Watch an overview of what Media Services is and what it can be used for.
- [Instructor] Let's start by talking about what is Azure Media Services? The main topic of this course, let's get introduced to it at a very high level. Azure Media Services is a cloud-based platform that enables you to build media-based solutions. Simple as that. So if you want to have a website that streams a lot of videos, be it a news site, or pure video site, or maybe you want to broadcast the next big, major sporting event.
You would use Azure Media Services for that. There are various facilities in there that make a very complicated task very simple. There are various things that Azure Media Services supports, like encoding videos. This is typically something you'd have to deal with. Different platforms prefer different formats. So how do you start with a source format and encode it into different formats? So Media Services certainly supports that at cloud scale. Content protection. Sometimes you want to protect the content, as in, you must have a license to view this content, or certain content is not correct, or proper for showing in certain geographical regions.
Yes, that is also something that Media Services supports. How about unlocking insights into your content like there are a bunch of people talking in there, can you look at that text and make it searchable? How about this video that you're watching right now? What if the text in this was searchable? Would you find that useful? Telemetry. So how are my videos being watched? How many people are watching them? At what point do they drop off? All that insight is very, very important, and this telemetry allows you to capture all of the information.
The best part? Azure Media Services is fully programmable. What that means is that, sure, you can set up complicated solutions using point-and-click, but when you need to scale to millions and millions of videos, you can write code and talk to a very simple API to automate literally every part of it. So producing video content, encoding it, setting up these jobs, setting up CDN's, everything is fully programmable.
Let's talk a little bit about these topics individually. Encoding: the thing is, video is complex. There's so many formats. It's not just as simple as a .png or a .jpg file. For instance, the .avi format supports many codecs underneath, and these codecs keep improving very rapidly. So there's so many formats to support, and then so many bandwidth issues. Not to mention different vendors like Apple, or Microsoft sometimes like to introduce the formats that their platforms support.
And the users, they don't care. They just want to hit the play button and expect a video to play. So Media Services makes all this very easy. You start with a source video, and you encode it to numerous targets as jobs. And those jobs take care of these encoding details for you, and it's all done in the cloud, so you can scale this almost infinitely. Content protection: content protection is important. You want to geo-protect videos, you want to have encryption on the storage of those videos, or the videos should be encrypted in transfer, as well, and then the are a number of other things, like various policies.
Maybe you want to protect the videos using some sort of authentication, just your simple JWT Bearer authentication, right? Maybe you ought to have something like PlayReady, which is a media file copy protection technology that Microsoft invented. It includes encryption, and output prevention, and DRM. It allows you to embed license rights right into the media so you don't need a separate step for content acquisition. Maybe you want to support something like Widevine, which is pioneered by Google, and it's an encryption scheme for securely licensing distribution and protecting playback on video on any consumer device.
Yes, it is very much in use on Android devices, but certainly content creators, MSO's, or other enterprise media companies can use Widevine to ensure the monetization of content across every device. And then there is something called as FairPlay which was pioneered by Apple. It is built into the .mp4 media format as an encrypted AAC audio layer. And it is used by the company to protect copyrighted works sold through the iTunes Store, allowing only authorized devices to play the content.
Reality is, FairPlay was a target of a lot of criticism around Apple's mythical walled garden, and it unfairly limited device compatibility. So reality's not much in use anymore, but Media Services supports all of these options. It's really up to you to pick one or the other. You can choose to unlock various insights like the Azure Media Indexer allows you to make content off your media files searchable, and generate a full text transcript for closed captions or keywords.
Imagine that. Azure Media Hyperlapse is a media processor that creates smooth time lapse videos from first-person content. Azure Media Face Detector, as the name suggests, enables you to detect human faces within a video and even things like emotion detection in a video. Azure Media Motion Detector is great for, say, a surveillance camera where 99% of the video doesn't change, but if there is some change, it allows like motion detection, you can easily identify sections of the video that may be interesting to you.
Azure Media Video Thumbnails allows you to create a summary of the video who just want to preview a summary of a long video. You can even have OCR. This allows you to extract text content out of videos, and generate editable and searchable digital text. Media Services supports all of that and more, and even content moderation. Certainly media people are going to view it, so you may want to detect possible adult or racy content and review it, and flag it for human moderation teams.
Media Services supports all of these and more. Telemetry is very important, especially if you're spending all this money to create a very compelling video solution, you want to know how much people are watching it, where are they watching it, where do they drop off, etc. Through point and click, you can enable telemetry and the telemetry is stored in an Azure storage table, and from there you can process it. Best part, it is fully programmable. There are REST API's for everything, not to mention it is fully integrated with Azure Event Grid.
What that means is that things like logic apps using point and click, you can set up complex media processing pipelines, all through point and click. Imagine that. Azure Media Services is very powerful.
- Managing streaming jobs, endpoints, and CDNs
- Using Azure Media Analytics