Amazon-web-services-224x85We may only think about transcoding in terms of dropping a file in into a batch converter and coming out with maybe a dozen file formats at most, but for really big jobs, especially those that need streaming video, letting another specialized company take care of the workload is far more efficient. So when a giant corporation like Amazon, who is at the forefront of cloud computing and servers, decides to get into video transcoding, it's nothing to take lightly. Click through for more on Amazon's new video transcoding service, Elastic Transcoder.

Amazon's description of how the service actually works:

Amazon Elastic Transcoder is video transcoding in the cloud. It is designed to be a highly scalable, easy to use and a cost effective way for developers and businesses to convert (or “transcode”) video files from their source format into versions that will playback on devices like smartphones, tablets and PCs.

Amazon Elastic Transcoder manages all aspects of the transcoding process for you transparently and automatically. There’s no need to administer software, scale hardware, tune performance, or otherwise manage transcoding infrastructure. You simply create a transcoding “job” specifying the location of your source video and how you want it transcoded. Amazon Elastic Transcoder also provides transcoding presets for popular output formats, which means that you don’t need to guess about which settings work best on particular devices. All these features are available via service APIs and the AWS Management Console.

This is the cost for the service in the US Northeast region, followed by the US Northern California region:

  • Standard Definition – SD (Resolution of less than 720p) $0.015 per minute
  • High Definition – HD (Resolution of 720p or above) $0.030 per minute
  • Standard Definition – SD (Resolution of less than 720p) $0.017 per minute
  • High Definition – HD (Resolution of 720p or above) $0.034 per minute

The service is capable of ingesting a number of different file formats, including 3GP, AAC, AVI, FLV, MP4 and MPEG-2, and then spitting some of the most common formats on the web: H.264, AAC, and MP4. This probably isn't something you're going to be using for small jobs or very small files -- but this could be tied directly into your content delivery network which you may already be utilizing Amazon for. The advantage for Amazon here is that they are undercutting their competitors, and users have a huge incentive to use the service: you only pay for the exact amount that you're transcoding, there is no minimum fee, and it's relatively simple to get up and running.

With content moving to many different screens and in even more resolutions and file formats, services like these are becoming more important. It's clear Amazon wants to own this space, and Elastic Transcoder is a compelling and relatively inexpensive service that might have more than a few companies jumping ship from their current providers.

If you want to try out the service for free, Amazon has a deal for you:

To help you test Amazon Elastic Transcoder, the first 20 minutes of SD content (or 10 minutes of HD content) transcoded each month is provided free of charge. Once you exceed the number of minutes in this free usage tier, you will be charged at the prevailing rates. We do not watermark the output content or otherwise limit the functionality of the service, so you can use it and truly get a feel for its capabilities.

To learn more about Elastic Transcoder, head on over to the website using the link below.

Link: Amazon Elastic Transcoder