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Video Optimization

Announcing Video Optimizations in Akamai Image Manager 4.0

June 29, 2018 by Maya Bustan and Mo Aboul-Magd

A key internet trend today is the rise of short videos that enhance the end-user experience. Examples of this trend include everything from 20-second product videos on retailer websites to two-minute news clips on media websites. While users appreciate the video content, there’s a challenge here which is very similar to the one that web developers have faced with images for many years: namely, how to deliver high-quality, engaging short videos without over-burdening the user with an explosion of bytes that need to be downloaded (especially on mobile devices).

Akamai Image Manager—which has already helped countless developers automate image optimization with great features like an easy-to-implement media viewer, dynamic policies, and transformations including text overlay and auto-crop on faces—will now help you solve the video challenge by introducing video optimizations into beta, starting today.

These new optimizations in the 4.0 release are designed to simplify the many challenges of video for developers: the complexity of setting up a transcoding service, choosing the derivative videos to create, saving them, creating the logic to determine when to deliver the right video, and reducing the costs (both time and money) associated with the entire process.

Here’s how it works

You’ll start by saving your video (up to five minutes in length) at origin. Then, Image Manager’s video optimizations will kick in to automatically create and deliver derivative videos with the optimal bit-rate, resolution, and format.

Here are two specific optimization scenarios that we think will be especially helpful for developers:

1. Auto Format/Encoder Conversion

Based on the user’s device and browser, Image Manager will automatically convert your video to the best format for the user.

Browser support

Here’s an example of a video being automatically transcoded by Image Manager into five different device resolutions:
 

image manager

NOTE: Similar to Image Manager’s capability with images, you don’t have to change your video URLs; Image Manager will automatically select and deliver the right derivative video for the situation.

 

2. Scaling for Mobile

Based on the user’s screen resolution, the video resolution will be automatically adjusted to ensure that the best size is delivered. 

image manager

These are just two of the optimizations that can now be applied to your short videos with Akamai Image Manager. Here’s a more complete list of new capabilities:

 

Capability Description
Support for videos up to five minutes Videos with a maximum length of five minutes will be optimized by Image Manager.
Progressive video downloading Videos will be delivered to end users progressively.
Origin-agnostic storage location Video assets can be pulled directly from your origin, much like how images are pulled today in Image Manager.
Automatically deliver videos optimized for end-user conditions Based on end-user conditions (i.e. device type, device resolution, browser, etc.), Image Manager will automatically deliver a derivative video with the right resolution, the right bitrate/quality and the right format to the end user:
  • Resolution: Image Manager delivers the right resolution depending on the device's resolution and size.
  • Bitrate/quality: You can select different video-quality levels, and each level corresponds to a certain bitrate.
  • Format: Image Manager automatically delivers the right encoding for the device/browser. Supported encoding types include H.264, H.265 (iPhone 6 and up) and VP9 (i.e., webm for Chrome/Android).

Join the beta today

If you’re interested in optimizing your videos to improve your end-user experience, then we encourage you to join our Image Manager 4.0 video optimization beta here.

Maya Bustan is a product line director at Akamai Technologies. Mo Aboul-Magd is a product line manager at Akamai Technologies.

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