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12/06/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/06/2021 12:12

Agora Video for WordPress v3.0

The Agora Developer Community team is happy to announce the release of Agora Video for WordPress v3.0, which adds new features, exposes more customizations, and resolves existing issues. Version 3.0 adds support for moderator controls in a live stream and improves the Cloud Recording experience by making it easier to access and embed recordings from live streams, along with new channel settings to enable more features and give more control over the live video streaming experience.

All the features discussed below require an Agora Developer Account - Sign up here.

The version 3.0 release is a major release but still offers full backwards compatibility with all existing releases. All new feature settings are disabled by default to avoid causing unexpected behavior in existing installations.

Let's take a look at all the new features v3.0 brings to the Agora Video for WordPress plugin.

Cloud Recording video playback using shortcodes

One of the biggest new features in Agora Video for WordPress v3.0, is the introduction of shortcodes to embed recorded sessions into pages or posts. In the past, when using the Agora Cloud Recording feature, it was up to admin users to retrieve the video files from their CDN and then find a way to embed them into pages and posts. In v3.0, sessions recorded using the Agora Cloud Recording feature will now appear in the Recordings section of the plugin.

Admin users can embed all videos, and filter by type (individual/composite) or by specific dates and individual users (for individual recordings).

Cloud Recording settings

Keeping with the Cloud Recordings features, V3.0 expands to add support for customizing the Cloud Recording settings to allow for individual or composite recordings and set the recording layout in composite mode.

Channel admin user (44)

In communication mode, admins can set a channel host that will enable moderator controls, allowing the host to mute other users' mic and video streams, remove users from the channel, and send a request to a user to unmute their mic.

Aside from muting and removing users, channel admins can be given the power to force unmute a user's camera and mic. This feature is intended to allow for instances where the users joining the channel may need more support from channel admins. This feature is off by default.

Pre-call/device-test view

In V3.0, there is a new pre-call test option in the channel settings.

This allows users to accept camera permissions, select their mic/video devices, and preview themselves before joining the channel.

Floating or grid layout option per channel

In the channel settings, there is an option to set the channel layout to either grid or speaker view, which is a floating layout with the active speaker as the main focus and all other users ∂displayed in a row either above, below, or to the side of the active speaker video stream..

Now in the Agora plugin settings, admin users can drag and drop to choose where to display the remote streams in the speaker view.

Color customizations for all UI elements

Version 3.0 brings the power of customization without having to create your own CSS to customize the existing styles. In the plugin settings tab admin users can now customize the colors to match the site's theme.

Limit number of hosts in a communication channel

In the channel settings, there is now a field to limit the number of users in a communications channel. This excludes the channel admin broadcasters that are defined in the first settings block on the channel settings page.

Improved handling for browser autoplay policies

In v3 there are two updates to help address autoplay issues. The best remedy is preventative, so there is a new pre-call test option in the channel settings. Unfortunately this doesn't solve all the autoplay policy issues. In the version 3.0 release when the browser's autoplay policy is enforced, there is a visible call to action for the user to "Click to unmute" the muted video elements.

Auto-mute mic/audio on channel start (53)

In some instances, admins may want users to join on audio mute, or they may want to set a channel as audio-only by muting the video by default.

Chat now supports sending and receiving files

The in-channel chat now supports sending files.

Currently, the file types that can be sent are limited to:

.jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png, .bmp, .svg, .tiff, .aif, .cda, .mid, .midi, .mp3, .mpa, .ogg, .wav, .wma, .mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .mkv, .7z, .arj, .deb, .pkg, .rar, .rpm, .targz, .z, .zip, .pdf, .csv, .log, .json, .doc, .docx, .rtf, .tex, .txt, .wpd , .odt,x.ls, .xlsx, .key, .odp, .pps, .ppt, and .pptx

Ghost mode

Version 3.0 brings support for ghost mode so that users who mute their audio and video will have their presence removed from the call layout. This allows for optimizing the UI around the users who are active in the channel.

Chat history

Version 3.0 adds support for storing the chat history from a broadcast.

Note: When implementing this feature, we chose to store the data in the installed WordPress instance's database so that admins can control their data.

Feature Requests

Recording config settings (55)

As part of the v3.0 release, Agora Video for WordPress now supports customizing the type of recording (composite or individual) along with the ability to set the layout in the channel's recording configuration settings.

Add device (mic/video) selection to communication mode (62)

Version 3.0 brings mic and video input selection to communication mode in order to give users control over which mic or camera device they use.

Add Cloud Recording to communication mode (66)

With the release of v3.0, Agora Cloud Recording is now supported in channels using communication mode.

Resolved Issues

Agora Video for WordPress v3.0 release brings resolutions for all open issues raised in the Official Agora Video for WordPress GitHub.

Chat window covers UI on mobile (94)

In v3 there is a setting in the plugin's admin settings to select the placement of the chat window and the remote speakers in the floating view. The remote speakers settings are not enforced within in grid layout.

Unclear how to unmute when Microphone Unmute icon appears after browser autoplay policy is enforced (101).

This issue was the main driver for the two updates to help address autoplay issues. The new pre-call test option in the channel settings aims to resolve autoplay issues in communication mode. The new call-to-action message that appears when the browser's autoplay policy is enforced aims to resolve autoplay issues in broadcast mode.

Blank box appears when an audience member joins (103).

In version 3.0 we resolved a bug that caused blank host boxes to appear when audience members joined a broadcast.

Other Resources

Need to learn how to get started? Check out my "Agora Video for WordPress plugin - QuickStart Guide". As mentioned, all the features outlined above require an Agora Developer Account - Sign up here.

We're excited to see all of the amazing and interesting projects everyone is working on using the Agora Video for WordPress plugin. I invite you to join the Agora Developer Slack community or submit a ticket using the Agora Console.

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If you have questions, please call us at 408-879-5885. We'd be happy to help you add voice or video chat, streaming and messaging into your apps.