Transcoding Best Practices

Core Wisdom

Transcoding is something of an art form whereby one must balance dozens of requirements, formats, parameters and more. Sometimes this can seem daunting for those that just want to know a little more information or want to step into the world of digital media. What follows are a culmination of best practices developed while building Bits on the Run over the last few years. This is by no means an exhaustive list but should give a good idea of some things to watch out for or remember after reading the basic Overview of Transcoding.

Introducing the Open Video Ads Project

About Open Video Ads

Update: JW7 is now available. Check it out here.

Open Video Ads is an open source initiative dedicated to the development and distribution of Flash (AS3) and HTML5 technology, that enables the implementation of IAB VAST and VPAID compliant Video Players.

Securing Your Content

Since the Napster trials in late 1999, content producers have become increasingly aware of intellectual property issues. Even then, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) tried to send the message that the Internet had made widespread piracy possible, and that it was leading to enormous losses in revenue for the music labels and artists.

In addition to direct losses from piracy, content producers today face an even greater challenge when it comes to controlling how their work is distributed. It's quite common for anyone who admires your video to simply repost it on their site. Generally, this isn't a big deal - it's flattering and it provides a mechanism for increasing the visibility of your work. Unfortunately, this redistribution can also lead to a poor perception of your work and it can also dramatically increase your web-hosting costs.

With that in mind, I'd like to introduce "The Golden Rule":

Anyone who can watch your video can steal your video.

JW Player 4.7 Released

We've released two player updates this week which bring bug fixes to the v4 and v5 players. JW Player version 4.7 is purely focused on bugs, and marks the end of life for the v4 product line. The 4.7 release fixes a number of bugs collected in the months since the release of 4.6, addressing streaming server support, bitrate switching and general stability.

Podcast on HTML5: LongTail’s Jeroen Wijering Live

For those of you interested in learning more about HTML5 video and where it’s going, Jeroen Wijering, the creator of the JW Player, is speaking today on Dan Benjamin’s podcast, The Conversation, Wednesday, July 14th at 1:00 PM ET.    

We expect a fantastic and informative discussion with leading experts on HTML5 video – its advantages, its drawbacks and its future.  

You can listen to the podcast, LIVE, here.

For those of you that missed the live podcast, check-out the recorded version here.


The LongTail Team

Amazon CloudFront Brings Streaming to the Masses

When Amazon introduced RTMP streaming for CloudFront, it was big news for the Flash platform in general, and here at LongTail it has been no exception. Overnight, RTMP became a hot topic on our forums, where before we had only heard from veterans in the Flash video space. It's not hard to understand why, since RTMP has been expensive and difficult to configure for most folks. In addition to RTMP streaming in general, we're fielding a lot of questions on CloudFront's support of RTMP. What does it support? How do I set it up? Is it right for my site? This post will attempt to answer these questions, as well as provide some background on video streaming on the Flash platform.

An Overview of Audio and Video Transcoding

dl { margin: 1em 25px; }

dt { font-size: inherit; font-weight: bold; display: block; }

dd { font-size: inherit; font-style: italic; color: #666; display: block; margin-bottom: 1em; padding-bottom: .5em; }

This post will try to peel away some of the layers of confusion surrounding media conversion by describing how media are stored, why you might want to convert from one format to another, and tools you can use to do it.

Safari & Quicktime are not Web Standards

To call HTML5 Video a hype would be an understatement. Every week, major tech companies announce improved support or new breakthroughs. Literally hundreds of new blogposts a day pop up on Google’s blog search. In this debate, no company is as vocal as Apple.

The company’s latest move is the release of an HTML5 showcase that includes a video demo featuring the capabilities of web standards such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. This effort, while exciting, is misleading and potentially detrimental to the landscape of web development and browser compatibilities. The demo is definitely inspiring and helps to move HTML5 Video along at a fast clip. At the same time though, none of the cool gizmos on this page are actually web standards. Instead, they are specific functionalities found in Apple’s Safari/Quicktime product stack (which is why access is restricted to Safari). A breakdown:

The Video