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Tracking Overview

This documentation covers tracking in version 2.x of the SDK. If you are implementing a 1.x version of the SDK, you can download 1.x Developers Guides here: Download SDKs.

Player Events

Tracking core playback includes tracking media load, media start, media pause, and media complete. Although not mandatory, tracking buffering and seeking are also core components used for tracking content playback. In your media player API, identify the player events that correspond with the Media SDK tracking calls, and code your event handlers to call tracking APIs, and to populate required and optional variables.

On media load

  • Create the media object
  • Populate metadata
  • Call
    trackSessionStart
    ; For example:
    trackSessionStart(mediaObject, contextData)

On media start

  • Call
    trackPlay

On pause/resume

  • Call
    trackPause
  • Call
    trackPlay
     
    when playback resumes

On media complete

  • Call
    trackComplete

On media abort

  • Call
    trackSessionEnd

When scrubbing starts

  • Call
    trackEvent(SeekStart)

When scrubbing ends

  • Call
    trackEvent(SeekComplete)

When buffering starts

  • Call
    trackEvent(BufferStart);

When buffering ends

  • Call
    trackEvent(BufferComplete);
The playhead position is set as part of the set-up and configuration code. For more information about
getCurrentPlayheadTime
, see Overview: General Implementation Guidelines.

Implement

  1. Initial tracking setup -
    Identify when the user triggers the intention of playback (the user clicks play and/or autoplay is on) and create a
    MediaObject
    instance using the media information for content name, content ID, content length, and stream type.
    MediaObject
    reference:
    Variable Name
    Description
    Required
    name
    Content name
    Yes
    mediaid
    Content unique identifier
    Yes
    length
    Content length
    Yes
    streamType
    Stream type
    Yes
    mediaType
    Media type (audio or video content)
    Yes
    StreamType
    constants:
    Constant Name
    Description
    VOD
    Stream type for Video on Demand.
    LIVE
    Stream type for Live content.
    LINEAR
    Stream type for Linear content.
    AOD
    Stream type for audio on demand
    AUDIOBOOK
    Stream type for audio book
    PODCAST
    Stream type for Podcast
    MediaType
    constants:
    Constant Name
    Description
    Audio
    Media type for Audio streams.
    Video
    Media type for Video streams.
    The general format for creating the
    MediaObject
    is
    MediaHeartbeat.createMediaObject(<MEDIA_NAME>, <MEDIA_ID>, <MEDIA_LENGTH>, <STREAM_TYPE>, <MEDIA_TYPE>);
  2. Attach metadata -
    Optionally attach standard and/or custom metadata objects to the tracking session through context data variables.
    • Standard metadata -
      Attaching the standard metadata object to the media object is optional.
      Instantiate a standard metdata object, populate the desired variables, and set the metadata object on the Media Heartbeat object.
      See the comprehensive list of metadata here: Audio and video parameters.
    • Custom metadata -
      Create a variable object for the custom variables and populate with the data for this content.
  3. Track the intention to start playback -
    To begin tracking a session, call
    trackSessionStart
    on the Media Heartbeat instance.
    trackSessionStart
    tracks the user intention of playback, not the beginning of the playback. This API is used to load the data/metadata and to estimate the time-to-start QoS metric (the time duration between
    trackSessionStart
    and
    trackPlay
    ).
    If you are not using custom metadata, simply send an empty object for the
    data
    argument in
    trackSessionStart
    .
  4. Track the actual start of playback -
    Identify the event from the media player for the beginning of the playback, where the first frame of the content is rendered on the screen, and call
    trackPlay
    .
  5. Track the completion of playback -
    Identify the event from the media player for the completion of the playback, where the user has watched the content until the end, and call
    trackComplete
    .
  6. Track the end of the session -
    Identify the event from the media player for the unloading/closing of the playback, where the user closes the content and/or the content is completed and has been unloaded, and call
    trackSessionEnd
    .
    trackSessionEnd
    marks the end of a tracking session. If the session was successfully watched to completion, where the user watched the content until the end, ensure that
    trackComplete
    is called before
    trackSessionEnd
    . Any other
    track*
    API call is ignored after
    trackSessionEnd
    , except for
    trackSessionStart
    for a new tracking session.
  7. Track all possible pause scenarios -
    Identify the event from the media player for pause and call
    trackPause
    .
    Pause Scenarios -
    Identify any scenario in which the Player will pause and make sure that
    trackPause
    is properly called. The following scenarios all require that your app call
    trackPause()
    :
    • The user explicitly hits pause in the app.
    • The player puts itself into the Pause state.
    • (
      Mobile Apps
      ) - The user puts the application into the background, but you want the app to keep the session open.
    • (
      Mobile Apps
      ) - Any type of system interrupt occurs that causes an application to be backgrounded. For example, the user receives a call, or a pop up from another application occurs, but you want the application to keep the session alive to give the user the opportunity to resume the content from the point of interruption.
  8. Identify the event from the player for play and/or resume from pause and call
    trackPlay
    .
    This may be the same event source that was used in Step 4. Ensure that each
    trackPause()
    API call is paired with a following
    trackPlay()
    API call when the playback resumes.
  9. Listen for playback seeking events from the media player. On seek start event notification, track seeking using the
    SeekStart
    event.
  10. On seek complete notification from the media player, track the end of seeking using the
    SeekComplete
    event.
  11. Listen for the playback buffering events from media player, and on buffer start event notification, track buffering using the
    BufferStart
    event.
  12. On buffer complete notification from the media player, track the end of buffering using the
    BufferComplete
    event.
See examples of each step in the following platform-specific topics, and look at the sample players included with your SDKs.
For a simple example of playback tracking, see this use of the JavaScript 2.x SDK in an HTML5 player:
/* Call on media start */ if (e.type == "play") { // Check for start of media if (!sessionStarted) { /* Set media info */ /* MediaHeartbeat.createMediaObject(<MEDIA_NAME>, <MEDIA_ID>, <MEDIA_LENGTH>, <MEDIA_STREAMTYPE>, <MEDIA_MEDIATYPE>);*/ var mediaInfo = MediaHeartbeat.createMediaObject( document.getElementsByTagName('video')[0].getAttribute("name"), document.getElementsByTagName('video')[0].getAttribute("id"), video.duration, MediaHeartbeat.StreamType.VOD); /* Set custom context data */ var customVideoMetadata = { isUserLoggedIn: "false", tvStation: "Sample TV station", programmer: "Sample programmer" }; /* Set standard video metadata */ var standardVideoMetadata = {}; standardVideoMetadata[MediaHeartbeat.VideoMetadataKeys.EPISODE] = "Sample Episode"; standardVideoMetadata[MediaHeartbeat.VideoMetadataKeys.SHOW] = "Sample Show"; mediaInfo.setValue(MediaHeartbeat.MediaObjectKey.StandardVideoMetadata, standardVideoMetadata); // Start Session this.mediaHeartbeat.trackSessionStart(mediaInfo, customVideoMetadata); // Track play this.mediaHeartbeat.trackPlay(); sessionStarted = true; } else { // Track play for resuming playack this.mediaHeartbeat.trackPlay(); } }; /* Call on video complete */ if (e.type == "ended") { console.log("video ended"); this.mediaHeartbeat.trackComplete(); this.mediaHeartbeat.trackSessionEnd(); sessionStarted = false; }; /* Call on pause */ if (e.type == "pause") { this.mediaHeartbeat.trackPause(); }; /* Call on scrub start */ if (e.type == "seeking") { this.mediaHeartbeat.trackEvent(MediaHeartbeat.Event.SeekStart); }; /* Call on scrub stop */ if (e.type == "seeked") { this.mediaHeartbeat.trackEvent(MediaHeartbeat.Event.SeekComplete); }; /* Call on buffer start */ if (e.type == “buffering”) { this.mediaHeartbeat.trackEvent(MediaHeartbeat.Event.BufferStart); }; /* Call on buffer complete */ if (e.type == “buffered”) { this.mediaHeartbeat.trackEvent(MediaHeartbeat.Event.BufferComplete); };

Validate

For information on validating your implementation, see Validation.