More fun with ChatGPT. I am the technical writer for Azure Media Services. The premise for the session below is that the content assists a systems architect, who may not know about video streaming platforms, with evaluating Azure Media Services. I first asked ChatGPT to use the Socratic method to create some higher-level questions, then asked it to dig deeper with each pass. When I asked for the Media Services Pricing calculator URL, I got one, but I am not sure if it was the original URL for the pricing calculator and the redirect doesn’t work properly, or if ChatGPT guessed at the URL. The correct URL (as of this writing) is this: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/calculator/
Using the Socratic method, create questions to help systems architects determine if Azure Media Services is the right solution for their video streaming needs.
- What are the specific requirements for your video streaming solution?
- How many concurrent users do you expect to have accessing the video content?
- What is the expected amount of video content that will be uploaded and stored?
- Do you need the ability to live stream or only provide on-demand video content?
- Will the video content be restricted to certain users or regions?
- Are there any specific security or compliance requirements for the video content?
- Are there any existing systems or infrastructure that need to be integrated with the video streaming solution?
- What is the budget for the video streaming solution?
- Are there any scalability or performance requirements for the solution?
- Are there any specific features or functionalities that are needed for the video streaming platform?
Help the systems architect determine the answers to the above questions, by answering the following questions:
- What requirements are usually required by a video streaming solution?
- How many concurrent users are expected by an enterprise level streaming solution?
- What is the size of a single, average media asset for a video-on-demand video streaming application? Break it down by media type such as full-length feature film, long form (such as podcasts) and short form (such as TikTok), interstitials, etc.
- Write a value proposition for providing live streaming media in addition to on-demand content.
- Write a rationale for restricting content to certain users or regions.
- Explain why security or compliance requirements are important for video content.
- List other Azure services that might be used with Azure Media Services.
- Give examples of budgets for enterprise level streaming solutions.
- Discuss the value of a CDN and relate that to scaling a video streaming solution.
- Give examples of features and functionalities that are typically used on a video streaming platform.
- Video streaming solutions typically require the ability to upload, encode, and store video content, as well as the ability to stream that content to users on various devices and platforms. Additional requirements may include the ability to customize the video player, provide closed captioning, and generate analytics on viewer engagement.
- Enterprise level streaming solutions can expect to have thousands of concurrent users accessing the video content.
- The size of a single, average media asset for a video-on-demand video streaming application can vary widely depending on the type of content. A full-length feature film can be several gigabytes in size, while short-form content such as TikTok videos can be just a few megabytes. Long-form content such as podcasts can also be of different size.
- Providing live streaming media in addition to on-demand content can increase viewer engagement and create a more dynamic viewing experience. Live streams can also be used for events such as concerts, conferences, and news broadcasts, which can attract a larger audience.
- Restricting content to certain users or regions can be done for a variety of reasons, such as compliance with local laws and regulations, or to protect exclusive distribution agreements.
- Security and compliance requirements are important for video content to protect against unauthorized access and distribution, as well as to comply with data privacy laws and regulations.
- Other Azure services that can be used with Azure Media Services include Azure Cognitive Services for video indexing and Azure storage for content storage and management.
- Budgets for enterprise level streaming solutions can vary widely depending on the specific requirements and scale of the project, but can range from tens of thousands of dollars to several million dollars.
- A Content Delivery Network (CDN) can help to scale a video streaming solution by caching and delivering video content from servers that are physically closer to the viewer. This can help to improve the viewing experience and reduce the load on the main servers.
- Features and functionalities that are typically used on a video streaming platform include the ability to create playlists, generate viewer analytics, customize the video player, provide closed captioning and subtitles, and integrate with other systems such as social media and marketing platforms.
Answer the following questions:
- List video streaming capable devices and the requirements for low-latency streaming for each one.
- Provide recommendations for how an enterprise level organization can determine how many concurrent users they may have in a month.
- Help the CTO determine the cost of hosting a single, Azure Media Services media asset that is 2 gigabytes in size for a single month.
- Give examples of increasing viewer engagement through a dynamic viewing experience.
- Give an example of restricting media content because of compliance with local laws and regulations.
- Provide an example of a security practice for restricting access to media content.
- How would an Azure Media Services customer make sure that they have architected their media streaming solution so that it has high availability?
- Recommend media streaming practices for a company that has a yearly budget of $50,0000.
- Explain how a media streaming solution can guarantee that media content has been cached on a CDN regardless of whether an end user has requested the content.
- Give a rationale for why a media streaming platform would want to generate viewer analytics.
- Video streaming capable devices include smart TVs, streaming media players (such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV), gaming consoles (such as Xbox and PlayStation), smartphones and tablets, and personal computers. For low-latency streaming, the device should support the required streaming protocol (such as HLS or DASH) and have a fast internet connection.
- To determine the number of concurrent users for an enterprise level organization, the organization should consider factors such as the expected number of viewers, the frequency of video usage, and the peak usage times. The organization can also gather data on historical usage patterns, and use analytics tools to monitor real-time usage.
- The cost of hosting a single, 2 gigabyte media asset on Azure Media Services for a single month can vary depending on the specific pricing plan and usage. The customer can use the Azure Media Services pricing calculator to estimate the cost.
- Examples of increasing viewer engagement through a dynamic viewing experience include providing interactive features such as polls and quizzes, incorporating social media into the viewing experience, and providing multiple camera angles or interactive experiences during live streams.
- An example of restricting media content because of compliance with local laws and regulations is a streaming service that only allows access to content that has been approved for distribution within a particular country or region.
- An example of a security practice for restricting access to media content is the use of token-based authentication, which ensures that only authorized users can access the content.
- To ensure high availability for an Azure Media Services solution, the customer should use Azure availability zones, use multiple Content Delivery Network (CDN) to distribute content globally and replicate the media content across different regions.
- For a company with a yearly budget of $50,000, media streaming practices may include using a cost-effective hosting solution such as Azure Media Services, using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to distribute content globally, and using analytics tools to monitor usage and optimize the streaming experience.
- To guarantee that media content has been cached on a CDN regardless of whether an end user has requested the content, the media streaming solution can use a technique called “prefetching.” This means that the CDN automatically caches content that is likely to be requested in the future, based on historical usage data or other factors.
- A media streaming platform generates viewer analytics to understand audience behavior, such as how many viewers are watching, how long they are watching for, and which parts of the video are most popular. This information can be used to improve the streaming experience, optimize the video content and make more informed decisions about how to monetize the content.
Answer the following questions:
- Explain the HLS and DASH protocols.
- Let’s say that the organization has never implemented a video streaming service. What data can they use to determine expected number of viewers, the frequency of video usage, and the peak usage times?
- What is the URL of the Azure Media Services pricing calculator?
- What is the most effective way for a company to see ROI on a media streaming solution?
- Give an example of media content that is NOT approved for a specific region.
- Explain token-based authentication for Azure Media Services.
- What is an Azure availability zone?
- Describe a cost-effective media streaming solution.
- Describe the implementation of CDN prefetching.
- If users are consistently watching a specific range of time within a video, what conclusions would a company make about that fact? What actions would they take based on this information?
- HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) and DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) are two protocols used for streaming video content over the internet. HLS is developed by Apple and is used primarily on Apple devices, while DASH is an open standard that is supported by a wide range of devices and platforms. Both protocols break the video content into small segments, which are then delivered to the viewer’s device in real-time. This allows the video player to adapt the video quality to the viewer’s network conditions in real-time.
- An organization that has never implemented a video streaming service can use various data to determine the expected number of viewers, frequency of video usage, and peak usage times. They can conduct market research to gauge the potential demand for their service, gather data on the viewing habits of their target audience, and analyze historical data from similar services or industry benchmarks.
- The URL for the Azure Media Services pricing calculator is https://azure.com/mediaservices/pricing-calculator
- The most effective way for a company to see ROI on a media streaming solution is to carefully track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as user engagement, ad revenue, and subscription revenue. The company can also analyze the cost savings associated with the streaming solution, such as reduced costs for content delivery or content management.
- An example of media content that is not approved for a specific region is a movie that has been banned by the government or has not yet been granted distribution rights in that region.
- Token-based authentication for Azure Media Services is a security feature that ensures that only authorized users can access the content. This is done by requiring users to present a unique token, which is verified against a database of authorized users.
- An Azure availability zone is a physically separate location within an Azure region, providing redundant power, cooling, and networking. It helps to ensure that the services and applications running in the zone will be highly available and resilient to failures.
- A cost-effective media streaming solution could include using a low-cost hosting service such as Azure Media Services, using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to distribute content globally, and using analytics tools to monitor usage and optimize the streaming experience.
- CDN prefetching is a technique where the CDN anticipates the content that is likely to be requested and caches it in advance. This can be done by analyzing historical usage data or other factors that predict which content is likely to be requested in the future.
- If users are consistently watching a specific range of time within a video, a company would conclude that the content during that specific range of time is particularly interesting or valuable to the viewers. Based on this information, they may decide to focus on creating similar content in the future, or to highlight that specific section of the video in promotional materials.