Some time ago I wrote about Vid.ly – one upload, universal URL, fire and forget sort of encoding service where you could upload video, grab one single URL and it would work just about anywhere. Today, they're announcing that everything Vid.ly offers will be directly integrated into Encoding.com for a simple workflow from uploading to delivery.
To go along with that they are also talking today about the Future-Proof Video program that offers automatic preparation of Vid.ly videos for new formats/devices as they enter the market. Basically, as soon as a major product, like say the Kindle Fire, hits the market, Vid.ly/Encoding.com will have a profile available and it will automatically have versions of videos for that platform.
How many? Some 24 different formats currently, which can reach over 6000 devices. If you're an Encoding.com customer you've just got to go turn on some presets in your Web, Watch Folder, and API interfaces. Vid.ly pro usage can now be done through Encoding.com client interface. So instead of choosing one output format you choose Vid.ly and it will encode into 24 versions and you get the embed code instead of the file.
Then, when you share the short URL or publish the embed code for Vid.ly hosted video it goes to work in the browser, device and connection detection and serves the video version best suited.
Quick, simple, painless. No more worry about whether or not you've encoded to enough formats or not. With Vid.ly and Encoding.com it's all done automatically for you. How cool is that?
I had an opportunity to chat with Jeff Malkin, President of Encoding.com, who is always willing to get a question answered straight away when he doesn't know off the top of his head (which is rare it seems). You can see my questions in italics below and his replies.
QR code response optimized – Embed videos into QR codes for a powerful direct response tool. Use the UpdateMedia feature to re-publish videos to existing QR codes.
HTML5 video strategy simplified – Vid.ly automatically transcodes video into all the HMTL5 formats (Safari/H.264, Chrome/WebM, Firefox/Ogg, IE/H.264); then detects the browser and delivers the correct video format.
When a browser has support for more than one format which does it default?
Jeff: There is a priority, it will serve whatever it determines is the better choice. Even if a browser version has better integration with one codec over another browser version, it would send the best version of the video as determined by Vid.ly.
Apple iOS advanced HLS streaming – Vid.ly prepares video for both iPad and iPhone adaptive bitrate stream to dynamically serve the bitrate most appropriate to the bandwidth of the requesting device.
How many bitrate versions is it making for HLS? Are they the same for both iPhone and iPad?
Jeff: There are different frame sizes for the devices. Both get 6 versions with bitrates ranging in the 100kbps to 1200kbps area. In terms of frame size it's 480p for iPad and a bit smaller for Phones.
Future-Proofed video libraries – As new devices and new formats enter the market, Vid.ly videos are automatically prepared to respond to calls from the new devices.
Are you looking at or working on anything right now in terms of new devices?
Jeff: We're fairly reactive in this regard, so when a customer says "hey we need this,: the team goes and gets it done. They don't take that long as it's just a matter of seeing if an existing format will do and if not then testing to find the optimal settings.
What about upcoming connected-TV, etc?
Jeff: For doing set-top you would probably want to do Encoding.com so you can control all the output options. If you've got content going to that type of device you would be more interested in higher quality output.
Single or Multi-Pass video encoding for Vid.ly?
Jeff: Presently, it's all single pass encoding.
Considering the smaller screens that you would really be interested in targeting with Vid.ly it's not a major issue, but raising the question did make Jeff ponder it and he said if there was customer requirements for it they could flip a switch on that and try to balance file sizes with it.