Tag: streaming media
Recently, RealEyes began looking into the available training options for installing, configuring and using Wowza Media Servers (WMS). The number of WMS training offerings we found could easily counted on one hand. Seeing an obvious need for more quality training, RealEyes put together new WMS-focused courses to offer to the Wowza community.
Our standard offerings are broken down into half-day and whole-day online sessions. Since each media server deployment is unique, we offer classes on an on-demand basis. Meaning, when you are in need of WMS training, we’ll work to get courses put together for you and your team — on your schedule. RealEyes can even build custom courses to meet specific needs, and we will collaborate with you in advance to ensure our customized course fulfills your specialized objectives.
RealEyes puts our knowledge and expertise gained from (10+) years experience installing, deploying, customizing and supporting media servers into the training courses we offer.
What’s the benefit of taking a course with us you ask? Attendees can reach a professional skill-level and attain many years’ worth of technical experience in a matter of hours. Our industry experts will also provide you with best practices recommendations and planning concepts that we have perfected while supporting more than a decade’s worth of countless deployments. Become a streaming media expert, and get your deployment up and running without headaches.
If you don’t see a course that you would like, no problem! Drop us a line and let us know what you are looking for. We may create a custom course to fit your request or add the course to our offerings list.
Current course offerings are as follows:
- Basic Introduction to Wowza Media Server 3.6
- Live Video Configuration
- On-Demand Configuration
- Varnish and Streaming Media
- Introduction to Wowza Media Server 3.6
- Advanced Wowza Media Server 3.6
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, suggestions or requests for your streaming media needs. Discounts are offered when purchasing both Wowza software and training from us.
Don’t need training? We do consulting as well. Let us help you make your streaming media deployment better!
I have a tendency to be inquisitive by nature. I like asking questions that garner answers based on validity and relevance. And in a technology driven world, the landscape is ever-changing whether we’re with it or against it. So in order to flourish, I have always felt the need to try and know all there is to know about how things work. In other words, “how does this do that?” That would be cause and effect, right? Well, it’s not that simple when it comes to technology, software, etc.
I remember the first time I saw YouTube. This is how it looked upon its launch in 2005:
Looks pretty clunky, eh? Well maybe so, but it was essential. In fact, it was so essential to that it defined how on-demand content is made available and paved the way for hundreds of other sites that offer video on-demand.
So what has YouTube done in the last 8½ years to improve itself? How about being purchased by Google for $1.65 billion in less than two years? Not too shabby, and they were obviously doing something right in terms of usability, but more than anything, there was serious demand on the horizon for people around the world to interact. YouTube leveraged a little known media serving technology and gave its faithful users a place to upload and broadcast their video content. It made zero difference if you were a member of the site or not, it was – and still is – a means of interaction. It’s come a long way since 2005.
It was in late 2007 that my interest was piqued and I began researching the technology that powered YouTube and took on the web by storm. That’s when I learned about Wowza Media Server.
Being a strong competitor in the streaming media marketplace, Wowza has quickly risen to the top and offered its users flexibility, scalability and possibility. The Wowza Media Server offers a robust platform that can be installed on the server OS of your choice and has many powerful extensions that can allow you to stream media from multiple platforms, secure your content and much more.
And well, well, well. As luck would have it, RealEyes is now an authorized reseller for Wowza and can help you create, manage and maintain your streaming media deployment. Wowza has proven to be a diverse and nimble product, filling needs that no other single application can. The use of add-ons means that the Wowza Media Server can easily accommodate a more specialized role within your network and streaming media environment.
Will you build the next big thing? Reach out to us today and we can identify the best solution for you.
There was an article that I read the other day talking about how Facebook is planning on challenging Vine with video delivery. By the time I’m finished writing and publishing this article, the app will already be available and maybe Zuck’s stock will go up ¼ point or so. Moreover, this is important moving forward because it is a definitive sign of the shape of things to come. Let’s face it – social media has changed the way we interact, and for some, go about their everyday lives. Honestly, even when I talk to my mom (who I love with all of my heart but is not too technologically swift) it seems like Facebook always pops up in one way or another. She doesn’t have a Facebook page (luckily), but somehow…
Mom: “I talked to ________ and she said that her daughter ________ saw your picture on Facebook and you were drinking a beer…”
Me: “I’m 35 years old. I was at a wedding reception. I am not even friends with ________, so I don’t even know… er, whatever mom.” <— Here’s where I start thinking to myself that I really need to get around to adjusting my Privacy Settings.
Either way, if you’re reading this you know where I’m coming from, and maybe can identify. We’ve all kind of been there, maybe some more than others.
Last month saw a new version (v3.6) release from Wowza Media Systems for its flagship product, Wowza Media Server. Along with the version release was the official launch of the latest add-on to their already extensive add-on library, Wowza GoCoder. Per the description:
Wowza® Media Systems allows mobile content providers to encode and broadcast live content through the Wowza® GoCoder™ app. Wowza GoCoder is a live audio and video encoding application for the iPhone 3GS or newer.
Use Wowza GoCoder to broadcast HD quality live events on-the-go from any location to any screen using H.264 adaptive bitrate streaming. Connect Wowza GoCoder to Wowza Media Server to capture and stream live audio and video content in real-time over WiFi, 4G or 3G.
Again, Wowza has raised the bar in the streaming media realm. Not only does it enable content providers to deliver their own, exclusive content live from an iOS device, but end users will now be able to have a whole new experience. Making the app available for all end users is going to enable a whole new slew of folks to stream live. And the best part of exposure to new audiences is that new ideas come up from new minds. What needs to be seen here is the bigger picture.
So now I am asking myself, “why is this so appealing to me?” Well, simply put, because it broadens the reach for broadcasting and adds a new layer of convenience to an interactive world.
I also read an interview with the founders of Vine that really opened my eyes. When I first saw a Vine video, I thought to myself, “Um. Ok. Huh? It’s only six seconds long. How can you fit everything into a six second clip?” But after reading that interview, it all makes a lot more sense. It’s about the content, not the length. If your content and/or subject matter is truly engaging to the viewer(s), it doesn’t matter how long it is. It could be six seconds, it could be six hours. But at the end of the day, they’re going to follow you, and that is what adds more strength to the growing pillar known as social media. As with life, the same also applies to online social engagement: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. People will always be seeking more until they’re satisfied.
With the advent of WebRTC Internet applications and a growing HTML5 adoption rate, the idea hamster is running on the wheel of our collective brain here at RealEyes.
Please feel free to contact us to help you realize your next vision!
And the beat goes on…
RealEyes Media & Why HTTP Dynamic Streaming
RealEyes Media is a developer lead digital consultancy who focuses on on digital media delivery and software application development, consultation, & training. RealEyes builds interactive software solutions specializing in streaming media. If you need a solution on the web, desktop, mobile or connected device we have the expertise to realize your vision.
In the current technical environment it has become evident that media delivery across devices & platforms is in a state of transition and growth. This growth includes not just the devices and users that are consuming the media, but the technologies and transports that are providing the media across the board. Technologies like HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) are blazing the trail that will ultimately lead the consumer to their content. Currently the capabilities provided by HDS provide developers and content providers with the broad access that is required to reach different devices and markets.
What is HTTP Dynamic Streaming?
HTTP Dynamic Streaming or HDS gives the content provider the ability to deliver packaged streaming media over the HTTP protocol to multiple platforms while saving on server infrastructure, bandwidth and administration costs. HDS can also remove the need need for expensive and or high maintenance media servers. The recorded and live content is packaged in a fragmented format allowing for the video to be delivered to the consumer in a streaming, seek-able, and multi-bitrate format. In addition to the high level of delivery options, HDS can be packaged with DRM to protect the media and can be deployed to CDNs to allow for even greater user experience while consuming media.
HTTP Dynamic Streaming Limitations
The work we have been doing with HDS packaged content and delivery has opened the doors to extend the use and integration of HDS packaged content. There are two stumbling blocks that we have encountered with the current state of HDS. Both problems center around the reliance on web server & web server extension to deliver the HDS packaged content. HDS requires an Apache web server & the HTTP Origin Module to deliver the media content to client players. The (simplified) playback sequence for HDS content is:
- The client requests an .f4m file that provides the location and initial data for playback.
- From that data the client player then determines what segment/fragment to request for the current timecode.
- The Apache web server hands this request off to the HTTP Origin Module to extract the needed F4V fragment data from the segment from on the web server and returns that to the web server.
- The Apache web server then provides the response to the client player.
- The client player then parses the F4V content into a playable format and plays it back.
The second stumbling block is playback of HDS content from a local file system. Currently there is no way to extract the F4V fragment data from the packaged segment files. These two use cases highlight the current deployment and usage limitations for HDS with the reliance on Apache and the Origin module. Removing the reliance on Apache and the Origin module not only allows for a greater number of and more flexible deployment options, but can simplify deployments and allow for more cost effective storage and delivery.
Removing the Limitations
The first step to extending the delivery options for HDS content is to get the packaged content into a format that doesn’t require the HTTP Origin Module. This means extracting the fragments from the segment files. RealEyes has created a tool set that can extract the fragments from an HDS packaged file set. The fragments are extracted in the exact same manner as the HTTP Origin Module meaning that the reliance on Apache and the Origin module has been removed. Once the fragments have been extracted, they can be deployed to any server that can respond to HTTP requests. This has been tested with Amazon S3, IIS and Apache (without the origin module installed) and has worked without issue.
The next step is local playback of HDS content. Once we have the fragments, we can play that content back, but for long-form media content this can mean hundreds of fragment files. A set of ActionScript3 libraries have been created to allow for the download and packaging of HDS content for local playback. The download can be accomplished from normal HDS delivery or from HDS content that has had the fragments pre-extracted. As the fragments are downloaded they are written to disk into a file format that allows for interrupted downloads as well as playback during download on windows and mac operating systems.
Local playback while downloading is accomplished through an additional ActionScript3 library created specifically for read and write operations on multiple files asynchronously and has been tuned for high performance. Playback has been tested with short-form video content as well as feature length video content. Great pains were taken to work within the file formats and specifications so things like DRM still work even with content that has had fragments extracted, downloaded and saved locally for playback.
What can you do with it?
Some of the use cases that are possible with the extended deployment and use with these tools and libraries include:
- Local playback of HDS content
- Simplified content deployment
- Content deployment to cost effective services (Amazon S3)
- Simultaneous download and playback of long-form video
- Live HDS Streaming and download for DVR-like for local playback
- Bandwidth and storage space savings
What is Next?
Plans for the toolset include creating web services for fragment extraction, updating the libraries and tools to make sure they work with OSMF 2.0 (currently they have been tested on OSMF 1.6). Although HDS is a powerful and flexible way to deliver content, we are continuing to embrace formats and specifications that increase the reach and availability of digital media. We are an MPEG-DASH promoter and plan to work with this format heavily. We are always looking to the next development and hope to be part of the innovators pushing media delivery to the next level.