Chris Mendez in For Managers, Audio, Radio

AWS Elemental

Amazon acquired a company called Elemental back in 2015 and has now released a suite of products to help broadcasters (big and small) distribute and syndicate video online. Think of Elemental as Amazon's in-house solution to Adobe's defunct Flash Media Server and Wowza's cloud-based solutions. The idea is simple yet powerful, provide a one-stop shop for encoding, packaging, delivery and monetization in just a few minutes.

Like all AWS products, Amazon will manage the servers for you and you only have to pay-for-what-you-use.

Elemental offers a suite of different products but they're sort of hard to understand so here's my plain-English breakdown.

Encoding

MediaLive

If you are a broadcaster (such as a radio station) with a 24-7 channel and your goal is to distribute it live online, then you can encode your live feed using MediaLive. MediaLive is a live transcoding service that you will later publish to MediaPackage.

Use Case

  • Live Performances
  • Award Shows
  • Sporting Events

MediaConvert

Use Case

  • Video: If you want to simluate a 24-7 video channel but don't want to invest in heavy video infrastructure, then this will work.
  • Radio: If you want to create a 24-7 music channel and your first step is to encode the music.

MediaConvert can accept these formats as inputs:

  • PCM audio in a QuickTime container (.mov)
  • PCM audio in an MPEG-2 transport stream (.ts, .m2ts, .m2p)
  • AAC audio in an MP4 container (.mp4)
  • PCM audio in a self-contained WAV file (.wav)

Currently, MediaConvert MediaConvert does not support audio only HLS output but ElasticTranscoder does. ElasticTranscoder also offers auto-rotation of files.

Packaging

MediaPackage

MediaPackage is a real-time transcoder that I would describe as the competitor to Telestream. Basically, if you have a single video and you want to package it different devices and use cases, this is the tool.

If you are a new radio station and you're looking for something more affordable than Stream Guys or Triton Digital to distribute to different devices, then use MediaPackage. MediaPackage will prepare your feed for iOS (HLS format). Android (M3U) or even xBox(smooth stream).

MediaStore

MediaStore is essentially the AWS S3 equivalent specifically designed for audio and video. You can still use S3 with Elemental but the performance on MediaStore will be slightly better.

Referring back to MediaLive, if you plan to both broadcast and record your live feed, then you'll probably want to use MediaStore to save your real-time stream.

Monetization

MediaTaylor

If you want to earn a dollar by selling advertising, then this is the tool you'll need.


Resources