December 29, 2021

2021 summary: Nimble Streamer, WMSPanel, mobile SDK and more

Holiday greetings from Softvelum!

The year of 2021 has passed by and it's time to overview what our team has accomplished and what you might find interesting for your business.

But first, we're glad to recall that Softvelum became the finalist of 2021 Streaming Media European Readers' Choice Awards in Hardware/software Server category with our Nimble Streamer media server. Thanks to everyone who voted for us!

We've made a number of big and small adjustments, you might have seen them in our announcements in social media.
Here are the most notable updates.

WMSPanel: improved billing, cloud backup and more

WMSPanel cloud-based service was adjusted this year to make sure our customers can control their streaming infrastructure more conveniently and safely.

Improvements in billing mechanics of WMSPanel now allow combining billing for WMSPanel, Transcoder and Addenda licenses into single charges. The ability to receive up-front payments was updated per users' feedback to make it even more flexible. We've also supported PayPro Global - the second gateway so you could have an alternative destination for making payments.

Nimble Cloud Backup is another significant WMSPanel feature we introduced this year.
You can save streaming configs of your Nimble Streamer instances into our distributed cloud database to improve redundancy. Then if you need to get back to some version of their cloud backup, you can restore it within WMSPanel account as a new server instance. Learn more about Cloud Backups and try it in action.

Cloud technology users are always concerned with security. Take a look at our latest Secure your account in 3 easy steps article showing how you can use users management, two-factor authentication and cloud server backup to make sure WMSPanel is safe from multiple directions.
Speaking of security, one of the most frequent questions these days was:
Do we use log4j?
The answer is no, we do not. None of our products use it so there's no need to worry.

Nimble Streamer

Nimble was in focus of our team: we were improving existing and adding new features.

Server playlist was introduced for Nimble Streamer.
You can create live streams by composing VOD files into playlists to produce single live stream. The playlist is a JSON file with a simple grammar which allows setting streaming scenarios of various complexity.
We'll soon release live streams support for playlist insertion in addition to VOD.

Nimble Streamer Advertizer has been significantly improved per our customers' feedback.
  • VOD server-side ads insertion is working. At the moment, HLS output with MPEG-TS and fMP4 containers is supported. Take a look at VOD SSAI overview article and also read 
  • Per-session ads can be inserted using your own session handler. It allows making per-session ads insertion for each individual user by using customer-side session handler. You can also get per-session statistics to accumulate ads insertion metrics for advertisers' confidence.
  • Local ad files and local config can be used. Watch Add pre-roll ads easily video tutorial showing that case.

Live Transcoder has a few updates including these:
  • Conditional transcoding allows enabling pipelines based on incoming stream's resolution. You can set a condition based on height and/or width thus avoid unnecessary waste of your server resources. This is especially useful for creating ABR live streams.
  • NETINT hardware encoder can now be supported via custom FFmpeg build, please read this post describing this approach.
A small but important feature for those who may concern: KLV metadata is now supported in Nimble Streamer.

Templates and configs for Zabbix monitoring of Nimble Streamer and SRT streams are now available along with a tutorial video about it. System administrators can now add their media server to their Zabbix to keep tracking live streaming parameters of Nimble instances as well as SRT-specific stats.

SLDP protocol is being actively used by our customers to provide low latency playback. Recently we've made a simple mosaic videowall demo page which allows playing 4 streams simultaneously. You can make your own mosaic using reference simplified version on our github.

Last but not least, Nimble Streamer is now available on ARM64 platform. Take a look at this tab on installation page to see instructions for Raspbian and Ubuntu 20.04 for ARM64.

Larix Broadcaster and Larix Player

Our mobile products - Larix Broadcaster and Larix Player - were actively used through the year by multiple users.

We released SDK for Android and SDK for iOS pages with architecture overview of Larix Broadcaster to make it easier to understand for beginners. They also refer to apps' sample code available on github.

Larix Broadcaster now supports Talkback feature set, which is the ability to get an audio return feed. So while you generate a stream, you may get audio stream via SRT, RTMP, SLDP or Icecast. This is a great feature for those creators who need to get a word from their studios while streaming live. Watch a third-party on Talkback and Vmix video tutorial on that.

Image overlays were implemented in Larix Broadcaster for both platforms. Take a look at our video tutorial showing overlays in Larix for iOS as an example of setup.

We've also introduced stand-by mode in Larix Broadcaster. When the stream hasn't been started, just long tap on Start, this will start stream in pause mode, image and sound will disappear while the stream is running. Meanwhile you may wait for a talent to appear or re-set the scene.

React Native: notice that we're currently working on React Native version of our streaming SDK. Contact us if you'd like to get early access for it.

For those of our users who use our apps on a daily basis we compiled our Best practices for Larix Broadcaster production deployment guide describing what might be useful in various scenarios.

Take look at docs reference page for more articles and videos about our mobile products. Also, our roadmap page contains our future plans on Larix product family development.

YouTube channel updates and our social media

This year we also posted a number of videos on our YouTube channel. Here are some most notable videos:
In addition, we got more videos about mobile products as well.

We also keep track of interesting third-party videos about using our products. Please check Reviews playlist with full list.

Another social media activity that we've made was the move of our github repositories.
We've made Softvelum github account which you can follow up to track our open source activities.

Last but now least, you can follow us any way you like for future updates via TwitterTelegramFacebookRedditYouTube and LinkedIn.

That's all for now.

Our team wishes you a Happy New Year and we'll see you in 2022!

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