March 8, 2013

Advanced MediaCaster and LiveStreamRecord streams control

A number of our customers were requesting an ability to control Wowza streams via single control panel. Most of them are using MediaCaster, so our Wowza control panel must know how to deal with it. And so we made an implementation.

The main abilities of current streams control implementation are:
  • Start, stop and reset streams via MediaCaster;
  • Record streams to files via LiveStreamRecord;
  • Create .stream files;
  • Apply operations to multiple servers;
  • Allow designated end-users to control their streams and cameras;
  • Make transactions log;
  • Use excellent dynamic user experience of WMSPanel.
The best known cases for this feature set are camera streams and transcoder streams control. A lot of people use this to manage ShoutCast relay streams as one of other examples.

Using traditional MediaCaster control requires manual log in to each of the servers which is not always possible due to security restriction. Now you can allow this operation for your clients who can control their streams via your servers.

Controlling camera stream via WMSPanel for Wowza.

This feature set works on all versions of Wowza including 2.x.x, 3.1.x and 3.6.x. For Wowza versions 3.1.2.* and earlier recording feature has some pre-requisites. Read this post to know more.

This feature has 2 sides: administrator set up and end-user control.

Admin set up

To start controlling streams, the account admin must enter them into the control panel. Since this is targeted for end-users, this must be done using data slices concept which is a basis for most WMSPanel abilities. You can watch a screen cast about this concept.

If you're an admin, you need to go to Control top menu and choose Stream control. Or being in the data slice main page and click on Streams link.

Click on Streams link.
You will see the list of currently entered streams, which is blank by default. If you previously entered any streams, it will look like this.
Data slice streams list.
So you just click on Add stream. You will see stream settings which would be the same as in MediaCaster stream manager.
MediaCaster stream settings.
Here, you can define .stream file name and content. OK, so click on "Add camera" and the camera will be "assigned" to a user group via setting up its incoming stream.

Controlling streams via MediaCaster and LiveStreamRecord

Now, in top menu, click on the name of the slice where a camera or a streams is set up. Once you're in it, you will see Streams item in top menu.
List of streams available for Wowza.
Click on it and you will see the list of assigned streams or cameras with the list of running streams. So here you can do 2 sets of operations:
  1. start, stop and re-set each stream;
  2. start and stop recording stream to a file.
Start a stream on multiple servers.
Record Wowza stream into file. 

For each operation you can choose which servers you would like to apply the action to. You can choose multiple servers. If some server is offline, you can't apply this action to it.

Please be aware that even though LiveStreamRecord works on any Wowza version, it requires installing its add-on for Wowza versions 3.1.2.* and earlier. To make this, follow these steps:
1. Go to Wowza support forum at "How to get LiveStreamRecord AddOn" section and download the package created for your Wowza version.
2. Unpack it and go to "lib" folder of unpacked files.
3. Copy wms-plugin-integrationrecord.jar and wms-plugin-livestreamrecord.jar files to "lib" folder of Wowza installation directory.

Wowza with versions 3.1.3 and later has this add-on installed by default so you don't need to do anything.

Below the list of streams you can see transaction log for current user. It is the same transaction log as in server management.

Wowza actions transaction log.
Later on we plan adding schedule support, like timer to start, stop and reset operation, and many other sub-features. The main idea will remain the same - safe and simple control of streams for our customer's clients.

Also, have few minutes to read about Wowza Transcoder add-on support in WMSPanel.

You may also consider WMSPanel server tasks remote management via web console for convenient control of server-side commands. Launch any command, like ffmpeg process, with no need to log in via SSH, just an easy-to-use web interface.

If you haven't signed up for an account, just try it for 2 weeks free of charge to see camera streams control in action.

Related documentation

Server management for WowzaWowza Transcoder add-on supportApplication templatesMonitoring server CPU and RAMNimble HTTP StreamerServer tasks remote management via web UI

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