Media Web Part (MWP) is new Silverlight based web part that can be used to play videos and audios. As it’s a new web part, there have been many doubts/questions around this web part. I plan to clear those doubts in this post using a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) format. Here we go.

1. How do I use Media Web Part?

You can do this through  Video and Audio button on the Ribbon interface on Insert tab. For step-by-step details look at SharePoint 2010: Media Web Part blog post by Chakkaradeep

2. What file formats are supported or can be played in Media Web Part?

Media Web Part is a Silverlight control. So, all the formats supported by Silverlight can be played using MWP. Look at this article for details on that: Supported Media Formats, Protocols, and Log Fields.

3. Can I used Media Web Part to play flash Videos?

No. As Silverlight does not support flash, hence, you can’t play flash videos.

4. Then how can I play flash videos in SharePoint?

You’d need to embed the HTML <object> tag in your pages. There are number of ways you can do that. You can either use out-of-the-box Content Editor web part to embed your <object> tag. If you don’t want to play with HTML, you can use some of open source or third party web parts such as Flash Animation Web Part

5. Can I play videos/audios from other web sites OR I need to store video in local SharePoint site?

You can play videos from external sites (including streaming videos) as well videos in local SharePoint site.

6. Can I use Media Web Part in SharePoint Foundation 2010?

No, Media Web Part is included in Publishing feature, which is only available in SharePoint Server 2010.

7. Can I used Media Web Part in SharePoint 2007?

No, it’s only available in SharePoint Server 2010.

8. Why can’t I embed videos in SharePoint blog site using Media Web Part?

As mentioned above, Media Web Part is included in Publishing feature, which is only available in SharePoint Server 2010. Whereas the blog site template is included in SharePoint Foundation and hence can’t used publishing features.

9. If if have SharePoint Server license, can I use Media Web Part in blog site template?

Yes, you can do this with some bit of extra work with JavaScript. For details. see Video Blogging with Javascript and the Media Web Part blog post by SharePoint Designer Team

10. Can I change URL of the video being played by Media Web Part dynamically at client side?

Yes. Media Web Part exposes JavaScript object model that you can use to manipulate the behavior of Media Web Part in the browser. One example of this is shown in Video Blogging post mentioned in Q 9. For details, see How to: Configure the MediaWebPart Object Using ECMAScript

11. Can I use Media Web part to make complex video sharing web sites in SharePoint?

Yes, You can use Media Web Part and digital asset management (DAM) features in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010  to create a customized social media sharing site. As an example of a video page, you can look at Videos page at SharePoint Official web site.

MSDN has published a series of walkthroughs to describe the whole process:

12. Can I use Media Web part to play any size of video?

No, you should carefully plan the use of Media Web Part or digital content in general. Playing large files can affect the performance of your application drastically, if not planned properly. You need to look at factors such as available bandwidth between clients and server, server configurations (RAM, CPU, Disk Speeds) and advanced features provided be IIS and SharePoint – Bit Rate Throttling and BLOB cache. Bit Rate Throttling is an IIS 7.0 extension that meters the download speeds of media file types and data between a server and a client computer. Based on these factors, you should decide the maximum size of your videos and audios. Details discussion on these factors is beyond the scope of this. However, you should look at the following resources:

13. What is "Play media links in browser" option in Content Query Web Part (CQWP) ? OR I don’t want to use MWP as I need to set preview image URL and Media URL for every video that I need to show. Isn’t there something that can show me list of all media content available and I can play any of those by just clicking on those?

When you upload a video as OOB Video content type or some content type inheriting from Video content type, you get additional Video playing features OOB. For example, if you have an Asset Library showing some digital content (Video, Audio or Image) in Thumbnails view, when you hover over or click an item, it pops up a small window showing the properties of digital item and with relevant links (such as Play, View Item etc.). When you click “Play” it plays the video in the browser itself, through a Silverlight overlay player. You need not use any Media Web Web part for this.

CQWP also behaves in the same way, when you select "Play media links in browser" option in web part properties, presentation section.