Audio Versions of Videos Has Arrived

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Many videos work great as audio streams — think talks, lectures or interviews. vzaar lets you offer bandwidth-efficient audio versions without mp3 files!

Why use Audio Versions

There are many content types that are served just as well with only an audio component and avoids having to transcode, upload and manage multiple files representing the same content.

With vzaar’s Audio Versions feature, there’s no need to upload a separate MP3 file because the audio stream can be dynamically extracted from the video and served to your viewers with no additional uploading or management — and it only uses the bandwidth of the audio stream, not the full video!

How it works

Audio Versions take advantage of our new USP delivery platform that we’ve been switching customers to over the past year or so.  Customers already using it are seeing some great improvements, mostly around bandwidth economy — but that’s for another blog post!

What’s important to note about Audio Versions is that it’s dynamic: the audio stream is extracted straight from the video and sent to the viewer, meaning you don’t have the hassle of dealing with multiple files for the same content. You also avoid unnecessarily using bandwidth for a video stream that’s not being watched.

How to deliver an Audio Version

Delivering an Audio Version is little different from delivering a regular video and the best part is that it works for videos you’ve already uploaded.

Follow these simple steps to embed an Audio Version on your website:

  1. Login to your vzaar video platform and find the video you want
  2. Click on it and scroll down to the Share & Embed section
  3. The first option is labelled Version — change it from Video to Audio
  4. Copy the embed code as you would normally and embed it on your website

Can’t see an option to select the Audio Version? Audio Versions are available to all customers on our new USP delivery platform so if you can’t see the embed option then we haven’t got round to switching you yet. Simply get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

What’s next?

There are two exciting features that we’re looking into that are related to Audio Versions and we’d love it if you could tell us what you think about them:

  1. Download audio versions: If you allow your content to be downloaded and the viewer tries to download an audio version they’ll actually get the original video file — we’re investigating whether it might be more useful if it downloaded the format the user was consuming, which in this case would be an MP3 file.
  2. Fallback to audio-only: Viewers on slow internet connections get lower quality videos, so what if viewers on really slow internet connections only received the audio component of a video? Streaming would be less choppy and you’d get even better bandwidth economy so it’s a win-win.

Get in touch

There’s lots of potential with Audio Versions and we’re sure there are many possible applications so get in touch if you have any questions, suggestions or just want to try the feature out!

The post Audio Versions of Videos Has Arrived appeared first on the vzaar blog.

Video Security vs. Compatibility

Security and compatibility are often cited as the two most important aspects of video hosting. When they come at odds we have to make decisions that represent everyone’s best interests.

Secure & Compatible Delivery

vzaar supports two different modes of video delivery: Secure and Compatible.

Secure Delivery leverages AES Encryption to encrypt videos as they move from vzaar’s servers to your viewers. It can give you peace of mind when your videos contain more sensitive content. However, it can also have a cost and performance overhead so it’s not always desirable.

Conversely, our Compatible Delivery mode focuses on making your content viewable in as many contexts as possible. It works all the way back to IE8, alongside all modern browsers, and is vzaar’s default mode of delivery.

Security vs. Compatibility

For the sake of argument, let’s focus on the world of Internet Explorer. One of the world’s more challenging browsers.

AES encryption is supported for HLS video streams in IE11 and up. However, only if IE is running on Windows 8.1 or later. So what happens when AES is enabled but the viewer is on, say, IE10?

On one hand you’ve decided your videos need to be encrypted between vzaar’s servers and your viewers. However, on the other hand, you want your videos to work on as many devices as possible. Should compatibility trump security?

To fallback or not to fallback

One solution to the question of security vs. compatibility might be to use a fallback. You could, for instance, try to use secure playback mechanisms; then, when these aren’t viable, switch to using less secure delivery.

The problem here is that it amounts to disabling your security mechanism based purely on circumstance. Effectively allowing security to be circumvented by simply switching to an older browser.

This approach certainly isn’t something we’d recommend. It’s why secure delivery in vzaar is essentially an on/off option. In the words of Jon, our player developer:

Secure playback never falls back because otherwise it would no longer be secure

Which option is right for me?

That depends on who you are and what you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you’re a marketeer you’ll want your videos to be viewable by as many people as possible. In that scenario Compatible Delivery makes the most sense.

However, if you’re a publisher who produces high-value content then the additional cost of encryption may make sense for your situation.

Whatever your situation, vzaar can help you work out the best option for you.

Introducing Live Streaming & Video Streaming to Video-On-Demand

vzaar is your technology partner in live streaming your content to everyone. See how we create top-quality playback anywhere in the world, on any device.

Increase customer engagement with a perfect live experience, all streamed to your custom branded vzaar player. Users are brought right to the live stream and have the ability to pause and rewind a live video stream as it’s being broadcast.

Live Streaming

Live streams can be archived automatically and saved to video-on-demand to be embedded and watched later at any time with vzaar’s high performance deliverability. Extending your reach to a worldwide audience is easy and you can even stream to China through our infrastructure that will handle the complexities of streaming live video across the globe.

We support all the big names in broadcasting software: OBS Open Broadcaster, WireCase, XSplit, Flash Media Live Encoder and any RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol) software in your existing broadcasting system.

Sign up for a free trial at the top of this page and find out how Live Video Streaming can benefit you!

Video: How To Secure Your Video With vzaar Secure

Need to keep your videos for viewers’ eyes only? I’m pleased to announce that vzaar Secure is here!

vzaar has always kept your videos secure but the technology we use to do that is changing. RTMPe used to be ideal for video security, but many content delivery networks will stop supporting it this month. Don’t worry, throughout May we’re rolling out AES encrypted streaming to replace RTMPe and ensure your videos stay secure.

Check out the video for full details!

  • Find out everything your business needs to know about video security in 2017
  • Discover how AES keeps your videos secure
  • Check out all new features coming soon to your vzaar account
  • Watch a live demo of the platform
  • Get all your video security questions answered

Stop losing money! Keep your valuable videos exclusive with vzaar Secure

What the heck is AES? And how does it keep my videos secure?

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What is AES?

vzaar has recently introduced AES adaptive streaming. AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard and, as the name suggests, it add an encryption layer to your video content. It means that nobody can watch your videos without a token to decrypt the content. Anyone attempting to intercept the video between the server will just get junk data. If anyone tries to download the content without the encryption key the videos simply won’t play. Their viewers won’t be able to see anything.

AES is essential if you want to keep  your videos secure in Flash. The Flash-specific RTMPe encryption technology is being retired. AES replaces it AND not only that, it will also keep your videos secure in HTML5 (mobile devices).

vzaar uses auto-detection to identify whether a viewer has Flash available. If they do, we make the richer feature set of Flash available to them. However, like most other video player developers, we are concentrating our new developments on HTML5.

AES brings the high security of Flash to HTML5. So whether your viewers are watching from desktop, laptop, mobile or tablet your videos are streamed securely.  

We anticipate a cross-over point in the not-too-distant future when HTML5 will overtake Flash and we will serve H5 as the default. But, we do intend to support Flash for the foreseeable future, many older browsers still rely on Flash so it’s important to make sure our clients’ videos will still play for these viewers.

How does AES Work?

An encryption key is set up when we encode your video. This key is required to decrypt your content so that the viewer can watch said video. When the viewer clicks the play button their browser makes a request to the video server (vzaar). At which point we generate an access token which is valid for a short period of time. Hey presto! The viewer can watch the video, but anybody trying to intercept between the browser and the video server, can’t (because they don’t have the access token).

Who Needs AES?

If you need to protect your valuable video content from being viewed – or stolen – by unauthorized people, AES is for you. For example, if you have private internal content or if you sell video courses online it is essential that your videos remain exclusive.  Videos should remain for subscribers or your internal team only.

AES works in combination with password protection and signed keys to keep your videos as secure as possible. It’s a great addition to the rest of vzaar’s video security features.

It’s time to protect your assets! Download your Ultimate Guide To Secure Video and get started today!

The YouTube Video Advertising Scandal: Why You & Your Business Should Care

By now you’re probably aware of the growing scandal involving YouTube placing brands advertisements next to extremist content on the platform.

In a nutshell: many brands are finding that their ads have been run alongside videos which are not “brand safe”. And that’s putting it mildly. Many of these offensive videos promote hate speech and terror.

Brands are pulling out of YouTube in droves. Among the growing list are Macdonalds, Marks and Spencer, Lloyds Banking Group, O2, L’Oréal, Channel 4, Havas, Royal Mail, TfL, ITV, RBS, Tesco, Volkswagen, Renault, Audi, Honda, Toyota, Sainsbury and Argos (Financial Times).

In fact, Nomura Instinet estimates YouTube are set for a loss of $750 million in revenue this year

To combat this, YouTube have decided to stop running ads on channels with less than 10,000 views (Tech Crunch). If you’re a smaller, niche publisher posting perfectly acceptable video content this will be devastating to your income. The good news is that vzaar recently partnered with AOL advertising allowing you to use AOL as your ad network (no matter what your size!).

But it’s not just advertisers who should be concerned, the growth of this type of content on YouTube should be a worry for all businesses who choose to upload their valuable videos to the platform. Regardless of if you want to use YouTube to generate advertising revenue, or are simply using it to serve videos to your audience.

The Brand Danger of YouTube

The latest scandal just serves to illustrate a huge problem that we have long since pointed out – if you upload your content to YouTube you lose control over it. In fact, back in 2013 (a full 4 years before this uproar) we wrote:

“One of the problems when you embed video on site and choose to use the YouTube player is that it is instantly recognizable as YouTube – do you really want your brand to become aligned with cute cat videos and epic fail compilations?

In actual fact, cat videos and epic fails were just the tip of the iceberg. Fast forward 4 years and the videos on YouTube have taken a much more sinister turn. The question now is much, MUCH more serious:

Do you really want your brand to become aligned with extremist content?

Because if you put it on YouTube, it is.

When you post your videos to YouTube is becomes a part of YouTube. Your videos drive traffic to YouTube (not you) and you have no control whatsoever over the other types of content on YouTube.

An Alternative To YouTube For Businesses

Well, instead of letting your videos become a part of brand YouTube, you need a video platform that sits within your brand.

Upload to a professional video platform and you’ll be able to brand the player so it’s most definitely NOT YouTube. You can even add your own CNAMEs to the embed codes so there’s absolutely no trace of the third party platform.

It’s time to let YOUR brand do the talking.

Take total control of your video content. Get started today with your free trial.

Video: How To Get Started With Video Advertising

Want to monetize your videos with advertising, but just don’t know how to get started?

I’m pleased to annouce that vzaar Monetize is here! We’ve partnered with AOL to give you a get-started-in-seconds approach to video advertising. And the best part? Our video experts will set it all up for you.

Check out the video to:

  • Learn how to monetize your videos
  • Turbo charge your video ROI
  • Check out a live demo of the platform

Unlock video advertising revenue for your business. Find out how to get started here.