Media Services terminology and concepts

Media Services logo v3


Azure Media Services will be retired June 30th, 2024. For more information, see the AMS Retirement Guide.

This topic gives a brief overview of Azure Media Services terminology and concepts. The article also provides links to articles with an in-depth explanation of Media Services v3 concepts and functionality.

The fundamental concepts described in these topics should be reviewed before starting development.

Media Services v3 terminology

Term Description
Live Event A Live Event represents a pipeline for ingesting, transcoding (optionally), and packaging live streams of video, audio, and real-time metadata.

For customers migrating from Media Services v2 APIs, the Live Event replaces the Channel entity in v2. For more information, see Migrating from v2 to v3.
Streaming Endpoint/Packaging/Origin A Streaming Endpoint represents a dynamic (just-in-time) packaging and origin service that can deliver your live and on-demand content directly to a client player application. It uses one of the common streaming media protocols (HLS or DASH). In addition, the Streaming Endpoint provides dynamic (just-in-time) encryption to industry-leading digital rights management systems (DRMs).

In the media streaming industry, this service is commonly referred to as a Packager or Origin. Other common terms in the industry for this capability include JITP (just-in-time-packager) or JITE (just-in-time-encryption).

Media Services v3 concepts

Concepts Description Links
Assets and uploading content To start managing, encrypting, encoding, analyzing, and streaming media content in Azure, you need to create a Media Services account and upload your digital files into Assets. Cloud upload and storage

Assets concept
Encoding content Once you upload your high-quality digital media files into Assets, you can encode them into formats that can be played on a wide variety of browsers and devices.

To encode with Media Services v3, you need to create Transforms and Jobs.
Transforms and Jobs

Encoding with Media Services
Packaging and delivery Once your content is encoded, you can take advantage of Dynamic Packaging. In Media Services, a Streaming Endpoint is the dynamic packaging service used to deliver media content to client players. To make videos in the output asset available to clients for playback, you have to create a Streaming Locator and then build streaming URLs.

When creating the Streaming Locator, in addition to the asset's name, you need to specify Streaming Policy. Streaming Policies enable you to define streaming protocols and encryption options (if any) for your Streaming Locators. Dynamic Packaging is used whether you stream your content live or on-demand.

You can use Media Services Dynamic Manifests to stream only a specific rendition or subclips of your video. In addition, if you have pre-encoded content, or content that is already encoded by a 3rd party encoder you can stream the content with the AMS origin services. For an example of using a pre-encoded source file, see the sample - Streaming an existing Mp4
Dynamic packaging

Streaming Endpoints

Streaming Locators

Streaming Policies

Dynamic manifests

Content protection With Media Services, you can deliver your live and on-demand content encrypted dynamically with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-128) or/and any of the three major DRM systems: Microsoft PlayReady, Google Widevine, and Apple FairPlay. Media Services also provides a service for delivering AES keys and DRM (PlayReady, Widevine, and Apple FairPlay Streaming) licenses to authorized clients.

If specifying encryption options on your stream, create the Content Key Policy and associate it with your Streaming Locator. The Content Key Policy enables you to configure how the content key is delivered to end clients.

Try to reuse policies whenever the same options are needed.
Content Key Policies

Content protection
Live streaming Media Services enables you to deliver live events to your customers on the Azure cloud. Live Events are responsible for ingesting and processing the live video feeds. When you create a Live Event, an input endpoint is created that you can use to send a live signal from a remote encoder. Once you have the stream flowing into the Live Event, you can begin the streaming event by creating an Asset, Live Output, and Streaming Locator. Live Output will archive the stream into the Asset and make it available to viewers through the Streaming Endpoint. A live event can be set to either a pass-through (an on-premises live encoder sends a multiple bitrate stream) or live encoding (an on-premises live encoder sends a single bitrate stream). Live streaming overview

Live Events and Live Outputs
Monitoring with Event Grid To see the progress of the job, use Event Grid. Media Services also emits the live event types. With Event Grid, your apps can listen for and react to events from virtually all Azure services, as well as custom sources. Handling Event Grid events

Monitoring with Azure Monitor Monitor metrics and diagnostic logs that help you understand how your apps are performing with Azure Monitor. Media Services monitoring
Player clients You can use any player framework that supports the HLS or DASH streaming protocol. There are many open source and commercial players available on the market (Shaka, Hls.js, Video.js, Theo Player, Bitmovin Player, etc.) as well as built-in native browser and OS level streaming support for HLS and DASH. The Azure Media Player is also available to play back media content streamed by Media Services on a wide variety of browsers. The Azure Media Player uses industry standards, such as HTML5, Media Source Extensions (MSE), and Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) to provide an adaptive streaming experience. List of media players

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