Digital padlock on data screen - Web and data security

What is AES?

vzaar has recently introduced AES adaptive streaming. AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard and, as the name suggests, it add an encryption layer to your video content. It means that nobody can watch your videos without a token to decrypt the content. Anyone attempting to intercept the video between the server will just get junk data. If anyone tries to download the content without the encryption key the videos simply won’t play. Their viewers won’t be able to see anything.

AES is essential if you want to keep  your videos secure in Flash. The Flash-specific RTMPe encryption technology is being retired. AES replaces it AND not only that, it will also keep your videos secure in HTML5 (mobile devices).

vzaar uses auto-detection to identify whether a viewer has Flash available. If they do, we make the richer feature set of Flash available to them. However, like most other video player developers, we are concentrating our new developments on HTML5.

AES brings the high security of Flash to HTML5. So whether your viewers are watching from desktop, laptop, mobile or tablet your videos are streamed securely.  

We anticipate a cross-over point in the not-too-distant future when HTML5 will overtake Flash and we will serve H5 as the default. But, we do intend to support Flash for the foreseeable future, many older browsers still rely on Flash so it’s important to make sure our clients’ videos will still play for these viewers.

How does AES Work?

An encryption key is set up when we encode your video. This key is required to decrypt your content so that the viewer can watch said video. When the viewer clicks the play button their browser makes a request to the video server (vzaar). At which point we generate an access token which is valid for a short period of time. Hey presto! The viewer can watch the video, but anybody trying to intercept between the browser and the video server, can’t (because they don’t have the access token).

Who Needs AES?

If you need to protect your valuable video content from being viewed – or stolen – by unauthorized people, AES is for you. For example, if you have private internal content or if you sell video courses online it is essential that your videos remain exclusive.  Videos should remain for subscribers or your internal team only.

AES works in combination with password protection and signed keys to keep your videos as secure as possible. It’s a great addition to the rest of vzaar’s video security features.

It’s time to protect your assets! Download your Ultimate Guide To Secure Video and get started today!

It’s hot. It’s new. And it’ll transform your viewers’ experience.

Today we launched adaptive streaming and multi bitrate in vzaar.

As of now, you can select multiple playback options for your videos. Enable HD (high definition) streaming for strong internet connections and LD (low definition) for weak connections at the same time.

Why is adaptive streaming awesome?

Adaptive streaming improves your viewers’ experience. Wow viewers with stunning high res video quality, while not having to worry about viewers on weaker connections. Your stream will automatically adapt to their connection to ensure fast and reliable streaming.

What’s more, it’s super easy to set up.

Just create and save video ingest recipes by selecting the playback options you want to provide your viewers, from ULD (ultra low definition) to UHD and everything in between.

create_a_video_recipe_to_enable_multiple_playback_options_and_HD_streaming

Our ingest recipe suggestions

  • To target a specific segment of viewers in your audience (eg. remote viewers with weaker connections) create a recipe with a variety of lower dimension bitrates
  • For stronger connections, select a range of HD streaming options for higher visual quality
  • To target all viewers at once, select a wider range of renditions

Save your video ingest recipes to use them again when you upload videos in the future. This will save you time and effort, so you can spend more time doing the important tasks like creating your video content.

Our adaptive streaming isn’t the only thing that’s new.

It’s now easier than ever for your team to interact with vzaar. Our API hooks into your CMS (content management system), so your team don’t have to go to the vzaar site to upload videos. They can do it all from your website. This means less software to learn and more time to spend on other tasks.

In short, our new API improves your experience of uploading, formatting and streaming your videos.

Try it yourself


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2017 is the year for your online video success. Here’s how we’re making it happen.

Wow your viewers – Reliable playback for all internet connections

Reliable playback across all internet connections

Reach customers with a weak internet connection and wow viewers with a strong connection at the same time. Introducing our API: v2, which enables multi-bitrate and adaptive streaming. Currently in BETA but stay tuned for it rolling out in early part of next year.

Encode your online video for fast and slow internet connections.
Choose 3 encoding definitions (LD, SD and HD for example) so viewers can stream your video reliably, no matter how weak or strong their internet connection is.

Reach customers with weak internet
You can create a video encoding recipe to include a variety of lower bitrate playback options. This means viewers with a weak connection won’t have to wait for ages for a video to buffer. You’ll be able to sell your videos to a global audience without worrying about slow playback.

Wow viewers with HD playback
Save another video encoding recipe to include a range of higher bitrates and dazzle your viewers with ultra HD playback. Your viewers will be able to see every raindrop on the window, every pore on your face. And they won’t have to wait for your videos to buffer.

Save time by saving your video recipes
Save your video encoding recipes so you can use them again. This will make it super quick for you to upload and encode future videos.

Monetize videos easily

monetize videos

We’re going to bring you even easier ways to monetize videos, be it via advertising or through selling your content.

Sell adverts without the stress
No need to stress about building your own partnership with the ad network. We handle that for you. All you need to do is add ad tags to your videos and watch your profit grow. Use targeted ad tags to let only certain adverts play before your videos. For a quicker fix, allow any adverts to play with untargeted tags.

Give your account manager a quick call if you’d like to set this up.

Sell your video content
Another way to monetize your videos is to sell your content. For this, security is essential. Why would people buy your videos if they can pirate them for free? You need to make sure thieves can’t get to your videos, so you can sell them at the rate they’re worth.

vzaar makes this possible.

We already offer you more security & control than any other platform for your money. We’re now topping our own record. We’re enabling super secure streaming for HTML5 players. This means no profit wasted on pirates. So more profit for you.

Brand Spankin’ New API

easily_encode_your_videos

API version 2 includes multi bitrate and adaptive streaming. Throughout 2017 we’ll be adding more and more functionality. We’re working to update our SDKs so do let us know if you need one in a specific language. We’ll keep you posted on further news!

With these exciting updates to our platform, we can make 2017 your year of online video success.


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The number of online video courses grows every year. By 2017, the eLearning market will reach $255 billion (Weforum). Exciting. But daunting. With all this competition, how can you make your video course stand out? It needs that sparkle, that shine, that unique selling point to burst from the crowd, so your viewers can’t resist it.

Good news. You can jazz up your online video course with no HTML knowledge. At a basic or intermediate level, you can make your videos pop. And if you’re a coding genius, possibilities are endless.

I’ve split this post into ability levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced so you can shine, no matter where you are in your coding journey.

Beginner

Brand Text
It takes two seconds to pop some brand text onto your video player. And one second for your viewers to click your brand text and end up on your course sign up page!

Your brand text will show on the bottom left hand corner of your video player. It can say whatever you want and link to wherever you want. Your viewers will see it as they watch your classes, giving them a constant reminder of who you are. They’re more likely to remember you and come back for more. They can click it at any point and subscribe to your video course. It makes it quicker and easier for your visitors to become paying customers.

Example of Brand Text Over Video

End screen text works in the same way, except it shows at the end of your video. You can give your viewer a strong call to action what to do next. Stop them from dropping off your site after watching one class. Hook them with another tutorial, similar to the one they’ve just watched, or encourage them to subscribe to your video course.

Email Signup forms
Add email signup forms to the start, end or any point of your video classes to encourage your viewers to sign up to your mailing list.

vzaar’s Mail Catcher links straight to your email service provider, which makes it super easy for your viewers to subscribe to your mailing list straight away. Your signup form becomes harder to ignore than the one on your sidebar and there’s no need to cue a pop up.

Once they sign up, you have an advantage over your competition: a golden ticket into your viewer’s inbox. So send your email list relevant content to show them how awesome your video course is and guide them through your sales funnel to convert into customers.

Playlists

I bet you’ve heard about the benefits of microlearning. Short but intense lessons that last no longer than three minutes. Keeping your videos short and sweet will appeal to a mobile generation that’s always on the go. The average viewer drops off at around the minute mark (Video Brewery), so you need to hook your viewers as soon as possible.

What’s that I hear you say? Your subject is so dense you can’t fit it into one micro lesson?

Introducing vzaar playlists! Instead of creating one long video, split your subject up into a series of mini videos. This teaching method is called chunking. You improve your subscribers’ learning and memory by teaching your concepts in “chunks”, specifically three to five chunks at a time (Cambridge University Press).

You can easily group all these mini-videos together in one playlist, so they still feel like one lesson. The difference is, your learners can easily take breaks, stop between lessons and come back when they’re ready. It’ll make your video course seem way less daunting and way more appealing.

Make it look good
screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-10-54-43
You can customize the colour of your video player to match your website. This will give it an extra burst of your brand’s personality and make your video classes that little bit more eye-catching.

A poster frame is the picture that shows in your video player before your viewer starts watching. Add a bright and enticing image to draw your viewers to watch your content. Simple but effective.

Intermediate

You can enhance your video course with some simple coding. Find the framework codes to control your player in our jQuery Library. All you need to do is follow the instructions, copy your chosen chunk of HTML, paste it onto your website and add in your own commands.

Cue Points
Pop some text in at certain points in your video class to highlight key concepts. This will improve your viewers’ memory and appeal to text buffs who like to see the words they’re learning.

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-17-33-44

See cue points encouraging this cyclist to continue up the hill.

You can instruct your player to show your chosen text at certain points in your video, as in the example above. All the player is doing here is listening for a certain time-count in the clip (for example, 5 seconds) and showing the cued text. You can set up as many messages as you want. So whenever you bring up a new concept, you can spell it out in a cue point.

Chapters
Make your video classes super easy to navigate by adding chapters. Your viewers can skip past concepts they’ve grasped to ones they’re struggling with. This will improve their learning experience and stop them from getting frustrated having to seek to their chosen sections. Whenever you add chapters, the titles will show up beside or underneath your player, so your learners get an at-a-glance view of what you cover in your video class. Smooth and simple.

You can copy and paste the code from our jQuery Library to chapterize your videos. All you need to do is add in when you want each chapter to start.

Bookmarking
Ever watched a show on Netflix and switched it off half-way through to come back to it later? The show starts right from where you left off. That’s the magic of bookmarking. It remembers where your viewers stopped watching. Super convenient. And anything less than quick and convenient will deter your viewers from coming back to your lesson.

With the world at their fingertips, the mobile generation has an eight-second attention span (Medical Daily) and are harder to impress than ever. So don’t give them that deterrent. Jump to the jQuery Library to find the code you need to add bookmarking to your videos. It’s as easy as a copy and paste.

Advanced

You genius you! With an advanced level of coding, you’re only limited by your imagination. The

Grab the basic codes from our jQuery Library and fly from there. To spark your inspiration, here are a couple of ideas to make your video classes pop.

Quizzes
You can use the javascript API to add interactive elements to your video classes. “Listen” for certain points in your videos, like when you finish covering a concept, and add in a pop quiz to check if you’re viewers have grasped the information.

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-11-29-39
See an example of a javascript quiz at play.

Depending on what your viewers click, you can cue a “correct” or “incorrect” message to explain why they got the question right or wrong and repeat the concept to them. This is an awesome online teaching technique, as repetition speeds up the transfer of a short term memory into a long term one. Plus, interaction turns your passive viewer into an active learner, which improves engagement and memory (Psych Central).

Reactive Playlists

2 forest paths

With reactive playlists, you can create an interactive narrative, where your learner chooses the outcome. You can change which video your viewer sees depending on how they interact with the first. So you can include a multiple choice question in the first clip, something along the lines of:

“You’re wandering alone in a forest at dusk when you realize you don’t know your way home. You see two paths ahead of you. One leads further into the forest and the other leads to a back-alley of a street. Which path do you choose?

a) Further into the forest
b) Back-alley of a street”

You can get your player to pick up on the answer they choose and play the respondent clip. So if they choose “a”, they’ll see a clip where the protagonist walks further into the forest and if they select “b”, they’ll watch the character turn into the back-alley.

You can create as long or short a narrative as you like with as many branches as you like. Storytelling has been ingrained in our culture since the dawn of humanity and so it’s no big surprise that narratives improve learning. We find stories easier to relate to and remember than cold facts.

Twin this with an interactive playlist, which gives your viewers more control over their learning and you’ve got a winning video course. Not to mention you’ll shine brighter than your competitors, who just stick to standard slideshows or talking head videos.

Don’t stop there. With vzaar javascript API, your possibilities really are endless. You can even create games like the ones our dev team created here. Unlock your potential and try out our Javascript API in a free trial.




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In January 2017 vzaar will be releasing a new version of our API. The new API, Version 2, will improve and update our API generally. PLUS it will allow those subscribers who upload their videos using the API to take advantage of our soon-to-be-released multi-bit rate playback feature.

We wanted to give a few months notice so that you can plan the development work that you might want to do to take advantage of this.

If you use the API to upload videos and wish to take advantage of multi-bit-rate playback, we advise that you plan for development work starting in January 2017.

The release of Version 2 of the API does not affect the current version. We are going to provide brand new client libraries. If you want to continue with our dual encoding feature you don’t need to change a thing. You can also choose to use both API versions side-by-side. You can pick ‘n’ mix from each version, moving over to Version 2 step-by-step – or not at all. For instance, you could have a rule that says, upload via Version 2, but if this fails, revert to uploading via Version 1.

Subscribers who have used the official vzaar libraries for the current API will find the required work straightforward. Some subscribers have created their own libraries and will have to assess what they want to achieve and what that will involve. If you don’t wish to take advantage of multi-bitrate playback, you won’t need to do anything. If you do, we will be publishing comprehensive documentation – you’ll have everything that we’ve had ourselves – so your Devs will have everything they need to take advantage of Version 2.

This is a heads-up to help our API subscribers plan ahead. There’ll be more information on both the API and multi-bitrate playback in November. Sign up to the newsletter there on the right hand side of this page to make sure you’re the first to know when API 2 goes live!