January 1, 2017

Year of 2016 overview

Happy New Year!


We wish you and your company all the best in the new year of 2017!

To celebrate this upcoming year, we would like to make a summary of what was done during past 12 months of 2016.

You might have noticed the mention of Softvelum, LLC in many updates. That's right - we've grown from a startup established in 2011 into a technology company so this incorporation was performed to build a platform for further activities. We've been strengthening our team this year and we're ready for new challenges!
As a company, we're honored to have Nimble Streamer as a finalist of Streaming Media Europe Readers Choice Awards 2016 in the "Best Streaming Innovation" nomination!
We appreciate this acknowledgment and we'd like to thank everyone who voted for us.

Before getting into products summary, let's take a look at the State of Streaming Protocols for 2016. It shows current status of streaming technologies and compares it to the data back from 2015.

Now, let's see what was new in our products set.

Nimble Streamer


Our flagship product was continuously improved through the year. Here are most notable enhancements from what was implemented.

Nimble Streamer is now available for ARM architecture and its installation packages are built for for Raspberry Pi / Orange Pi / Odroid.
Read this page for all details regarding Nimble Streamer embedding capabilities.

Transmuxing engine was improved to improve performance and take more codecs as input. New codecs include H.265, VP6, VP8 and VP9 as video input with AC3, E-AC3, Speex and PCM G.711 for audio input. This gives more capabilities for broadcasters who receive media from various source and want to bring it to the internet viewers.

Icecast transmuxing was also added into common engine and now it allows taking AAC audio from any input stream and deliver it both as playback stream and as republished stream. You can also define metadata for any outgoing Icecast stream. Read more about current audio streaming feature set here.

DVR feature set was also improved through the year to improve performance and also get timeshift scheduled recording.

Subtitles support was added for VOD streaming to follow with multiple customers requests.

Nimble control API was significantly improved, it now covers full set of operations that are available via web UI. Also, Nimble status native API was updates with new calls.

Server control capabilities can now be granted to non-admin users by account administrators.

Paywall framework for Nimble Streamer was also improved with new blocking capabilities: by User agents and by Referer HTTP headers.

One more significant feature is Publish Control Framework. It allow setting full control over RTMP and RTSP streams publication process - you can apply your own business logic to any incoming streams. This is especially useful for people who create their own mobile broadcasting services as they need to find a way to control their content contributors.

Live Transcoder


We had many questions from our customers about content transformation in Nimble Streamer - like changing resolution, bitrate, graphics overlay and many other. So after technical and legal research, we've released Live Transcoder. It's a premium addition for freeware media server available via license subscription.

It supports multiple video and audio codecs for decode and encodes it into H.264/AAC output streams with codecs passthrough option.

After the content is decoded you can also apply wide variety of FFmpeg filters to transform the content as you need for your live stream. This includes changing the resolution, bitrate, profile, applying graphics overlay, adding picture-in-picture video and much more.

All operations are performed via excelled drag-n-drop web UI, you can check this playlist of videos to see it in action.

Besides software decoding and encoding, Live Transcoder supports Intel QuickSync and NVidia GPU hardware acceleration technologies. This allows combining flexible filtering, excellent UI and best hardware transcoding technologies into a single powerful product.

Visit Live Transcoder website to learn more about its capabilities.

Mobile SDK


Larix mobile broadcasting SDK was extremely popular during this year.

We improved feature sets for both iOS and Android to add highly required features - you can see list of major features here and also check Larix Broadcaster to see them in action.

After multiple requests we've released our mobile streaming SDK for Windows Mobile platform along with Larix Broadcaster WinPhone version. So now our SDK covers all popular mobile platforms.

We also used our streaming library in new app called Larix Screencaster - it's an Android application that allows streaming the content of your screen. This is helpful for game streamers, educators and all those who need to share their device screens to wide audience.

You can obtain latest SDKs using this purchase page in just a couple of steps .

WMSPanel


Our reporting and control panel was also improved with a new set of metric - Unique visitors. It allows calculating how many actual users were viewing your content within each slice and each file or stream in case of Deep stats usage.

WMSPanel stats API was also improved to return all available metrics with more convenient methods.


These are the basic updates but we've done a lot more than that - check our blog and website for more. You can use the new Search page which covers our resources.




We'll continue keeping you up-to-date with all new features and improvements.
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December 28, 2016

December news

The year of 2016 is almost over so prior to posting a year summary we'd like to highlight some significant updates from December.

Live Transcoder

Live Transcoder decoding and encoding capabilities were improved:

We've also added an article about setting constant bitrate for transcoding with x264.

This all improves efficiency and overall user experience of our Live Transcoder.

Nimble Streamer

Nimble has interesting update for ABR. You can now add multiple language streams into ABR stream. So you can combine N video and M audio streams for further usage in any player.


Icecast

Icecast live metadata can now be added to any outgoing Icecast stream using WMSPanel UI. Read this article for details. This is a good addition to existing Icecast metadata pass-through.

Read about more audio streaming scenarios supported by Nimble Streamer.


Larix mobile SDK

Larix mobile SDK has been updated.

Android SDK has several new features:

  • Set custom white balance, exposure value and anti-flicker;
  • Long press preview to focus lens to infinity, double tap to continuous auto focus.
  • Use volume keys to start broadcasting;
  • Use a selfie stick  to start broadcasting;

iOS SDK has minor fixes and improvements for streaming.

Use this page to proceed with SDK license subscription.



In a few days we'll also release a yearly summary of our company. 


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The State of Streaming Protocols - 2016 summary

Softvelum team which operates WMSPanel reporting service continues analyzing the state of streaming protocols.

As the year of 2016 is over, it's time to make some summary of what we can see from looking back through this past period. The media servers connected to WMSPanel processed more than 34 billion connections from 3200+ media servers (operated by Nimble Streamer and Wowza). As you can tell we have some decent data to analyse.

First, let's take a look at the chart and numbers:
The State of Streaming Protocols - 2016
You can compare that to the picture of 2015 protocols landscape:

December 27, 2016

Adding multiple audio tracks for ABR HLS live streams

Live streaming scenarios of Nimble Streamer include ABR (adaptive bitrate), it can be accomplished via HLS and MPEG-DASH.

Previously we introduced ability to use multiple separate video and audio tracks in same VOD stream. 

Now we've added multiple audio tracks support for live ABR streams. This allows assigning audio streams from any incoming source to ABR streams and define corresponding properties to each of them. Once such stream is defined, a player may provide the audio track selection in order to get proper audio stream.

Let's see how it's set up.

December 26, 2016

Setting constant bitrate for x264 encoder

Live Transcoder for Nimble Streamer has wide range of transcoding capabilities which include H.264 encoding with x264 library licensed for commercial usage by our company so any customer with our Transcoder may use x264 parameters to set up outgoing stream.

This article answers a popular question of our customers - "How can I set up constant bitrate for my streams?" - using x264 encoder settings. This encoder is also known as libx264.

Let us give a couple of short answers and then a full description.

December 19, 2016

Append metadata to Icecast streams

Nimble Streamer has an extended audio streaming feature set for both live and VOD. Live audio streaming covers both transmuxing and transcoding of Icecast pulled and published streams.

In addition to just transmuxing and transcoding audio, Nimble now allows adding any metadata to any outgoing Icecast stream. So any player capable of Icecast playback and metadata processing will show respective info during the playback.

Let's see how you can do that.