Media Services

How to debug for AES encrypted stream in Azure Media Services

Here is some tips to help you debug your stream while configuring AES dynamic encryption in Azure Media Services. Please leave your questions if you don’t find it covered below so I could add yours. I intend to introduce tools to help you easily diagnostic your problem, however, all these steps introduced below can be achieved using APIs as well.

Before going into any of the step below, please double check whether you have at least 1 streaming reserved unit configured. You will need that to proceed with dynamic encryption. The following picture shows the correct setting under Streaming Endpoint tab in your media account: Read More…

How to configure ACS with Media Services key services

This blog shows you how to configure ACS with Azure Media Services AES/PlayReady license services with token authentication. The source code is listed here: Please download the source code in order to configure Key authorization policy.

1. Go to the Active Directory Tab in the Azure Management Portal 

2. Click on Access Control Namespaces in options at the top of the page and click “+ New” and select Access Control -> Quick Create to create a new ACS Namespace. Read More here

Q&A about AES and PlayReady License service

This is the Q&A page for AES and PlayReady license service in Azure Media Services, please email if you have any questions. 


  1. How can we setup a PlayReady license server in Azure Media Services?

You could either configure a license server through portal or our REST or .NET SDK. You could view the set up tutorial here.

  1. How can we manage content key in Azure? [encrypt/decrypt content]

The IContentKey interface and the ContentKeyCollection in our .Net Client SDK is used to interact with Content Keys in our system.  You can create them, delete them, get the clear key value back, etc.  There are also SDKs for other languages or a REST API if that works better for your development environment.

Our system also includes encoding as well as packaging the content for PlayReady either via static or dynamic packaging (if you are using our streaming endpoints as origin).

Read more here

How to integrate Azure PlayReady License service with your own encryptor/streaming server

Azure Media Services announced the Public Availability of Azure Media Services Content Protection a month ago, which offers the capability to encrypt your media content with AES or PlayReady content protection. Now, with Media Services, you could ingest, encode, adding content protection and stream your content. However, there are customers who ask me the question, what if I want to just move my License/key delivery server onto Azure Cloud Platform first, and keep my encoding, encryptor and streaming server on premises, could I do it with Azure? The answer is yes, and this blog would walk you through the integration. I will use PlayReady as an example to explain the concept in this blog, however, the same logic applies to AES key server integration as well. Read more here

Dynamic Encryption vs. Static Encryption with Azure Media Services

In Azure Media Services, there are two ways to encrypt your content regardless you are applying common encryption (PlayReady) or envelope encryption (AES) onto your content: dynamic encryption or static encryption. This blog will explain to you the difference and when to use which.

Dynamic Encryption:

This is what we always recommend. Once you encode your file into multi-bitrate Mp4, you could configure the file to be encrypted by defining Content Key, Content Key authorization policy and asset delivery policy. The file is stored in clear in the storage, of course, you could put storage encryption on the container, which is optional. After configuration, our streaming server will apply sample level encryption on your media file on the fly. For example, if you configure AES dynamic encryption for HLS streaming protocol, our streaming server will encrypt your file on the fly with AES envelope encryption and deliver through HLS. Below is a diagram to show you how dynamic encryption works in Azure Media Services: Read more here

Useful resources for Windows Azure Media Services

This blog provides some information and links to learn Windows Azure Media Services and I hope you found it useful.

If you are new to Windows Azure Media Services, here is how you could get started:

  • • Read the major features and scenarios through Windows Azure website
  • • .NET tutorial for getting started with Media services (link)
  • • Please ask questions on Windows Azure Media Services Forum (link)
  • • Pricing detail for Windows Azure Media Services (link)

Read more here

Announcing Windows Azure Media Services .NET SDK Extensions Version 2.0

I am excited to announce that our Windows Azure Media services Extension SDK version 2.0 just released! If you were using the first version of extension SDK, please pay attention because this version includes a few breaking changes – we had a round of redesign for our existing extension APIs.

What is extension SDK?

This extension SDK is a great initiative by developer Mariano Conveti from our partner Southworks. This SDK extension library contains a set of extension methods and helpers for the Windows Azure Media Services SDK for .NET. You could get the source code from Github repository or install Nuget package to start using it. Read more here

Windows Azure Media Services Pricing Details

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

Client Ecosystem for Windows Azure Media Services

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.


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

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