I am excited to introduce this great open source project – Extensions for Windows Azure Media Services by Mariano Converti from Southworks. Microsoft has been working with Southworks for many projects and as mentioned by Mariano in his blog, the motivation for this project is that “I wanted to have it <SDK> available in a more consumable and reusable way instead of having to search/copy/paste/tweak the code every time.”
It has been over 8 months since the last Build was held in Seattle. I am preparing my Build presentation and started to realize how much progress our services made. Here is some major new features I want to share with you. As I promised, all code demo are available here for download: http://sdrv.ms/17lzuUL.
Dynamic Packaging with MPEG-DASH live profile streaming support
What is Dynamic packaging?
This is a feature we shipped since Feb this year, which enables you to reuse your encoded video (Mp4 or Smooth streaming) to delivery multiple adaptive streaming formats such as Http-live-streaming or Smooth Streaming, by simply changing the streaming URL. Therefore, you no longer need to go through an intermediate step which packages video asset into various streaming format. And you save costs for storing them – you just need to store the encoded video once. Below it’s a diagram that demonstrates the concepts I described above. And I have a separate blog on dynamic packaging feature.
This morning we released Windows Azure Media Services .NET SDK as a full open source project(Apache 2 license) on Github. Meanwhile, there are some new features and capabilities along with this release. These new capabilities include:
- • Storage 2.0 upgrade: we make our SDK compatible with storage SDK 2.0 now
- • Last version for storage 1.7: we released the last version of storage 1.7 with notification API but in the future, we will iterate on Storage 2.0 and above dependency
- • Notification APIs: adding encoding notification APIs enables you to monitor your encoding progress
Here is five simple steps for using Windows Azure Media Services .NET SDK on Github: Read More Here
This blog post is a walk-through on how to create HLS and Smooth Streaming assets using dynamic packaging with Windows Azure Media Services (WAMS), by using .NET SDK.
What is dynamic packing?
Before talking about dynamic packing, we have to mention what’s the traditional way of doing things. If you want to delivery both Http Live Streaming and Smooth Streaming, you have to store both of them. Therefore, you stream HLS content to iOS devices and Smooth Streaming content to Windows 8 for instance. However, by using dynamic packing feature in WAMS, You only need to store a Mp4 file in your storage, and we dynamically packaging Mp4 file into HLS or Smooth Streaming based on your client request. If it needs HLS stream, we will package Mp4 into HLS on the fly, and serve out to your client. In this case, you no longer need to store a copy of smooth streaming and HLS, hence, we help you save storage cost by half at least. This diagram below demonstrates what I just described: Read more here
This is my first time attending NAB show and this year, it was held at Vegas Convention center from April 6th to 11th. My team (Windows Azure Media Services) shared Microsoft booth area with other products such as Surface, Office 365 and Big Data. While setting up the booth on Sunday before the even started, I took a walk in the convention center and I saw booth setups with gigantic broadcast TV screens, pro-grade camera control panel, multi-angle cameras, it felt like being in Hollywood studios or Big News TV channels. When I joined the Windows Azure Media Services a year ago,it was to work on cloud computing technologies and I never thought I will end up being associated to the broadcasting industry. NAB Show, makes this association very tangible for me now, during these 4 days in Vegas, I felt the excitement of being part of such massive and fast moving industry. Broadcast business has its magic, it captivates its audience, it’s an art that I have witnessed in Vegas. Read more here
This blog is credited to Program Manager Anton Kucer in our Media services team. I learnt a lot pricing detail from a email conversation with him. If you choose to use Windows Azure Media Services, here is a detail explanation of what you will need to pay. Also, it provides some guidance on how you choose right amount of services such as # of reserved units. If you have more questions, please put your comments below and I will pick them up into Q&A section in this blog.
These are pricing details posted on official Windows Azure home page. Please read the official post first and if you still have questions, read this blog which is my best effort for explaining pricing. As said, if you choose to go through general media workflow (encoding your content and host them for streaming purpose), you will incur 4 types of costs. Read More Here
On Dec 14th 2012, we update our .NET SDK to 126.96.36.199 and you could download the latest SDK here. And starting from yesterday (Jan 14th, 2013), we drop the support for older version of .NET SDK, which we released in Preview. In another word, our server no longer recognizes some of your old APIs. If you find your older version of .NET SDK no longer works, don’t panic! Please read through this blog and see whether you could fix the code.
This blog gives an overview of what kind of client support Microsoft offers as part of Windows Azure media Services. On one side, you could create, manage, package and deliver media asset through Windows Azure media services. Many popular streaming formats are supported, such as Smooth Streaming, Http Llive Streaming and MPEG-dash. On the other hand, we provide various SDKs and frameworks for you to consume media asset by building rich media applications rapidly on many platforms, such as PC, XBox, mobile and etc.
VIDEO DELIVERY THROUGH BROWSER
Today, though people started to watch videos on different devices, video streaming on desktop through browser is the most popular way for video delivery. Most businesses built rich media applications with plugin such as Silverlight or Flash. For instance, Netflix web version is built using Silverlight and Hulu web version is using Flash. This plugin approach works fine for majority of operating systems and browsers. Read More Here
If you want to deliver video content to iOS devices and platform, the best option you have is to package your content into Http Live Streaming. HLS is Apple’s implementation of adaptive streaming and here is some useful resources from Apple. Apple implements the format but they don’t provide hosting. You could use Apache server for hosting HLS content, but better, you could choose Windows Azure Media Services – a way to host video in the cloud. Therefore, you don’t need to manage infrastructure and worry about scalability: Azure takes care of all that for you.
Scenario One: You have a .Mp4 file and you want to package into HLS and stream out from Windows Azure Media Services.
Here is how you could do it through Windows Azure Management Portal: Read More Here
I am pleased to announce that Windows Azure Media Services team is releasing a Windows Azure Media Player Framework Preview for iOS. This new framework is released as Open Source through Github: https://github.com/WindowsAzure/azure-media-player-framework and licensed under Apache 2.0.
What’s this framework for?
This framework enables developers to build native video application on iOS platform, which could consume secure HLS (Http live Streaming) content from Windows Azure Media Services. Mainly,this framework made easy for developers to integrate client-side advertisements. In the future we will also support various advertisement standards, such as VAST 3.0 and VMAP 1.0. Read More Here