Player SDK for iOS (v1.7.0)

IBM Video Streaming Player SDK for iOS v1.7.0


The IBM Video Streaming Player SDK lets you play IBM Video Streaming live and recorded videos in your native applications. Using the native SDK gives you full control over the Player, including a customizable native user interface, callbacks on status changes, and many more.

This document describes the basic steps to make a mobile app using the Player SDK for iOS.

Before you begin

Account prerequisites

Before going into details, please note that document assumes the following:

  • You have a registered user at
  • Your IBM Video Streaming user is entitled to use the IBM Video Streaming Player SDK specifically. Log-in to Dashboard, and check “API/SDK access” under the “Integrations & Apps” section.

If you have questions, please contact us.

Development prerequisites


We recommend using the most recent version of Xcode.

Minimum OS version

The Player SDK requires iOS 8.0 or above.

Development process

Step 1: Create credentials for your mobile app

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

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 iOS in the “Platform” drop-down. Enter the “bundle id” in its respective field.

After you completed all fields, hit “Save” to generate your SDK credentials. Make sure that the “bundle id” is introduced correctly, as you will have no possibility to update them later. If you accidentally saved wrong values, start the process from the beginning and create new credentials with the correct values.

Step 2: Download SDK package

After hitting “Save” in the “Create new credentials” step, you will see your credentials listed.

Click to the “iOS 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 binary framework and a sample application.

Step 4: Create (or open) your project

Open the project that you would like to integrate the SDK in.

Step 5: Add the SDK to the project

Add the framework

Drag iOSPlayerSDK.framework into the Embedded Binaries section of your target.

Add new build phase

Since Apple does not strip the Simulator slice from embedded frameworks, we have to do it before submitting the application. This step is implemented in the sample application as the final Build Phase: Strip embedded frameworks. Please add a similar build step to your application, using the script invoked from the reference solution: It’s a simple shell script which extracts the valid architectures from the FAT binary in the IBM Video Streaming Player SDK.

Copy the file into your project’s source folder. Add a new Run Script Phase in your target’s Build Phases. This new build phase should come after the Embed Frameworks phase. Copy the following to the shell text area: "${SRCROOT}/"

Step 6: Register your app at IBM Video Streaming

The SDK requires the use of a IBM Video Streaming Player SDK key, which is validated whenever the SDK communicates with IBM 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.

Note: Although there is a provided SDK key for the sample app’s sample content, you still need to register your identifier at IBM Video Streaming. This will ensure that you can build the sample project using your own certificates.

Before you can start using the Player SDK for playing content from your own channel(s), you will need to:

  • Get a valid IBM Video Streaming Player SDK key owned by the IBM Video Streaming user that owns the content you would like to play.

  • Register the bundle identifier(s) – of every app in which you will integrate the IBM Video Streaming Player SDK in – at IBM Video Streaming.

The application identifier is typically structured as

Before you can create and use an instance of the player you have to configure the lib with your IBM Video Streaming Player SDK key:

[USUstreamPlayer configureWithApiKey:<#place your SDK key here#>];

Step 7: Create a Player

USUstreamPlayer can be instantiated in the usual way using alloc + init or new. The created player object is a subclass of the USUstreamPlayer optimized for the targeted device (iPhone or iPad).

For example:

@import iOSPlayerSDK;

self.ustreamPlayer = [[USUstreamPlayer alloc] init];
self.ustreamPlayer.delegate = self;
self.ustreamPlayer.view.frame = self.view.bounds;
[self.view addSubview:self.ustreamPlayer.view];

Step 8: Play live or recorded content

By now you have configured your player and it is ready to play live and recorded video content via IBM Video Streaming.

USUstreamPlayer can play different kinds of media:

  • Live streams
  • Recorded videos

For example, you can play the live video streamed right now on your channel:

USMediaDescriptor *mediaDescriptor = [USMediaDescriptor channelDescriptorWithID:<#place your channel ID here#>];
[self.ustreamPlayer playMedia:mediaDescriptor];

Step 9: Handle Player callbacks

IBM Video Streaming content owners can protect their content using various “locks” that implement password protection, age restriction and other limitations. Streaming servers reject clients connecting for playback if lock conditions are not met. The SDK calls the appropriate callback function to indicate this to the application.

Generic callbacks

USUstreamPlayer reports its state changes using the USPlayerDelegate protocol. It may also require user interaction in case the servers indicate the Player about content restrictions (so-called “locks”) set up by the IBM Video Streaming user. In order to catch these callbacks, you have to set a handler conforming to protocol USPlayerDelegate as a delegate of your player instance.

For example:

self.ustreamPlayer.delegate = self;
Player state is changed

The player instance reports its state changes so that application states can be updated accordingly. For example, your app can change the layout of the player screen depending on whether playback is in progress.

When the Player sends the callback: playerStateDidChange: it indicates that the state of the Player has changed so that you may choose to act on it. The states are listed in the USPlayerState enum.

Interactive callbacks

Callbacks caught can be “interactive”: they can be used to reconnect for playback using some kind of user input.

Password lock

When the Player sends the callback: playerRequiresPassword: it waits for a password belonging to the locked content. You can provide the password using continueWithPassword: If you provide the password, the player validates it and starts playing the content if the password is valid. Otherwise it calls back again with playerRequiresPassword:.

Age lock

When the Player sends the callback playerRequiresAgeConfirmation:ageRequired: or the callback: playerRequiresBirthdate: you need to ask the user’s birth date without hints to the required age. If the user-specified age is not less than the required age, you can continue the playback with continueWithAgeConfirmed.

Customizing the Player UI

USUstreamPlayer includes a full-featured user interface by default, including a control bar, loading and error views. You can change this behavior by setting the playerControlStyle property of the player. By setting it to USPlayerControlStyleNone you can instruct the player to display media only, without any decoration views.

In case you don’t want to handle all the player states and error cases manually, you can also reconfigure the control bars by setting their content using the USUstreamPlayer (USToolbar) category.

You can set any of the player toolbar’s contents using the -[USToolbar setToolbarItems:animated:] API. The standard toolbar items are accessible in the USUstreamPlayer (USToolbar) category, and you can create your own items as well by subclassing USToolbarItem.


USPrebufferingController provides an API allowing faster playback. If you provide a content list to be prepared for playback, you will likely get a player prepared to start the playback instantly.


  1. Create a content list in priority order as soon as possible. For example if the application contains a list of videos then the priority order may be determined based on the distance of the video cell from the screen centre. The list must contain USMediaDescriptor objects.

  2. Enqueue the content list for preparation using the enqueueForPlaybackPreparation: method.

  3. Update the list whenever it is needed by calling enqueueForPlaybackPreparation: with a new list. For example when the user is scrolling up/down in the list.

  4. Request a USUstreamPlayer for a media using playerForMedia: when the user is initiating a playback, eg. when a video is selected.

  5. Present the requested player.


  • The content list can be updated freely anytime, it won’t trigger re-buffering on an existing player.
  • The provided player is owned by the caller, it may be used as any other player created with [[USUstreamPlayer alloc] init] for example.
  • If the caller releases the player its resources will be reused for the other enqueued content.
  • If a content was not enqueued but a player is requested for it then the user will get a cold player which will start in buffering state, but it is a completely valid usage.
  • If it is appropriate then call cancelPlaybackPreparations to release system resources.
  • If playerForMedia: is called multiple times with the same USMediaDescriptor it will return the same player instance. You should create a different USMediaDescriptor object for each occurrences in order to get different players for them.

Background audio

USUstreamPlayer can be configured so if the app goes to background, the audio will continue to play. To enable the feature set your application’s Background Mode to Audio, AirPlay, and Picture in Picture (select your project file, select Capabilities tab, open “Background Mode”, and select “Audio, AirPlay, and Picture in Picture”). The feature can be enabled per USUstreamPlayer instance, set continuePlaybackInBackground property to YES. To configure the Control Center and Lock Screen audio control widget please refer to Background Player sample in our Sample App.

DFP Integration

The SDK supports serving ads with Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) service.


  1. Add Google IMA SDK for iOS to the project either by CocoaPods or manually as it is described in IMA SDK’s developer documentation.
  2. Generate Google IMA tag on DFP Dashboard under Inventory/units.
  3. Create a USUstreamPlayer instance.
  4. Configure ad serving using configureAdServiceWithGoogleIMATag:customMetadata:minAdFreeTimeInterval:allowPreroll: or configureAdServiceWithGoogleIMATag:customMetadata:cuePoints:allowPreroll:.


The SDK by default provides all texts in English only. If you want to support other languages and/or redefine texts, include the keys listed below into the localization files of your application. If you don’t redefine these keys, then the SDK will fall back to the localizations included in the resource bundle of the SDK.

Keys English values
USPlayer.content.status.offline This channel is off-air.
USPlayer.content.status.realizing Initializing…
USPlayer.content.status.unrealized Loading failed, please try again.
USPlayer.content.status.unrealized Loading failed, please try again.
USPlayer.content.lock.ageLock This content is age-restricted.
USPlayer.content.lock.birthdateLock This content is age-restricted. Please provide your birthdate.
USPlayer.content.lock.geoLimitLock Too many viewers in your area.
USPlayer.content.lock.geoLock This content is not available in your area.
USPlayer.content.lock.hashLock This content is not supported in the mobile apps. Please use a browser for watching.
USPlayer.content.lock.IPLock This content is not available in your network.
USPlayer.content.lock.passwordLock This content is password-protected.
USPlayer.content.lock.refererLock Viewer limit exceeded.
USPlayer.content.lock.unknownLock This content is not supported.
USPlayer.content.error.update Sorry, something went wrong. Please try again.
USPlayer.content.error.connect Connection error. Please try again.
USPlayer.content.error.unsuported Unsupported content.
USPlayer.content.error.deleted This video has been removed by the owner.
USPlayer.content.error.inexistent This content is inaccessible. Try again later.
USPlayer.content.error.unknown Sorry, something went wrong. Please try again.
USPlayer.content.error.authentication Invalid password.
USPlayer.content.error.timeout Loading timeout, please try again.
USPlayer.player.external.title AirPlay
USPlayer.player.external.message This video is playing on “Apple TV”.
USPlayer.player.audioOnly Playing audio only…
USPlayer.player.status.buffering Buffering…
USPlayer.control.viewerCount %d viewers
USPlayer.player.started.justNow Started just now
USPlayer.player.started.years Started years ago
USPlayer.player.started.months Started months ago
USPlayer.player.started.weeks Started weeks ago
USPlayer.player.started.days Started days ago
USPlayer.player.started.hours Started %dh %dm ago
USPlayer.player.started.minutes Started %dm ago
USPlayer.player.status.finished finished
USPlayer.content.error.age Age unconfirmed or too young user


See the for changes.