Apparently, Microsoft Azure’s live Encoding service for encoding live streaming video feeds will become generally available to customers in the upcoming weeks — courtesy an update to Microsoft’s Azure public cloud’s Media Services division. Also, if you sport an Android or Mac, get ready to watch content in Microsoft’s very own Azure Media Player.
The Azure Media Player actually features some smart little features, including playback for audio in multiple languages. Incidentally, the Azure Service is also getting support for Google Widevine digital rights management
According to Microsoft’s Azure Media Services director Sudheer Sirivara,
Live Encoding allows you to send a single bitrate live feed to Azure Media Services, have it encoded into an adaptive bitrate stream and deliver it to a wide variety of clients for delivery in MPEG-DASH, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, Apple HLS, or Adobe HDS formats,
Thanks to the update, Customers of the Media Encoder Standard service will also be allowed to create live archives of their feeds in .MP4 format.
The move is Microsoft keeping up with the current trend among cloud providers, as they take Video encoding as a routine task, to be handled they can handle in house for customers.
Apart from general availability announcement, Microsoft Azure’s Media Encoder Standard now includes support for extracting sub-clips, i.e. taking a portion of the live stream and producing a new on-demand asset. Media Encoder Standard now also has the ability to extract live archives as MP4s for subsequent syndication.
Interestingly though, AWS, Amazon’s cloud offering which also happens to be the biggest such public cloud offering available right now, acquired Elemental Technologies which provides video encoding services for many media companies. The deal was reportedly worth over $500 Million.
If you didn’t notice though, Microsoft recently cut prices by offering cheaper cloud infrastructure to stay relevant in the fiercely competed public cloud domain.