How to Download Streaming Video With the JW Player

By David Wayne

Download JW Player videos for offline viewing.
i Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The JW Player is a Web-based media player that uses a JavaScript application programming interface to implement features such as playlist creation, closed captioning and downloading videos. When available, the Video Download button opens a video in a new browser tab from which you can download the original content in MP4 format.

Download Video From a Browser Window

The JW Player requires a few lines of JavaScript code to display a download button, and only the site administrator can add this option. If the video you want to download already has a download button, click “Download” to open the video in a new browser tab, and then right-click the video and select “Save Video As” to select a folder on your computer and save the video. This context menu option is the same in any Web browser.

Add a Video Download Button

Open your Web page's HTML file in a text editor such as Microsoft Notepad. JW Player's simple JavaScript API provides a large number of customizable features that you can implement by pasting scripts into your website's HTML body. Visit the Video Download Button page on the LongTail Video site (link in Resources) to copy the two embed scripts listed, and then paste the scripts at the location in your HTML file where you want to place the video player.

Authorize JW Player

JW Player offers free and paid accounts, and the player works only after you authorize it in your site's HTML head section. Most sites use the cloud-hosted JW Player, which includes a simpler setup than the self-hosted player. Visit the Embedding the Player page on the LongTail Video site (link in Resources). If your player is cloud-hosted, copy the JavaScript library code from the Cloud-Hosted section, and then paste it within your HTML file's head section. If your player is self-hosted, copy the library and authorization codes from the Self-Hosted section, and then paste them in your site's HTML head section.

Upload JW Player to Your Website

If you don't already have one, download a free FTP program such as FileZilla, SmartFTP or Free FTP (links in Resources). Contact your Web host to get your site's host name, and then enter it in the Host Name field. Enter your username and password in the appropriate fields, and then click “Connect.” The Local Site panel displays the files and folders on your hard drive, and the Remote Site panel displays the files uploaded to your Web server. Drag your site's HTML file to the Remote Site panel to upload it to the server.