John's Blog: Display-Only Video Files

October 4, 2013

If your Rumpus server is heavy with video files, you may want to offer certain users the ability to view files within the browser, but not download those files. As usual, it's not quite as simple as it seems...

Important Caveat!

It's simply not possible to allow a user to view a file and be 100% sure they won't somehow save the video. In order for a computer to display a video, the video file must be sent, in some manner, to that computer. A savvy user could, for example, use simple screen grabbing software to record their screen as your video plays. There's just no way to prevent it. What you can do, though, is make it non-obvious and difficult.

Kiosk Mode & The Content Wrapper

First, since a video can't be played on a user's computer unless the browser is able to download the file, you need to enable file downloads for any accounts that will need to view the videos. While you don't want users to download and save files, if you prevent users from downloading the videos, there's no way for them to access the file to display the video.

Instead, use the "Content Wrapper" link type in Rumpus. The Rumpus content wrapper is optimized for displaying videos, and automatically tells the browser that the video should be displayed in "kiosk mode". Again, there's no way to be certain that the user won't figure out some way to save the video, but kiosk mode signals to the Web browser that the video is for display only. With kiosk mode enabled, browsers shouldn't offer users any easy way to save the video to their local hard drive.

Assuming you have enabled thumbnail view in Rumpus, just set the "Thumbnail Link" (on the "Web Settings" window, "Thumbnails" tab) to "Content Wrapper". With that option set, Rumpus will display your files in a formatted page, properly sized for the video and in kiosk mode, whenever a user clicks a video file in a thumbnail directory listing. If you also allow standard view listings, choose the content wrapper option as the "Filename Link" on the "Actions" tab, and be sure to set the "Alternate Link" to "None" so that no secondary link is offered. (Of course, if you want users to be able to view and download video files, just set the Alternate Link to "Download".)

Applying Content Wrappers To Specific Users

It's likely that you'll want this behavior only for certain users, and that's easy enough to accomplish. Create a second WFM domain in Rumpus with the file link options set as I've described, then assign that domain to those accounts who should have restricted access. See the "User-Specific Interfaces" screencast video for a quick tutorial:

http://www.maxum.com/Rumpus/Screencasts.html

As always, if you have trouble, send mail to support@maxum.com.

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