Encoding.com Now Supports Apple HTTP Streaming and the iPad
Content providers who want to reach Apple iPod Touch, iPhone, and (soon) iPad owners now have one more option: Encoding.com today announced new iPhone and iPad presets among its encoding choices. Creating correctly formatted choices should be a one-button process.
In July 2009, Apple announced that it would support HTTP Live Streaming for the iPhone, which lets segmented H.264 video stream from any HTTP server. Apple has gotten more strict about which video-streaming apps it approves for the iTunes Store, requiring that they use HTTP Live Streaming with the lowest bit rate (but at least 64Kbps). This is designed to relieve congestion on AT&T's wireless network and prevent it from getting bogged down with video.
According to Jeff Malkin, Encoding.com's president, when content owners upload their video and select either the iPhone/iPod Touch or iPad encoding options, the site takes care of the rest, automatically creating various bit rate streams and splitting them into 10-second segments. It then packages the videos with the needed XML instruction file and delivers it to the owner's CDN, or wherever the owner chooses. All the presets are customizable, so the owner is free to choose different bit rates or segment lengths.
"Our intention was to make it ultra simple for customers," says Malkin.
Encoding.com has been offering the iPhone/iPod Touch option in beta for a few weeks now, although the iPad option is new as of today. Malkin says the only difference between the two is the display resolution.
Feedback to the beta has been strong, says Malkin. One customer taking advantage of it is CarDomain Network, an online community of car enthusiasts. The developers at CarDomain have had their app, StreetFire.net, rejected multiple times by Apple for high video bandwidth usage. They revised the app using Encoding.com's HTTP adaptive streaming option, and the app is now being considered again.
Customers that want to maximize their viewership are going to have to adapt to the demands of multiple formats, says Malkin, something he doesn't see changing anytime soon. Encoding.com's HTTP Live Streaming video could be used either on websites using HTML5 tags or in iPhone/iPad apps.
Costs for the HTTP Live Streaming option are no different that Encoding.com's standard rates: users are charged based on the size of the source video plus the size of the total output videos, multiplied by $2.50 per gigabyte, a rate that scales down with volume.
One-click presets aim to take the hassle out of serving video to portable devices.
Client companies can offer transcoding to all the latest formats and save on volume pricing.
This week's iPad launch ushers in new workarounds and developer challenges at the same time it poses a threat to Adobe's web video dominance with Flash.
Understanding this hybrid delivery approach is key to advancing robust streaming solutions.
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