the right ones for your video, fear not: you can click play and rest assured that you can make another selection anytime during the video. Simply click the ‘subtitles settings’ button, select the ‘Change subtitles’ tab and update your selection.
The learning experience: all of fleex’s features, with your own videos
The new fleex player adds the complete, full-blown fleex experience to your own videos. All the features you’ve come to love are available: adaptative subtitles, clickable words, subtitles navigation, idioms recognition… Plus one new little thing, in the form of that little turtle icon next to the ‘stop’ button: click it, and we’ll slow the video down for you so you can take the time to decorticate each and every word you hear.
What about fleex Premium?
As this post is being written, fleex player is at version 1.1.0 - the second version after the initial release, which happened about 2 weeks ago. In an effort to stay as lean as possible, we decided not to look too much into integrating fleex premium’s features into the player. This is of course a temporary situation, as this will change in the coming days. Incidentally, if you are a fleex premium user the only thing you won’t be able to do is adding words to your list - grammar notions recognition, highlighting of words in your list and progress tracking remain available in the player’s current version.
What about fleex for Mac / Linux?
Mac and Linux versions are in the works, and while we cannot communicate on a fixed release date we can assure you that we’re doing everything we can to get it out there as soon as we can. To be notified of new releases, you can follow us on twitter.
NB: For more discussions about fleex player, head over to Hacker News