I’m trying to get a sense if any specific methods for uploading,
encoding, storing, and playing back video in a Rails app have become
more popular or reliable than others.
I’ve found several methods for making this happen but none are
standing out as the preferred method.
I have a feeling you’re not likely going to find a satisfactory answer
to this question. It’s too subjective. People are going to have a lot of
different ideas on these issues. Which, is why you are probably finding
a lot of different solutions being used for this.
It’s not really even possible to answer the first part of your question,
the part about uploading. There exists several different solutions that
work well in different situations. There’s attachment_fu, paperclip, and
I’m sure several others. Choosing which one is the “preferred method” is
going to be a matter of opinion. And that’s just the simplest part of
Encoding is, of course, going to be difficult to answer. It depends on
what codecs you want to support, what platform will be doing the
encoding, what quality vs. compression your trying to attain. There are
many question and one solution is not going to cover all cases.
The only good news I have for you is the last part. The playback will
not be handled by Rails anyway. That’s going to depend on what the
client has set to playback whatever codecs you decide to provide. For
instance, as a Mac user I prefer the QuickTime player/plugin, which I
use to playback most online video including QuickTime (mp4, mov),
Windows Media (wmf), Divx, etc. But, that’s certainly not going to be
the case for everyone.