Here is a cool Chrome extension built by Google’s François Beaufort to demonstrate one of the most exciting extension APIs currently in development. “TED Talks” extension adds the TED talk videos feed right on your Files app as another drive and plays those videos using Chrome OS’ native video player.
François Beaufort needs no introduction to readers of Chrome Story and Chrome enthusiasts in general. He has done a few beautiful Chrome extensions and apps in the past, mainly to demonstrate cool new extension APIs. This time, the API that he uses is called File System Provider API.
Official description says it is a “File System Provider API allows extensions to support virtual file systems, which are available in the file manager on Chrome OS. Use cases include decompressing archives and accessing files in a cloud service other than Drive.” Think of adding Dropbox as a separate drive on your Chromebook’s file manager, just like you have Google Drive there now. This API is for things like that.
The TED Talks extension is a simple demonstration of the File System Provider API, adding the TED talks video feed on your Files app as a separate drive. Click any talks, and the video will start streaming using the native video player. I would love to see it adding support of downloading video files for offline playback, but still, this is a cool concept. I cannot wait for an official Dropbox extension that adds Dropbox drive!
Update: Thanks to Joey-Elijah Sneddon, we have a workaround for the offline playback. You can drag and drop videos to the Downloads section of the app and rename it to .mp4!