AWS Elastic Transcoder – A complete overview!

AWS Elastic Transcoder is media transcoding in AWS cloud. It is designed to be a highly scalable, easy to use and a cost effective way for developers and business owners to convert (or “transcode”) media files from their source format into versions that will playback on different devices – smartphones, PCs or tablets. It frees you from all kind of administration, scaling, performance tuning and managing of transcoding infrastructure. Moreover, it supports most of the popular output formats. Amazon Elastic Transcoder supports transcoding to the following output formats:

  • HLS using a MPEG-2 TS container to house H.264 video and AAC or MP3 audio
  • Smooth Streaming using an fmp4 container to house H.264 video and AAC audio
  • XDCAM using MXF container using MPEG-2 video and PCM audio
  • MP4 container with H.264 video and AAC or MP3 audio
  • WebM container with VP8 video and Vorbis audio
  • FLV container with H.264 video and AAC or MP3 audio
  • MPG container with MPEG-2 video and MP2 audio
  • MP3 container with MP3 audio
  • MP4 container with AAC audio
  • OGG container with Vorbis or FLAC audio
  • OGA container with FLAC audio
  • FLAC container with FLAC audio
  • Animated GIF

Properties of AWS Elastic Transcoder

  • Elastic Transcoder is an aws service used to convert the media files stored in an S3 bucket into the media files in different formats supported by different devices.
  • AWS Elastic Transcoder is a media transcoder in the cloud.
  • It is used to convert media files from their original source format into different formats that will play on smartphones, tablets, PC’s, etc.
  • It provides transcoding presets for popular output formats means that you don’t need to guess about which settings work best on particular devices.
  • If you use AWS Elastic Transcoder, then you need to pay based on the minutes that you transcode and the resolution at which you transcode.

Components of AWS Elastic Transcoder

Elastic Transcoder consists of four components:

  1. Jobs
    • The main task of the job is to complete the work of transcoding. Each job can convert a file up to 30 formats. For example, if you want to convert a media file into eight different formats, then a single job creates files in eight formats. When you create a job, you need to specify the name of the file that you want to transcode.
  2. Pipelines
    • Pipelines are the queues that consist of your transcoding jobs. When you create a job, then you need to specify which pipeline you want to add your job. If you want a job to create more than one format, AWS Elastic Transcoder creates the files for each format in the order you specify the formats in a job. You can create either of the two pipelines, i.e., standard-priority jobs and high-priority jobs. Mainly jobs go into the standard-priority jobs. Sometimes you want to transcode the file immediately; the high-priority pipeline is used.
  3. Presets
    • Presets are the templates that contain the settings for transcoding the media file from one format to another format. Elastic transcoder consists of some default presets for common formats. You can also create your own presets that are not included in the default presets. You need to specify a preset that you want to use when you create a job.
  4. Notifications
    • Notification is an optional field which you can configure with the Elastic Transcoder. Notification Service is a service that keeps you updated with the status of your job: when Elastic Transcoder starts processing your job, when Elastic Transcoder finishes its job, whether the Elastic Transcoder encounters an error condition or not.You can configure Notifications when you create a pipeline.

Working principle

Suppose I uploaded the mp4 file in S3 bucket. As soon as uploading is completed, it triggers a Lambda function. Lambda function will then invoke Elastic Transcoder. Elastic Transcoder converts the mp4 file into different formats so that the file can be opened in iphone, Laptop, etc. Once it has completed the transcoding, it stores the transcoded files in S3 bucket.

Pricing information

  • Like all other cloud service, there is no minimum fee. You pay for only what you use.
  • AWS Transcoder offers monthly free usage tier, which comes with 20 minutes of free audio-only output per month, 20 minutes of free SD output per month and 10 minutes of free HD output per month.
  • The pricing changes from region to region. If you’re looking for price per region, I suggest to click here.
  • Amazon S3 storage and data-transfer charges still apply for both input and output files.
  • AWS Elastic Transcoder does not charge for failed transcodes unless the number of failures becomes excessive

Best practices

Secure your contents

AWS Certification Examination & Practice Questions

Reading reference for AWS Certifications

Developers Guide for AWS Elastic Transcoder

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