Azure Media Services – Part 1

Santosh Gaikwad

Santosh Gaikwad

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Problem Statement

In today’s digital age, all of us have videos, whether they are created or being recorded live and you want to share with the audiences for free or commercial purpose.

But the audiences may be scattered across globe, and also on different devices like laptops, desktop, mobile phones, tablets etc. and platforms like Android, iOS, Windows etc.

Video is being captured everywhere like surveillance, Police videos, cameras in cars, and public transports,

This has been a requirement for many organizations including media companies, but the solution has always been complex and expensive.

The changing digital media landscape is a challenge as well as opportunity at the same time.

Challenges

1. Huge Capital Investment

2. Monitoring and Managing Media Assets

3. Delivering specific ondemand Video

4. Securing Media assets

5. Streaming on different type of devices

Solution

Microsoft Azure provide service called Azure Media Services so solve the problem and provides a solution which reliable, fast and cost effective.

With Azure Media services we can build a platform which will allow organization’s to store, consume and stream videos and audios.

Microsoft takes a advantage of multiple data centers across globe to provide fast access to medias.

Many broadcasters across globe have started using Azure Media Services, as they get following benefits from AMS.

Azure Media Service as PaaS

AMS enables developers to build scalable media management and delivery applications.

It is based on REST APIs and enables developers to securely upload, store, encode, and package video or audio content.

Ingested content can be made available for on-demand and live streaming to different devices like TV, PC, and mobile devices.

Developers can build end-to-end workflow for encoding using Media Services and then upload, index and protect media.

Benefits of using Azure Media Service (AMS)

1. Fast and secure content ingest
For any cloud platform the biggest challenge to get the content transferred to the cloud storage form where it can be used by the media services.

Azure Media Service supports static media ingesting but also live streaming ingestion using ADKs and APIs with secure and high-speed transfer initiation
Customers can use live streaming service to stream live events and broadcast content in real time.

2. Encoding
AMS provides different ways to encode ingested videos to different formats. you can encode using ARM portal or REST APIs or Azure Explorer desktop tool.

AMS also provides ability to run parallel encoding jobs elastically to encode multiple videos at a time. Users are charged only for the usage per GB and per format.

3. Content Protection
Videos are only seen by the people you want. Azure uses AES Clear Key encryption to encrypt the streams from AMS to the end user.

Microsoft also provides service PlayReady service which gives more control using Azure active directory for protecting streaming.

4. Dynamic Packaging
When videos are ingested in media service platform we need to make sure that it is encoded in the formats which are supported by all the devices and protocols.

Its a huge and tedious task to do. AMS provides a solution to this problem with dynamic packaging feature, with this you can just ingest videos and let AMS take care of encoding in different format which users from different devices and protocols request.

5. Live and Video On Demand streaming
AMS provides support for both live and on demand video streaming on alomost all type of devices in a secure way.

Different devices supports different protocols and AMS helps to encode videos to different formats using dynamic packaging even without bothering endusers and administrators of videos to explecitly asking for encoding.

Live streams immediatly comes to video on demand stream so that users dont have to wait for the videos.

6. CDN
AMS support Azure and thirdy party CDNs to provide fast access to media.

7. Players and Client Frameworks
Microsoft provides you to create your own players by providing player frameworks, SDKs and sample players.

These frameworks provide support for multiple protocols in AMS and PlayReady, AES encryption.

Azure also provides HTML5 based Azure Media Player, which is a single player for all screen and devices, it auto detects and playback the best format.

8. Content Management
Azure provides way to manage content from portal itself, all the content gets stored in Azure Storage.

9. Scale IT infrastructure ondemand
AMS enable administrators to scale infrastructure on demand, when there is a need to process/encode multiple videos at a time.

Administrators can run multiple parallel jobs to add capacity to process job.

10. Indexing
Azure Media Indexer enables you to make content of your media files searchable and to generate a full-text transcript for closed captioning and keywords.

With this feature audio of the videos is converted to text in format which can be used for captioning videos and provide search capability.

>> Azure


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