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The Ecncoding.com team is excited to announce our new Dynamic Text Overlay feature as the latest addition to our suite of automated editing features. We believe that this new feature will be a catalyst to power an important new trend in producing high volume, personalized video experiences based on stored user data.
Dynamic Text Overlay enables publishers to programmatically (via an API workflow) integrate custom text into different queue points and frame positions within a source video. Utilizing granular controls such as live fonts, colors, rotations, positions, size, start and duration points, the custom text appears to be integrated directly within the video.
To give this feature a proper test run, we partnered with Google to power a high volume custom workflow to promote Google Hangouts presented by Wallace and Gromit. The custom Google Hangouts invitation process was open to the public and promoted globally on the google.com home page, CNN, ESPN and other high-traffic sites. Speed and massive scalability were critical requirements for their desired customer experience. Total video job upload, transcoding, text overlay, and delivery needed to be accomplished in less than 30 seconds with peak volume reaching 50 new videos per second.
Google gathered data from users and passed the custom text along with style and placement instructions via a single API call to Enocding.com.
During the encoding process, the custom invitation text was placed at a specific start point and followed specific duration and style instructions to create the illusion that the text appeared as if integrated during the original editing process.
The possibilities to use Dynamic Text Overlays programmatically are virtually endless. Imagine pulling data from user profiles to create on-the-fly, personalized commercials or integrating user data or images into the storyline of a short film to create a unique viewing experience. Encoding.com provides massive cloud computing scale and an API based workflow with Dynamic Text Overlays to automate what used to be unreachable – unique, personalized video experiences.
Baseline encoding speed is now 4X faster!
Encoding.com offers three processing speed levels (baseline,turbo, twin turbo) allowing maximum flexibility on a per output task basis to use speed only when you need it. We have now upgraded our baseline encoding profile to utilize more threads and encode on average 4 times faster!
Optimized S3 transit
We have implemented a new multithreaded transfer protocol that greatly accelerates transmit time out of Amazon S3's storage location. On average we are seeing a 4-5X speed improvement with peak up to 10x faster than our legacy protocol. If your source media is stored on Amazon S3, you can activate multithread download by adding ?multithread parameter to your source URLs. If you are utilizing the ?nocopy function already then you can use both together by appending ?nocopy&multithread to your source URLs
To further bolster our advanced editing services we have now added the ability create video slideshows from multiple images and an audio tracks. We can support source images in .jpeg and .png and we support audio source in mpeg audio, mpeg-4, or wav formats. To create your own video slideshow simply specify <slideshow>1</slideshow> within the Main Fields of your API request. As default each slide has a duration of 3 seconds however you can customize duration by appending ?duration= to the source image path. See oue Slideshow API docs for details:
1. <?xml version="1.0"?> 2. <query> 3. <action>AddMedia</action> 4. <userid>*</userid> 5. <userkey>*</userkey> 6. <source>http://www.example.com/Chrysanthemum.jpg</source> 7. <source>http://www.example.com/Desert.jpg?duration=5</source> 8. <source>http://www.example.com/Hydrangeas.jpg</source> 9. <source>http://www.example.com/Jellyfish.jpg</source> 10. <source>http://www.example.com/Koala.jpg</source> 11. <source>http://www.example.com/Lighthouse.jpg</source> 12. <source>http://www.example.com/Penguins.jpg</source> 13. <source>http://www.example.com/Tulips.jpg</source> 14. <source>http://www.example.com/music.wav</source> 15. <slideshow>1</slideshow> 16. <region>us-east-1</region> 17. <split_screen/> 18. <format> 19. <output>mp4</output> 20. <bitrate>2000k</bitrate> 21. </format> 22. </query>
Adaptive HLS Resolution
As Apple's HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol gains adoption in OTT devices like the Roku, Apple TV, Boxee, Google TV, and Samsung Smart TVs as well as desktop HLS implemetnations like JWPLayer it is important to deliver a wider set of resolutions (beyond iOS resolutions) in your HLS stream. We have updated our default settings to allow multiple resolutions within a single HLS stream, and also updated our default settings to include 7 resolutions with recommended bitrates, frame rates, and keyframes from the HLS specs:
<sizes>0x720,0x576,0x480,0x432,0x360,0x288,0x240</sizes> <bitrates>3000k,2000k,1600k,1200k,800k,360K,120k</bitrates> <framerates>29.97,29.97,29.97,29.97,29.97,24,15</framerates> <keyframes>90,90,90,90,90,72,45</keyframes>
The Encoding.com team is excited to announce that Discovery Communications, the world’s #1 nonfiction media company, will leverage our cloud transcoding platform and Vid.ly universal video delivery solution to enable video playback across web, mobile and set-top box platforms for Discovery’s TV and digital brands, including:
Watch Revision3 Video Case Study:
At Encoding.com, we all agree that building the world's most powerful private cloud transcoding platform is a good time. Even more fun is watching our resident stunt goat Clive take it for a test drive. Unfortunately, even the great Clive went from goat to chicken when he overheard the roar of 32 core multi-threading servers and 1Gbps ingest/egress using Aspera fasp 3™ technology.
Therefore, we are offering a reward of $1,000 in free encoding credit to the Encoding.com community member willing to brave unprecedented speed, put the pedal to the metal, and encode the largest volume of video in December using Encoding.com private cloud!
Using the Encoding.com Private Cloud is easy, you can keep all of your encoding settings the same and simply specify a new region in your API request. Click here for complete instructions.
The rules are simple:
- Only one winner will be selected
- Encoding credit will be awarded to the primary account holder
- Encoding credit may only be redeemed by the primary account holder
- Encoding credit must be used by 1/1/2014
- Encoding credit is not applicable for discounts on existing contracts
At Encoding.com, we have cloud-based video transcoding on our minds round-the-clock. However, we also recognize that not everyone is an expert on the topic. For those interested, we put together this handy Encoding 101 guide to answer 5 common introductory questions about cloud-based video transcoding. Enjoy!
What is Cloud-Based Video Transcoding?
Cloud-based video transcoding converts video for playback across a broad spectrum of media players, operating systems, devices and browsers using the infinitely scaleable, parallel processing capabilities of cloud computing. Users only pay for the transcoding volume they use as-a-service avoiding unnecessary infrastructure investments, development resources and ongoing R&D. Robust cloud-based encoding solutions provide value added services including editing and customization features, packaging options (e.g. digital rights management), closed captioning and more.
How do I use Cloud-Based Video Transcoding?
In the case of Encoding.com, the simplest solution is often Vid.ly Universal URL for enterprise-grade, hosted video delivery as-a-service. Users upload video via our browser-based interface or API and receive a universal embed code and URL for universal playback. Any time the hosted video is viewed, Vid.ly runs device detection to stream an optimized video format tailored to the viewer's unique playback environment. In addition, our easy-to-use browser based UI, well documented XML API, Watch Folder tool, and high-speed Desktop Uploader integrate seamlessly into any video workflow. Interested in some use cases? Check out how AOL and Revision3 are using cloud-based video transcoding.
Why do I need to transcode video in the Cloud?
You need to be profitable. Utilizing a transcoding solution that maximizes your audience and delivers superior quality is an imperative. Also, you need to minimize R&D costs required to remain current with the latest and greatest formats, bit rates, codecs, etc… while reducing your CAPEX and in-house management costs. Achieving profitability and self-sustainability are two key reasons why broadcasters, production houses, digital agency’s, VOD services and key players throughout the “video eco-system” often utilize cloud video transcoding to address their daily workflow requirements.
What opportunities does transcoding video in the cloud create?
You are in the business of providing engaging video programming and delivering a seamless user experience. A robust cloud-based encoding solution can further automate your workflow and free up valuable resources to focus on feature and performance enhancements: video player customization, content targeting, social media and community-building tools, language localization, and so much more.
What if I have already invested in on-site transcoding infrastructure?
Cloud-based encoding vs. investment in on-site encoding infrastructure is NOT a mutually exclusive decision. In fact, many businesses implement a hybrid model in which cloud transcoding is used to manage jobs that exceed the capacity of on-site infrastructure. Also, cloud-based encoding is popular for specific use cases such as transcoding a massive file library without bogging down on-site infrastructure.
This past weekend, Red Bull entertained San Francisco with their world famous Flugtag competition. Over 116,000 spectators (included members of the Encoding.com team) were in attendance to enjoy this exciting event filled with engineering marvels and mishaps. RED Bull also produces some amazing videos. Enjoy this Vid.ly as one of our most creative clients brings together extreme sports athletes to create the ultimate Rube Goldberg machine!
Encoding.com remains commited to providing our community with powerful, user firendly, cloud encoding solutions. Our new Desktop Uploader makes it easy for anyone to batch upload large source files and process them in parallel at a massive scale. Simply drag source files into the Encoding.com icon in your toolbar and your done!
Since launching our Universal Closed Captioning solution for delivery
to all devices, we have received many great questions from the
Encoding.com community. Here are answers to three frequent
questions. Thanks for all the interest and Keep asking questions!
What's the difference between closed captions and subtitles?
Closed captions as a concept is unique to the States; Europeans refer to them as “subtitles for the hard of hearing” and deliver them as such. There are some technical differences. The practical difference in North America (or Region 1 for all you DVD watchers) is viewers use their TV remote to turn on closed captions and use the remote for their DVD player to switch on subtitles. Most digital TVs make it dead simple to turn on the closed caption decoders. You will need to use the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad to turn on closed captions (ex: this is great for watching Breaking Bad on a noisy train). Your Android device probably depends on subtitles instead of closed captions.
How does player and authoring software create, store and read closed captions?
With two competitive mechanisms. Closed captions may be:
1. Stored in a video file: closed captions are either CEA-608 (analog) or CEA-708 (digital) tracks in a video file. 3GPP Timed Text is the standard for subtitles stored in MP4 and 3GP files. These formats are either stored as a data track or encoded in a video stream itself. Most DVDs distributed in America contain analog closed captions. Broadcasters use digital closed captions for all their programming. The HTTP Live Streaming format supports analog and digital closed captions. The most recent FCC regulations require closed captions stored in a video file.
2. Stored in a text file: SCC, SRT, DFXP, and SAMI files may contain closed captions. These formats provide timed textual information outside the video file. SCC is frequently used in authoring environments (ex: Avid, Premiere, Final Cut Pro). Browser-based video players (ex: Flash, Silverlight, HTML5) generally rely on sidecars to deliver closed captions. Video players native to Android generally require sidecars. (We’ve encountered no Android device that has a closed caption decoder.) Apple’s mobile devices can decode both analog and digital captions. Subtitles for the hard of hearing (and other users) are stored in a text file.
How do closed captions impact the bottom line directly?
Adding closed captions increases the value of a given video file by vastly increasing its addressable audience. Let’s review 4 ways that closed captions can expand your reach:
1. They are commonly used by the over 38 million Americans who are hard of hearing
2. They are commonly used in workplaces, in public or wherever it gets loud
3. As the Boomers age, more Americans will need closed captions
4. They are a popular learning tool for people studying to achieve advanced proficiency in American English
Encoding.com is the first and only encoding service to offer universal closed captioning support for delivery to all devices. Our powerful, reliable, scalable feature set for closed caption workflows enables digital video distributors to achieve critical business objectives such as:
Assure compliance with impending Video Accessibility Act deadlines
Expand the size and demographic of their audience
Deliver support for popular learning tools
Eliminate the hassle of implementing complex or limited closed captioning workflows. Encoding.com’s full-featured closed captioning solution makes it simple to:
Seamlessly integrate with any existing digital video authoring and distribution workflow
Extract, inject, copy and mux closed captions tracks into sidecar (text) files or digital video
Extract standard closed caption tracks from source files and convert them into sidecar files
Copy closed caption or timed text tracks from source videos to output videos
Mux a sidecar file with a source video to encode closed caption tracks into output videos.
Flexible and Scalable Workflow
By offering a complete suite of closed captioning features, Encoding.com enables customers to ingest and output closed captions in useful ways. For example:
MP4 with caption track in CEA-608 format
MP4 with a SCC sidecar file
MP4 with caption track in CEA-708 format
MP4 with a SRT sidecar file
MP4 with caption track in MPEG-4 Part 17 format
MP4 with CEA-608 caption track
3GP with caption track in 3GPP Timed Text format
MP4 with MPEG-4 TT subtitle track
MPEG-2 with caption track in CEA-608 format
3GP with 3GPP TT subtitle track
ASF with caption track in CEA-608 format
HLS with CEA-608 caption track
MOV with a sidecar file in SCC format
MPEG-2 with CEA-608 caption track
FLV with a caption track in SRT MP4 with a sidecar file in DFXP format
MOV with a SCC sidecar file
MP4 with a sidecar file in DFXP format
MP4 with a sidecar file in SAMI format
MP4 with a sidecar file in SCC format
We want to integrate our captioning feature set with your existing workflow seamlessly. That is why our closed caption feature set is turned off by default. You can fully specify your closed caption workflow in the instructions you send to our system, so you have complete flexibility.. Other software packages and services make assumptions about closed caption workflows. The problem with this approach is you run the risk of making inaccurate assumptions. For example, one cloud-based service currently on the market will automatically copy analog captions (if present in the source video) into an MP4 output file. This output is useless in the real world for several reasons:
Most mobile devices (laptops, tablets and phones) don’t have the decoder all flat screens use to display closed caption tracks.
MPEG-4 standard specifies subtitles instead of closed captions. That’s why iOS devices expect the standard MPEG-4 Part 17 subtitles in an MP4 file.
Video players in Android devices require sidecars (SRT files, mostly).
Browser-based players generally require sidecar files to display closed captions for the same reason. It is possible to add analog closed captions to an MP4, but it is also pointless.
Automating such an irregular workflow wastes resources, confuses customers, slows things down and can upset project managers. That’s why we decided to enable customers to specify how to process their closed captions workflow with our API.
Processing Closed Captions with Encoding.com’s API
The Closed Caption feature set is available within our API to rapidly upgrade our customers’ digital video authoring and distribution workflows. The new feature set permits customers to extract closed captions from source files stored somewhere on the Internet and convert them into sidecar files. Customers can also copy a closed caption or timed text track from a source video into an output video. And we allow customers to mux a sidecar file (in SRT or SCC format) with a source video to encode a valid closed caption track into their output videos. The idea is to use the cloud to empower customers to easily increase their addressable audience while saving money and obeying the law.
Here is a complete summary of the XML required to process closed captions in a valid HTTP POST with parameter (xml) submitted to the Encoding.com API:
<?xml version="1.0"?> <query> <action>AddMedia</action> <userid>[UserID]</userid> <userkey>[UserKey]</userkey> <source>[SourceURL]</source> <format> <output>[preset_profile_name]</output> <closed_captions> <source>[closed_caption_source_file_url]</source> <copy>[yes|no]</copy> <extract>[srt|scc]</extract> <mux_type>[cea-608|timed-text]</mux_type> <language>[LanguageCode]</language> </closed_captions> <destination>[OutputURL]</destination> <format> </query>
Let’s review the three new features in a little more detail: extract, mux and copy:
Extraction of a closed caption sidecar file is often necessary. Browser-based video players can’t read closed caption tracks in digital videos. Android video players mostly require sidecar files as well. Editing and authoring suites depend on sidecar files to make it easier for video editors to do their jobs.
Encoding.com is the only cloud transcoding provider to support extraction of closed caption "sidecar" files from the most common closed caption tracks in HD television (CEA-708) and SD television (CEA-608) programming. We also extract the closed captions from 3GPP TT or MPEG-4 Part 17 tracks in a video file. You can produce output video in any format while extracting a caption track as a SCC or SRT sidecar.
Muxing a sidecar with a video file is a common requirement. Editors often use SCC sidecars to exchange timed text information among authoring tools, files and/or colleagues. DVD publishers convert SCC files into analog closed captions to encode into their MPEG-2 creations. Digital captions have to become analog captions before they can be inserted into HTTP Live Streaming files for delivery to iOS apps. There are other common workflows. It makes sense to do this work using a SaaS like the Encoding.com platform
Do you have analog captions in a library of ASF, MOV, MXF, MPEG-2, or some other kind of files? Do you need HTTP Live Streaming output but don’t want to waste time extracting and muxing pesky sidecar files? Do you have 3GPP Timed Text captions in 3GP files and need them in MP4 files instead? Customers have both these problems. <copy> solves them. It rocks.
Create Closed Caption Output From Source File and Sidecar File
Example: NBC might need to mux subtitles into video files for a new iPhone app.
<format> <output>iPhone_stream</output> <closed_captions> <source>ftp://files.nbc.com/Grimm/episode_1.srt</source> <mux_type>cea-608</mux_type> </closed_captions> </format>
Extract Sidecar Files from Source Files for Browsers
Amazon Instant Video might need to extract sidecars for browser-based players.
<format> <output>mp4</output> <closed_captions> <extract>srt</extract> </closed_captions> </format>
Create Video for iOS with Closed Captions from the Edit Bay
Example: NBA might need SCC files muxed with ASF files to play in iOS apps.
<format> <output>iPad_stream</output> <closed_captions> <source>ftp://files.nba.com/publish/game_upc.scc</source> <mux_type>cea-608</mux_type> </closed_captions> </format> <format> <output>mp4</output> <closed_captions> <source>ftp://files.nba.com/publish/game_upc.scc</source> <mux_type>timed text</mux_type> </closed_captions> </format>
Create iPhone and HTML5 closed captions from Legacy Video Library
Example: MTV might need to extract captions from MPEG-2s for iPad and a Flash player.
<format> <output>iPad_stream</output> <closed_captions> <copy>yes</copy> </closed_captions> </format> <format> <output>mp4</output> <closed_captions> <extract>scc</extract> </closed_captions> </format>
Closed Captions Q&A
The Encoding.com API makes it really simple to extract, inject, mux or copy closed captions of any kind for distribution to most mobile digital video platforms. As we work together, please feel free to reach out to us through our helpdesk or via live chat to get answers to questions. You can also get direct access to these features for free on our introductory developer accounts. Just sign up for a free 1GB account
API Documentation for Closed Captions
Allowed values: closed captions in [SCC|SRT|DFXP|SAMI] format ---> NOTE: For DFXP and SAMI, all stylization would be removed.
Allowed values: yes, no
Default value: no
Supported source tracks: [CEA-608|CEA-708|3GPP TT|MPEG-4 TT]
Supported output tracks: [CEA-608|3GPP TT|MPEG-4 TT]
NOTE: If <mux_type></mux_type> is not referenced, <copy>yes</copy> will literally copy the source track in the source format to the output video file. It is important to determine whether closed captions in your source format can be read successfully in your output video format.
Allowed values: timed-text, cea-608
Default value: none
Required values: URL for subtitle file & URL for source video
Captions may be muxed into video files as either:
3GPP Timed Text track (MPEG-4 Part 17 track): <mux_type>timed-text</mux_type>
CEA-608 (A/53) track: <mux_type>cea-608</mux_type>
NOTE: The CEA-608 mux type may only be used with output profiles that use the x264 video codec. This feature cannot support any other video codec in output with this caption track format selected.
Allowed values: srt, scc
Default value: none
Captions may be extracted from 3GPP TT or CEA-608/708 tracks into either:
Scenarist Closed Caption
Sidecar will be named source_file_name.scc
Sidecar will be delivered to the same destination location as output file.
Sidecar will be named source_file_name.srt
Sidecar will be delivered to the same destination location as output file.
Introducing a browser-based UI that makes enterprise grade cloud
encoding a reality for everyone...from studio professional to hobbyist
Maintaining our promise and dedication to our community of API power users
To date, the most common use case for cloud video encoding is high volume SD or HD video content. This represents a large segment of the overall video encoding marketplace and Encoding.com has worked hard for over 5 years to serve it well (We are now encoding several million videos a month!). News organizations, broadcasters, UGV sites, online video platforms, video training tools, and premium brands who publish high volumes of video content daily have integrated the Encoding.com API into their content management systems or applications. Offloading transcoding and delivery of their content at scale allows them to focus on their video production and customer experience instead of managing encoding engines and maintaining encoding farms. The encoding speed, scale and features available in the Encoding.com API remains unrivaled anywhere the industry. Moreover the Encoding.com API offers over a dozen open source and commercial encoding/decoding/editing/packaging engines within a single API framework and is backed both by the massive computing power of the Amazon, and Rackspace public clouds and now the Encoding.com Private Cloud.
Welcoming a new segment of Encoding.com power user
We have talked with countless customers who have much more unique and diverse video encoding needs than a high volume API based workflow. We believe there is a large segment of the video encoding market that wants the power of the cloud and does not want the hassle or complexity of desktop software or on premise encoding appliances. The reason cloud video encoding services have failed to serve any other market segment is that no service to-date has invested the time and resources to bringing professional quality video encoding features and usability from the API to the browser. That is until now.
Encoding.com has changed the video encoding landscape yet again by bringing all of the power and functionality of our API to the browser and launching a web interface that rivals any desktop video encoding experience. It is easy to throw a lot of features into a browser but much more difficult to make those features intuitive without sacrificing flexibility or power. Login, tour the new UI. and let us know what you think of this project that has been nine months in the making.
Intuitive features that combine power & simplicity
New user interface for Vid.ly, the universal video URL service: Previously vid.ly was an API only based service, now user can create, manage and track vid.ly's within the Encoding.com web interface. More specifically you can now:
- Update a vid.ly poster image or upload a custom one
- Buy vid.ly custom vanity URLs (e.g vid.ly/gopro)
- Manage complete security preferences (duration, IP, and token management) per vid.ly URL
- Upload customized CSS for HTML5 and the Flash fallback player
- High level vid.ly stats per URL, all time views and views last 30 days
- View/Copy Embed HTML5 and Video in Email Embed Code
- Video Playback
Browser based upload tool: Dynamically return detailed source video parameters and thumbnails during upload, not after upload is complete. During upload configure an unlimited number of output renditions each with one or more delivery points.
New source or destination builder: Construct source or destination paths for all popular locations including FTP/SFTP server, HTTP locations, Microsoft Azure Cloud Storage, Amazon S3 buckets, Rackspace Cloud Files, Dropbox, or Aspera Enterprise servers
Configure multiple delivery points: FTP/SFTP/CDN/S3/Azure/CloudFiles/Dropbox for each renditions including syndication to Youtube with full meta data
Optional Data Center Selection: Process your video content in the datacenter closes to your source video content by selecting from 8 global processing regions, including the Encoding.com Private Cloud
Over 46 new presets: Specifically engineered and tested for maximum compatibility with all HTML5, Flash, mobile, tablet, and lean back (OTT) devices. Presets include all 3 adaptive packaging technologies: Apple HTTP Live Streaming, Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming and Microsoft Smooth Streaming.
Customizable encoding renditions: Easily access over 70 encoding parameters by categories including Dolby audio settings, resolution, aspect ratio, advanced editing features, and all 34 of the advanced x264 encoding parameters
Over a 100 new tooltips: Quick answers for all encoding parameters with advice and best practices designed to improve your output quality
Earn free encoding program: Create and share free unique links to give 10GB of free encoding credit to friends or colleagues. Receive 10GB of encoding credit to your own account for each invited friend who registers for Encoding.com and tries the service.
Localized timestamps: Select your time zone to display localized timestamps within the encoding queue and API notifications
Simplified Watch Folder setup: Quickly and easily setup a Watch Folder to check your FTP/SFTP, Cloud Storage, or CDN for new video files at any time frequency. All videos added to the source location after the last check time stamp will automatically be encoded into your Watch Folder's pre configured output renditions. The Watch Folder is a great integration method for quickly encoding a hosted library.
New encoding queue and statistics page: Review real-time encoding activity within an account including individual and average jobs queue times per job, encoding success rates, average and individual job processing times, average connection speed from your source video content to our processing centers