Following up on our Smooth Streaming announcement last week, today we released IIS Media Pack 1.0! This first release of the IIS Media Pack features two IIS 7.0 extensions that focus on the intelligent delivery of video and audio to end users: Bit Rate Throttling, and Web Playlists.
Bit Rate Throttling
Bit Rate Throttling gives Web server administrators the ability to automatically meter the delivery of 11 built-in media file types, including Windows Media Video (.wmv), Flash Video (.flv), and MPEG-4 (.mp4) files. Additional media formats can be added, as can any non-media file type. By controlling how fast or how much data is downloaded to the client, site operators can see significant bandwidth cost savings for rich media content that has a high drop-off rate, such as videos on popular social media sites. When bandwidth is a concern, reducing the amount of data being sent to end users can increase the number of concurrent users per server.
Another feature of Bit Rate Throttling is dynamic throttling. When enabled, IIS can dynamically split your total available bandwidth allocation across all concurrent users. If you are billed for network usage based on a peak usage billing model, rather than number of datas transferred, this equitably shares extra available bandwidth among all of your users. As new users start to consume the extra bandwidth, dynamic throttling reduces bandwidth to each user, but ensures that the allocated bandwidth for each user will not fall below the specified bit rate for the content being consumed.
Web Playlists let you deliver server-controlled media playlists from your Web server infrastructure, rather than using a dedicated streaming server. They enable you to control whether clients can Seek or Skip for each media asset, which lends itself very well to monetizing your content with pre-roll and in-stream ads. Web Playlists also obfuscate the location of media assets from the end user, and prevent client-side caching of those assets.
Web Playlists are simple to create and deliver. They are based on a standard playlist format (SMIL), are transformable to other common playlist types, and can be used with many popular media players. If you have existing business applications written in ASP, PHP, etc. to personalize the end user experience, it can be used with Web Playlists on your IIS 7.0 server to provide custom media playlists.
Call to Action
Download and try out the new IIS Media Pack 1.0 release! Add your comments below, or join us in the IIS Media forum, to let us know how well IIS Media Pack 1.0 meets your needs, and how we can make it even better for the next release.