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Mux Branches Out With Mux Video, Promises Easy Optimization

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Mux launches Mux Video today, an API designed to always stream the most optimized version of online videos no matter what devices or players viewers use. The API handles capture, clipping, stitching, watermarking, captioning, and metadata extraction, and also chooses the best resolution, bitrate, storage location, and CDN routing.

This is a departure for Mux, a startup that launched with the goal of making quality control simple enough for any company. But really, it ties together, says CEO and co-founder Jon Dahl, as both are about simplifying video streaming. Mux announced $2.8 million in seed funding in August 2016 and had a $9 million Series A round in April 2017 led by Accel.

"Everything we've done so far is part of the original vision of Mux," Dahl says. "It's not just that it's easy, but being easy is an important thing in video."

Mux video performs at scale and provides dynamic encoding optimization based on knowledge gained from encoding hundreds of millions of video streams. It's meant for software developers who already have a CMS and video player.

When creating Mux Video, Dahl asked 30 people how they chose their video encoding settings. All 30 either didn't know or simply used setting they found from a Google search run several years previously.

"If you're making those decisions one time, you're doing it wrong," Dahl says. For the best results, settings need to be optimized based on what's in the video and how it's played.

Once video is uploaded to Mux, optimization takes seconds. The API performs just-in-time encodes and caches them as long as doing so is effective. Older renditions are pruned out after 30 days if not watched. The API runs on both Google and Amazon clouds, so transfers from those two are especially fast.

For ad-supported content, Dahl says Mux Video can work within client-side workflows. While developers could build it into server-side ad-insertion systems, look for a tighter server-side integration to come sometime in the future.

Mux Video can be used alongside Mux's quality control service, and customers can expect better performance if using both together, Dahl says. The company will begin using Mux Video with select customers later this month, and plans to launch fully in the first quarter of 2018. Interested developers should contact Mux about pricing.

"We've been working hard on this for a while and we're excited to show this off," Dahl says.

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