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Development Process

Step 1: Create credentials for your mobile app

The SDK requires the use of an IBM Video Streaming Player SDK key, which is validated whenever the SDK communicates with IBM’s Video Streaming streaming servers. The sample application contains a sample SDK key which you can use for testing. The sample SDK key can only be used to play content on the test channel(s) also used in the sample app.

Before you can download and start using the IBM Video Streaming Player SDK for Android for playing content from your own channel(s), you will need to register the Key Hash of every app in which you will integrate the IBM Video Streaming Player SDK for Android. Every registered application will have its own IBM Video Streaming Player SDK key. Although there is a provided SDK key for the sample app’s sample content, you still need to register your Key Hash at IBM Video Streaming. This will ensure that you can build the sample project using your own certificates. Every time you create an instance of the PlayerFactory you must use your IBM Video Streaming Player SDK key.

Generate your Key Hash

There are three types of certificates that your application can be signed with. Each certificate generates a different Key Hash.

  • The debug key is used for development and testing (debug build).
  • The release key (or App Signing key) is used to sign your app when you release it to the Google Play Store (release build).
  • (Optional) The third type has been recently introduced with Google Play App Signing. Using this feature when you upload your release build to the Play Store Google will sign it again with your true release key. Therefore, you must generate key hashes for all three of your keys (Debug key, Upload key, App Signing key - managed by Google). For more information visit: Google Play App Signing

There are two ways to generate your Key Hash:

  • In your Android app:

    Execute this in a debug build and a in a release build too:

    Starting with 1.3.0 you can use to generate or check your current Key Hash from your application. This method basically executes the following lines without printing to the output:

    String packageName = context.getPackageName();
    PackageInfo packageInfo = context.getPackageManager().getPackageInfo(packageName, PackageManager.GET_SIGNATURES);
    byte[] signature = packageInfo.signatures[0].toByteArray();
    MessageDigest messageDigest = MessageDigest.getInstance("SHA");
    String keyHash = Base64.encodeToString(messageDigest.digest(signature), Base64.NO_WRAP);
    System.out.println("Key Hash is: "+keyHash);
  • Using the command line:

    • Install OpenSSL for your development platform.

    • Locate your keystore_file and replace CERTIFICATION_ALIAS with your alias below and execute the commands:

      keytool -exportcert -alias CERTIFICATION_ALIAS -keystore /path/to/keystore_file >your_company-debug.key
      openssl dgst -sha1 -binary your_company-debug.key | base64

      The output of the last command is your Key Hash.

      Remember to generate the identifier for your release certificate’s public key and every other debug certificate that your developers will use.

Enter credentials

  • Log-in into your account, navigate to the Dashboard and select “API/SDK access” under the “Integrations & Apps” menu.

  • In the “Mobile Player SDK” section, click on “Create new credentials” and provide a name for your application in the “Application name” field. Your credentials will be listed under the “API/SDK access” page based on this name.

  • Select Android in the “Platform” drop-down. Enter your Key Hash and Google Play Package Name in the respective fields.

  • After you have completed all fields, hit “Save” to generate your IBM Video Streaming Player SDK for Android credentials. Make sure that the “Key Hash” and “Google Play Package Name” are introduced correctly. If you accidentally saved wrong values, you can edit or delete your credentials, but beware as this will break any existing applications relying on those credentials.

Step 2: Download SDK package

After hitting “Save” in the “Create new credentials” step, you will see your credentials listed with the newly generated IBM Video Streaming Player SDK key.

Click to the “Android Player SDK” link near the “Download” to download the zip archive containing the SDK package.

Step 3: Explore the SDK package

The provided zip archive contains the sample Android application project for IBM Video Streaming Player SDK for Android. The sample application uses the Player SDK as an AAR dependency found in the /m2repository folder in the archive.

Step 4: Create (or open) your project

Open the project that you would like to integrate the IBM Video Streaming Player SDK in. Update the AndroidManifest.xml of your application with the following permission:

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />

Step 5: Add the SDK to the project

Import from local repo: copy the m2repository folder to your project. In your project’s build.gradle put the Player SDK dependency:

repositories {
maven {
name 'IBMLocal'
url new File("${rootProject.rootDir.path}/m2repository").toURI()
dependencies {
implementation ''

You can find this in the sample application also, just copy those settings.

Step 6: Create a Player

In your layout .xml

Place a PlayerView in your layout:

android:layout_width="match_parent" />

In your Activity or Fragment

Create a PlayerFactory in your Activity or Fragment with the Activity’s context:

private final PlayerFactory playerFactory = new PlayerFactory(IBM_PLAYER_SDK_KEY, context);

This factory can be used to create or retrieve IBM Video Streaming Player instances. IBM Video Streaming Players created for a specific playerId will be retained across configuration changes (like orientation change). Requesting a player with the same playerId will create a new Player interface, but that interface will belong to the same player instance. The previous player for the same id must be detached before attaching a new one.

In your Fragment’s onCreateView() or Activity’s onCreate() find your playerView and get a player instance from the factory:

final PlayerView playerView = (PlayerView)findViewById(;
Player player = playerFactory.createPlayer(playerId);

Where playerId can be:

  • a constant String value if the Activity will only contain one player instance.
  • a persisted String value for every player instance that the Activity contains. (saved in onSaveInstanceState() restored in onCreate())

The class is the point where you can interface with the Player SDK. Its methods send events to the player, and its states are observed through the listeners (see below). The Player’s methods are explained further in its Javadoc.

Step 7: Play live or recorded content

After the player is created, initialize it with a live or previously recorded video content. This will most likely be in your Activity’s onCreate() (Fragment’s onCreateView()). A player instance can be initialized more than once with different content, but connect() or play() must be called in order to reconnect to the servers. The connect() method is optional (a play() or pause() call will also handle it implicitly) though the player will respond to play() calls more quickly because it is already connected to IBM Video Streaming’s servers.

First time initialization:

// To play videos, use ContentType.RECORDED and the video id
ContentDescriptor contentDescriptor = new ContentDescriptor(ContentType.RECORDED, 54321);
// To play live streams, use ContentType.LIVE and the channel id
ContentDescriptor contentDescriptor = new ContentDescriptor(ContentType.LIVE, 12345);
if (!player.isInitialized()) {
If the password (or birthday) is known in advance (and it is known to be required)
it can be supplied here, for example:

Remember to define a string constant IBM_PLAYER_SDK_KEY with your actual IBM Video Streaming Player SDK key.

IBM Video Streaming Player SDK version 1.3.0 introduced changes in the user facing interface, see the CHANGELOG for details.

Setting your listeners

To receive state changes and other events from the player you need to set listeners. There are mandatory and optional ones, but all listeners must be set prior to calling player.attach() on your player instance. This should happen in the onResume() or onStart() callback of your Activity or Fragment. Calling attach() is an important step, this is where your listeners and the player view is bound to the Player SDK. Forgetting to call this will cause the player to not render video on your View, and you will not receive any callback on your listeners. Also, since version 0.9.0 this is the place to set your PlayerView to the IBM Video Streaming player. The reason behind this is, now you can optionally pre-buffer your player by calling player.pause() without the need to add a PlayerView. PlayerView can be set later, when it is appropriate. For example, a news feed like application’s PlayerViews will be in a RecyclerView.

protected void onResume() {

You also need to call player.detach() in your Activity’s or Fragment’s onPause() or onStop() callback, so your views can be recycled properly.

protected void onPause() {

See the next section and the sample application for more details.

Changing content

Changing content on an already initialized player (Please note detach() and attach() must be called to properly reinitialize views):

private void changeContent(ContentDescriptor nextContent) {

Step 8: Handle Player callbacks

State flow of the IBM Video Streaming Player SDK

This diagram represents the state flow of the Player SDK, the nodes are the states reported by the player, while the named edges are events that can be sent to the player. There is a decision in the flow that happens automatically based on the content selected (live or recorded).

State flow diagram

Generic callbacks

There are eight different listeners that you can add to the Player SDK instance to receive callbacks. Some of these listeners are mandatory, others are optional, but each listener represents a group of functionalities of the Player SDK.

The eight listeners are:

  • PlayerListener (mandatory)
  • ErrorListener (mandatory)
  • BufferingListener
  • ProgressListener
  • ViewerCountListener
  • LogoClickListener
  • MetaDataListener
  • MediaTrackChangeListener


The PlayerListener is the most important listener, this is also a mandatory one, you must provide it, or you will receive an exception. The Player SDK’s state is observed through this interface.

* Observes the state of the content playback.
* All callbacks represent mutually exclusive states.
public interface PlayerListener {


This is also a mandatory listener; the Player SDK reports all playback errors here. When an error occurs, the SDK will call the corresponding callback, then it will return to the stopped state, notifying the application using PlayerListener.onStopped().

* Observes the errors that can possibly occur in the player.
* The callbacks are called when playback is not possible and each callback
* represent a reason for the playback error.
public interface ErrorListener {


This is an optional listener, notifying the application about buffering starts and stops. The player will resume its previous operation when buffering is completed.

* Observes background network communication's state
public interface BufferingListener {
* Called when the player does not have enough video frame to continue


The ProgressListener provides information about the content’s duration and progress. This is an optional listener. Duration and progress values are in milliseconds.

public interface ProgressListener {
void onPositionUpdated(long positionMs);
void onDurationUpdated(long durationMs);
void onDurationDisabled();


The ViewerCountListener provides information about the content’s audience (all-time viewers and current concurrent viewers). This is an optional listener.

* Provides information about the current and total viewer numbers
public interface ViewerCountListener {
* Update of current viewer number.


The displayed logo has been clicked; you should open the URL in the callback’s parameter. This is an optional listener.

* Observes the click of the logo of a branded channel.
public interface LogoClickListener {


MetaDataListener provides updates of the content’s meta data, the callback is called when the metadata becomes available. This is an optional listener.

* Observes the metaData of the content
public interface MetaDataListener {
* Called when the content metadata becomes available


An optional listener to observe track changes in the player (audio, video, text).

  • onMediaTracksChanged(MediaTrackGroupHolder mediaTrackGroups)
    - called when the tracks become available or change during playback.
  • onVideoTrackSelectionChanged(@Nullable MediaTrackSelection trackSelection)
    - called when the selected video track is changed
  • onAudioTrackSelectionChanged(@Nullable MediaTrackSelection trackSelection)
    - called when the selected audio track is changed
  • onTextTrackSelectionChanged(@Nullable MediaTrackSelection trackSelection)
    - called when the selected text (subtitle / closed caption) track is changed
  • onVideoFormatChanged(MediaFormat videoFormat)
    - called when the video format of the selected video track is changed

The track selection can be controlled with following methods of Player:

  • selectTrackForRenderer(MediaTrack mediaTrack, @Nullable int[] selectedFormatIndices)
    - selects the supplied media track on the appropriate renderer.
    The Formats identified with the `selectedFormatIndices`'s values will take part in the selection.
    The latter parameter can be used to filter specific format for the selection, e.g. HD only.
  • selectDefaultTrack(MediaTrack.TrackType trackType)
    - Commands the appropriate renderer for the provided TrackType to switch to the default mediaTrack.
  • disableRenderer(MediaTrack.TrackType trackType)
    - Commands the appropriate renderer for the provided TrackType to disable rendering.

For more details see javadoc in MediaTrackChangeListener and Player classes.

Interactive callbacks

The onStopped() callback in PlayerListener indicate a full stop and disconnect from IBM Video Streaming’s servers. If the disconnect happened due to an error, the appropriate callback of ErrorListener indicates the reason. Some of these errors can be resolved by you or the user of your application.

Errors that can be resolved by user (or developer) interaction:

Password lock

The requested content requires a password. This is represented by receiving an onPasswordLock() callback. After acquiring the password, call player.setPassword(password); then restart the playback by;.

Hash lock (deprecated)

The requested content requires a valid hash token to be unlocked. This is represented by receiving an onHashLock() callback. After authenticating with your Hash service (old Viewer Authentication) and receiving a hash, call player.setHash(hash); then restart the playback by;

This feature is deprecated and it is scheduled to be removed in 2022 Q1. Please migrate to Viewer Authentication instead.

Viewer Authentication

The requested content requires Viewer Authentication. This is represented by receiving an onViewerAuthLock(authUrl) callback. Use the url provided in the authUrl parameter to determine where to go to authenticate. After receiving the token, call player.setViewerAuthToken(token) then restart the playback by (for example);.

Viewer Authentication is replacing “Hash lock”. It is a modernised and hardened version of authentication. Please migrate your code to this version. For more information on the flow please refer to the Viewer Authentication API documentation.

Transient errors

Some errors may occur only temporarily, these might be resolved by retrying the playback with the exact same parameters.

Connection Error

This is a network error, and it is represented by a call to onConnectionError(). Connection errors can happen for various reasons, but most likely there is a problem with the internet connection, (usually it is only temporary) you can try again later by calling:;

The player will try to resolve most of the connection problems internally, but sometimes it is unable to do so.

Viewer Hour Limit lock

The broadcaster’s viewer hours are spent. This user can not watch the stream at the moment, try again by calling:;

This error is presented by a call to onViewerHourLimitLock().

Unknown Error

This indicates a problem that the Player SDK couldn’t determine, (most likely only temporary) try again by calling:;

This error is presented by a call to onUnknownError().

Other errors

There are certain errors that could happen due to certain Account, Channel or Video configurations, misconfiguration of the Player instance or even due to context related parameters (even geo location of the viewer). These errors can not be resolved by the viewers nor will go away by themselves.

Invalid API Key

This is a misconfiguration of the Player SDK. The provided IBM Video Streaming Player SDK key is not authorized to play this content. You need to create a new Player SDK Factory instance to provide the correct key. The key needs to be set upon factory creation: new PlayerFactory(IBM_PLAYER_SDK_KEY, context);.

This error is presented by a call to onInvalidApiKey().

No Such Content

This is a misconfiguration of the Player SDK. The requested live channel or recorded video does not exist.

This error is presented by a call to onNoSuchContent().

Content Not Playable

The requested recorded video is not available in a playable format. The Player couldn’t acquire a format to play that this device supports.

This error is presented by a call to onContentNotPlayable().

Geo lock

The requested content is not playable in the user’s current geo location. This can happen if account, channel or video specific restrictions have been applied on the Dashboard.

This error is presented by a call to onGeoLock().

General Restriction

There are security restrictions set for the channel, that do not enable the Player SDK to play this content, or your channel has reached its maximum concurrent viewer number. The latter can be resolved by retrying later, to resolve the former the channel’s settings must be modified.

This error is presented by a call to onRestricted().

All of these callbacks discussed in sections Interactive callbacks, Transient errors and Other errors can be found in