Transcoding video is a pain. We know that about as well as anyone. Amazon feels that pain, and thankfully, it's got the servers to back it up. Ahead of today's earnings release, the retail giant is announcing the release of Elastic Transcoder, a service aimed at helping users convert their videos into different formats, with a number of presets available for mobile devices, web browsers and the like. Customers can also go ahead with their own presets, if they're so inclined, adjusting things like file size and bitrate. Elastic Transcoder makes it possible to process multiple videos and prioritizes files based on urgency. The pay-as-you-go service is currently available in a half-dozen areas, including the EU, US East and two in the US West and Asia Pacific. More info after the break.
Amazon Web Services Launches Amazon Elastic Transcoder
Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced Amazon Elastic Transcoder, a highly scalable service for transcoding video files between different digital media formats. For example, customers can use Amazon Elastic Transcoder to convert their large high resolution "master" video files into smaller versions that are optimized for playback on websites, mobile devices, connected TV's and other video platforms. Amazon Elastic Transcoder removes the need to manage infrastructure and transcoding software, providing scalability and performance by leveraging AWS services. The service manages all aspects of the transcoding process transparently and automatically. It also supports pre-defined transcoding presets that make it easy to transcode video for smartphones, tablets, web browsers and other devices. With Amazon Elastic Transcoder, customers can create enterprise, training, user-generated, broadcast, or other video content for their applications or websites. Customers can get started with Amazon Elastic Transcoder by visiting http://aws.amazon.com/elastictranscoder.
Traditionally, transcoding has been complex for customers in three significant ways. First, customers need to buy and manage transcoding software, which can be expensive and also requires substantial configuration and management. Second, audio and video settings for each device that the customer wants to support need to be created and tested. Often, this is a trial and error process, which can be wasteful as compute resources are used each time a new combination of settings is tried. Third, to accommodate peak workloads, customers need to provision the transcoding capacity appropriately. This can be expensive because most of the time the capacity is underutilized.
With Amazon Elastic Transcoder these complexities are eliminated. There is no need to buy, configure or manage the underlying transcoding software. In addition, Amazon Elastic Transcoder provides pre-defined presets for popular devices that remove the trial and error in finding the right settings and output formats for different devices. The service also supports custom presets (pre-defined settings made by the customer), making it easy for customers to create re-useable transcoding settings for their unique requirements such as a specific video size or bitrate. Finally, Amazon Elastic Transcoder automatically scales up and down to handle customers' workloads, eliminating wasted capacity and minimizing time spent waiting for jobs to complete. The service also enables customers to process multiple files in parallel and organize their transcoding workflow using a feature called transcoding pipelines. Using transcoding pipelines, customers can configure Amazon Elastic Transcoder to transcode their files when and how they want, so they can efficiently and seamlessly scale for spikey workloads. For example, a news organization may want to have a "high priority" transcoding pipeline for breaking news stories, or a User-Generated Content website may want to have separate pipelines for low, medium, and high resolution outputs to target different devices.
"Our customers told us that it was difficult and expensive to transcode video due to the explosion in the number of devices they need to support," said Charlie Bell, Vice President of Utility Computing Services. "They had to be both experts in the intricacies of video support on different devices and manage the software required to run the transcoding jobs. None of this work had anything to do with their goal: getting a high quality video that would look great on the devices they wanted. We built Amazon Elastic Transcoder to give our customers an easy, cost effective way to solve these problems."
"The Language Learning Center offers hundreds of hours of video content in over 50 languages to students and faculty, with a growing library of video assets," said Bob Majors, Senior Computing Specialist, University of Washington. "With Amazon Elastic Transcoder, we've been very impressed with how easy it is to convert our content into versions that work well on the web and on mobile devices."
"Zuffa encodes videos of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and prides itself on delivering the best and most up to date content to its fans. Amazon's Elastic Transcoder has the horsepower to scale for very large videos, even hundreds of gigabytes in size and this will help us continue to be leaders in the digital space," said Christy King, VP Technology R&D, Zuffa, LLC.
OneScreen is a technology solutions provider that connects video producers, publishers, and advertisers across all screens through its Media Graph platform. "At OneScreen, we are excited to add Amazon Elastic Transcoder to our broad utilization of the AWS cloud," said Patrick Ting, CTO, OneScreen, Inc. "With the scalability and cost-efficiency the service offers, we're able to pass those benefits on to our producer and aggregator partners, making it easier for them to bring high quality content to the market."
Amazon Elastic Transcoder offers simple pay-as-you-go pricing. Customers are charged based on the number of minutes they need to transcode and the selected resolution. There are no upfront fees or minimum commitments required. To help customers understand how this service can be used with their applications, AWS is providing a free tier of service, in which up to the first 20 minutes of content transcoded each month is provided free of charge. Amazon Elastic Transcoder is available in six regions: US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), US West (N. California), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Singapore) and Asia Pacific (Japan). Customers can get started with Amazon Elastic Transcoder by visiting http://aws.amazon.com/elastictranscoder.