Tag Archives: iphone

iPad Streaming Video and More

I've updated the configuration examples in the open source segmenter project to reflect Apple's recommended stream bitrates for iPad video streaming, added a few fixes and a few new features. If you are interested in streaming video on the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch and haven't done so yet you it may help to start with my post on windowed streaming on for the iPhone, then read about iPhone HTTP streaming with FFMpeg and the open source segmenter and finally check out the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch live video streaming project page.

Here is a demo of the iPad streaming video created with the segmenter (I tried to show the progressive upgrade happening but it happens very quickly since the iPad is on WIFI, I also show that you can scrub without any issues and if you look in the background you can see the server log displaying entries as the segments are downloaded):

If you want to view the demo yourself I've created a demo for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Note that those are two links, one for the iPad version and one for the iPhone/iPod Touch version. The main difference is the size of the video.

I used the open source video Big Buck Bunny (the 1920×1080 ogg version) for the above demos.

If you are interested in more details on what changed read on or skip to the bottom if you want to see what I'll be working towards in future versions of the segmenter.

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iPhone Windowed HTTP Live Streaming Server

After some more work I have enhanced the HTTP segmenter and uploading script from my iPhone streaming using AWS S3 and Cloudfront post. I added a number of features and tried to pull together some of the ideas from the comments. I'll go over some of the features here and there is a full list of configuration options on the HTTP Live Video Streaming server project page and the source is available at the github repo.

So the major changes I have added are:

  • Yaml based configuration file. See the project page for a complete list of options.
  • Ability to transfer segments via copy, ftp, scp and s3.
  • Added the ability to do variable bitrate streams.
  • Added re-streaming support.
  • Added logging to a file and better debug output.

The variable bitrate streams where done by using pipes. I haven't done a large amount of testing but it seems to work fairly well. I am able to stream a live HD video source into 3 different bitrates on a fairly old PC. Here are a couple clips I created to show the progressive enhancement in action, you probably want to switch to the HD version of the video and watch it full screen to get the bet view:


The configuration file will allow for any number of encoding options or transfer options and they can be put together in a number of different ways. Here are a couple examples of both, see the example configuration files for more.

An encoder example:

ep_128k:
  ffmpeg_command: "ffmpeg -er 4 -y -i %s -f mpegts -acodec libmp3lame -ar 48000 -ab 64k -s 320x240 -vcodec libx264 -b 128k -flags +loop -cmp +chroma -partitions +parti4x4+partp8x8+partb8x8 -subq 5 -trellis 1 -refs 1 -coder 0 -me_range 16 -keyint_min 25 -sc_threshold 40 -i_qfactor 0.71 -bt 128k -maxrate 128k -bufsize 128k -rc_eq 'blurCplx^(1-qComp)' -qcomp 0.6 -qmin 10 -qmax 51 -qdiff 4 -level 30 -aspect 320:240 -g 30 -async 2 - | %s %s %s %s %s"
  bandwidth: 128000

Transfer configuration example:

ftp_dev:
  transfer_type: 'ftp'
  remote_host: '192.168.1.1'
  user_name: 'user'
  password: 'pass'
  directory: 'html/streamingvideo'

As a final note on changes, you are no longer able to use the segmenter without the script now really. If you want to do that you should use the original version of the segmenter source.

Please note that there is still some work to be done on the script to be complete. If I have time my next enhancement will be to add encryption and I will probably try to test builds on other distributions (maybe attempt to create segmenter binaries).

iPhone Windowed HTTP Live Streaming Using Amazon S3 and Cloudfront Proof of Concept

This post should be seen as a proof of concept. I'm working on creating a more concise and easier to use package of everything covered here but I felt like getting the knowledge out sooner rather than later would be of help to people looking for a way to do this. If you are interested keep an eye on the HTTP live video stream segementer and distributor project page as well as the github git repository.

After my post on using FFMpeg and an open source segmenter to create videos for the iPhone that conform to the HTTP live streaming protocol I decided to see if I could get the same segmenter to work on a live stream. As it turns out it didn't take much modification to work.

If you are looking for something you can buy out of the box it appears that Akamai is doing iPhone video streaming now. I believe that the following solution using Amazon S3 and Cloudfront is probably as good as what Akamai can offer but it may be a better choice if you don't want to have to maintain the configuration.

I put together a quick diagram of the process of transferring the video stream from source to final destination that will hopefully help people understand the full picture before jumping into the details:

HTTP Live Streaming Diagram

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iPhone HTTP Streaming with FFMpeg and an Open Source Segmenter

With the release of the iPhone OS 3 update came the ability to do live streaming. There are a few types of streaming and each requires a certain encoding and segmentation. I've put together a cheat sheet on how I went about building a static stream using FFMpeg and an example segmenter that someone has posted. I'm not covering windowed streams in this post but if you are thinking about implementing a windowed stream the following will help you make a step in that direction.

Before getting started it is best to read over the Apple documentation on HTTP live streaming. Start out with the iPhone streaming media overview. This document covers the basics of how the streaming works and has some nice diagrams.

If you want even more information after reading the overview you can take a look at the HTTP Live streaming draft proposal that was submitted to the IETF by Apple. It covers the streaming protocol in complete detail and has examples of the stream file format for reference.

Once you are ready to start grab a decent quality video clip to use. If you don't have one handy I found a nice list of downloadable HD clips in various formats for testing.

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How to create iPhone wireframes with Inkscape

While developing ideas for iPhone applications I've played around with just using Interface Builder to stub things out. This works reasonably well but I know how to use Interface Builder so that makes a difference. If you are designing an application and want to stick with graphical tools only you are in luck because Yahoo has produced a set of wireframing SVG stencils for the iPhone that are very nice.

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Converting videos (flv,wmv,avi,etc) into a format that will work with the iPhone/iTunes

I have had an iPhone for a while now and I keep running into instances where I want to have videos outside of youtube in some format that I can watch on the device. These include windows WMV formatted videos from PDC as well as FVL formatted videos on Flex. I finally broke down and found a working solution to convert pretty much any video into a iPhone/iTunes format using mencoder.

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