Velvet Video Stacks

Velvet Video | Nick Cates Design | $39.00

Velvet Video is a stack that allows you to display a video thumbnail – singly, in a grid or as part of a slideshow (see below) – that when clicked or tapped opens smoothly to play at full size. Videos must be hosted on either Vimeo or YouTube and self-hosting is not supported by this stack.

There are two components – the Velvet Base stack which contains general settings for controlling the shadow, opacity and zoom overlay colour of the light boxed player as well as whether videos should auto-play and zoom to full size. You can also set a break point below which the video will simply play in position – which is important when viewing video content on mobile devices.

Once the Base stack is in place you can start to add individual Velvet Video stacks. Each of these needs a simple video ID from YouTube or Vimeo and an image to use as a thumbnail; you can select one of six different play icon styles and position these in any of seven positions on your video (or you can hide the play icon if you’re already using one from your video source) as well as setting the size and colour and whether or not there’s a hover overlay.

Video stacks placed on the page simply fill the width of their container which means you can use Stacks’ built in columns to create a good looking, evenly spaced set of video thumbs quickly and easily. But it’s Velvet’s ability to sit inside any slider that allows you to use stacks instead of images which we really like, making it possible to produce a video slideshow using a stack like Elixir’s Orbit or Nick Cates’ own Superflex (which also automatically inserts thumbnails under the ‘now playing’ slide).

There’s no getting away from the fact that as stacks go, $39.00 is a considerable investment, but for that price you’re getting a slick, rock solid and versatile way to display videos from YouTube and Vimeo; and the ability to work alongside Superflex makes for a very powerful combination.

Rob Beattie

Rob Beattie is a freelance copywriter who designs sites using Rapidweaver. He's been reviewing computer hardware, software and web services since 1981. Yes...that long. And he's also the author of 101 Things to Do in a Shed, Fishing: A Very Peculiar History, and The Bluffer's Guide to Fishing.