In discussions with partners that have a cloud application development practice, I often talk about adding intelligence and advanced Microsoft Azure services into the applications partners build for customers. One of the services that partners often overlook is Azure Media Services, cloud services for premium video workflows. Our January 2017 topic for Application Development partners is Azure Media Services. In this post, I’ll provide you with an overview, ideas for how to use them in your applications, and resources so you can get started.
Overview of Azure Media Services
Azure Media Services enables end-to-end workflows for media – from encoding, storage, and analytics to streaming delivery and license services. The entire workflow is REST API driven, enabling the use of both native Azure Media Services and third-party services in a workflow. This integration allows for scenarios where a third-party encoder might be used, and then the asset may be uploaded, protected, and then delivered using Media Services. The image below outlines an example Media Services workflow.
Media Services and cloud application development
If you’re interested in using Media Services in your applications, take a look at the tools in Media Analytics to see ways to add value. For example, if an application uses streaming video over long periods of time, motion detection could trigger an alert. While the first implication would be in a security video scenario, Media Services can set up (x,y) detection zones. This means that you could have a monitor on a factory floor that is always in motion, and trigger an alert when something happens outside of the area of normal motion. Another analytics tool, video summarization, could be added to an application to help create thumbnails or shorter versions of large video libraries for consumption on mobile devices where data consumption may be a concern.
Protecting media content
Every conversation about the cloud must include a discussion about security. Media Services is capable of delivering 128-bit AES encryption or any of the major DRMs (Microsoft PlayReady, Google Widevine, and Apple FairPlay) on demand. It also supports the delivery of licenses to authorized clients trough its license delivery service. The image below visualizes the dynamic encryption workflow.
When looking at Media Services as an option for your application, you may wonder whether it can scale to handle a heavy load. The best example I know of that demonstrates Azure Media Services capabilities is the Rio 2016 Summer Games for NBC Olympics, with more than 3 billion minutes streamed, and more than 50 simultaneous events covered, using Microsoft Azure, including Media Services.
Resources for Azure Media Services
- Azure Media Services overview and common scenarios
- Getting Started with Azure Media Services video
- Media Services – Live Streaming learning path
- Media Services – On Demand Streaming learning path Learning Path
- Azure Media Services – Protecting your Media Content with DRM video
Connect with us
If you’re using Azure Media Services today, we’d love to hear from you. Join the discussion in our Yammer group, and sign up for the January 10 partner call about Azure Media Services.
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