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Zencoder's Posts

A New Year for the SF Video Technology Meetup

You might not believe it, but working at a company like Brightcove means you think about video quite a bit. For a service like Zencoder, for instance, we constantly need to keep in mind what formats our customers need now and down the road, along with the devices they will want to support.

Using Zencoder on the Google Cloud Platform

With the recent addition of support for both Google Cloud Storage (GCS) and Google Compute Engine (GCE), Zencoder is breaking new ground in becoming "cloud-agnostic" — enabling customers to have control over where and how their content is processed, at scale. Google Cloud Storage joins Amazon S3 and Rackspace Cloud Files as a supported cloud storage provider in Zencoder. Like the s3:// or cf:// protocols, you can also construct input and output URLs with the gcs:// protocol to access content that is stored in Google Cloud Storage. With a bit of initial setup, you’ll be able to ingest content from your GCS buckets and push transcoded renditions (including adaptive HTTP Live Streaming) to GCS. We're also pleased to announce that Zencoder VOD transcoding jobs can now be run on Google Compute Engine, which was recently made generally available. By using both Google Compute Engine and Google Cloud Storage, you can take advantage of Google's massive network to power your video transcoding and delivery workflow. Below, we've put together a quick guide on configuring Zencoder to take advantage of both GCS and GCE. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with our support team at help@zencoder.com.

What's New at Zencoder (December 2013)

Google Cloud Storage Zencoder now supports Google Cloud Storage (GCS), which joins our currently supported Amazon S3 and Rackspace Cloud Files. You can now push and pull content from GCS by specifying URLs with the new gcs:// protocol name.

Foundations of Open Media Software (FOMS) 2013

Last week was the 6th annual meeting of Foundations of Open Media Software (FOMS), a yearly unconference where engineers working on video-related software get together and discuss future standards and video technology. Topics include browser technology and specifications, video formats, and more. Google and Brightcove were the main sponsors of the event, with the Internet Archive graciously providing the meeting space. Around 45 engineers attended FOMS, representing a broad range of technology and companies including YouTube, Netflix, Dreamworks, Internet Archive, Wikimedia, Wowza, Kaltura, JWPlayer, W3C, Apple (WebKit), Chrome, Firefox, Opera, WebM, Ogg, VLC, FFmpeg, Libav, and Brightcove. The biggest discussions at FOMS this year were around captions and subtitles (WebVTT), adaptive streaming (through Media Source Extensions), DRM (through Encrypted Media Extensions), new codecs, and real-time communication (WebRTC). More information and session notes can be found at foms-workshop.org, but below are some of the notes compiled from Brightcove attendees.

Setting up an end-to-end encrypted transcoding pipeline

For many Zencoder customers, ensuring that their content is secure during the transcoding process is a top priority. Now that Zencoder supports encrypted inputs, customers can ensure that their data is never stored in the plain as it flows through Zencoder. In short, Zencoder can accept encrypted input, decrypt it for transcoding, then re-encrypt output videos before writing them to a storage location. The importance of this workflow is that both inputs and outputs are then protected. If an unauthorized user were able to access these encrypted files, they would be unable to view them without the key and IV pair used to encrypt them.

Bringing the Chuckles to HTML5: The Funny or Die Story

The Internet has proven an amazing tool for helping people communicate and for disseminating all kinds of information.  Perhaps nowhere has it been more useful than in propagating funny stuff.  At the vangard of producing and distributing and setting the bar for humor is Funny or Die.  Funny or Die made a big splash when they launched in 2007, marking their debut with "The Landlord", the hilarious video wherein Will Ferrell is berated by his 2 year old landlord, Pearl. The Landlord from Will Ferrell In the 6 years since its premier, "The Landlord" has garnered over 70 million views, and the Funny or Die site has grown to 19 million monthly unique viewers, with 62.5 million monthly video views.  By 2012, the technical team realized that they needed to update a their encoding backend to increase scale and efficiency, and rework the site and video player in HTML5 to better support cross-platform web and mobile viewing experiences. They turned to the Zencoder transcoding service and Video.js, the most widely-used open source HTML5 player,which is sponsored by Brightcove.