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With the latest release of the IIS Transform Manager Beta, we added a new “task” and Job Template to convert from standard MP4 files (non-fragmented) to Smooth Streaming format files (fragmented MP4). The benefit of this new task is that you can use a lot of existing encoders on the marketplace that allow you to generate regular MP4 files and then easily convert those to Smooth Streaming format for delivery in IIS Media services 4.0.
To use the new MP4 to Smooth Task you need to start out with a set of multi-bitrate encoded MP4 files that meet the requirements for Smooth Streaming encoding:
That means you can use your favorite encoder that can generate H264 and AAC MP4 files (there are a lot of those out there!) as long as you make sure to set them up to create GOP aligned (or Coded Video Sequence aligned for you fellow video nerds) files.
To do that you need to stick to some advanced settings in your H264 encoding tools:
- Make sure that if you switch framerates at lower resolutions, you only use EXACT half framerates of your upper resolutions (for example 29.97 and 14.985)
- Set you KeyFrame Min and Max distinance to 2 Seconds per your framerate
- Disable any forced I-frames at Scene cuts. Usually this is referred to as scene detection or –no-scenecut in x264
- If you are using X264, output your stats file from your first pass and feed it into your second pass.
For example, the following settings worked for me when I used X264 to generate MP4 files using an AVISynth script.
x264.exe –pass 1 –bitrate 2962–ssim –output NUL –profile high –preset slower –tune film –stats “.stats” –keyint 48 –min-keyint 48 –no-scenecut ElephantsDream.avs
x264.exe –pass 2 –bitrate 2962–ssim –output “MP4\%~n1_2962.mp4″ –profile high –preset slower –tune film –stats “.stats” –keyint 48 –min-keyint 48 –no-scenecut ElephantsDream.avs
After you have your folder of .MP4 files you can then use the new Watch Folder called “MP4 Video Files files to H.264 Smooth Streams” that is available in the IIS Transform Manager Beta.
Just Enable and Start this new Watch Folder after modifying the Folder Path that you want to use for it.
Next click Explore Watch Folder in the Actions menu (or right click and select Explore Watch folder). This will open the Watch folder up in Explorer view.
Before we drag our files into this view, we first need to create a “playlist” XML file in SMIL 2.0 format that will be used by Transform Manager to bind the MP4 files that you drop into the folder into a single Smooth Streaming package.
To do this, open up your favorite XML editor and create a basic SMIL 2.0 file with a <body> and <seq> element. UPDATE:Watch out for whitespace characters or tabs in front of the <?xml> processing instruction or it will cause errors. Inside the <seq> element you list the <video> or <audio> tracks that you wish to use from your MP4 files.
You simply point the Video element’s “src” attritbute to your multiple MP4 source files and the audio element to the specific MP4 file that contains the audio track you want to use in the remux.
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?>
If you have multiple language audio files, you can also use the systemLanguage attribute on the <audio> element to set the language tag that will be used in the Smooth Streaming manifest. For example, the playlist below uses the systemLanguage attribute to add a Spanish and English audio track.
This will generate two separate .isma audio tracks and the appropriate manifest entries in the Client and Server manifests.
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?>
<video src=”ElephantsDream_1427.mp4″ />
<video src=”ElephantsDream_2056.mp4″ />
<video src=”ElephantsDream_230.mp4″ />
<video src=”ElephantsDream_2962.mp4″ />
<video src=”ElephantsDream_331.mp4″ />
<video src=”ElephantsDream_477.mp4″ />
<video src=”ElephantsDream_688.mp4″ />
<video src=”ElephantsDream_991.mp4″ />
<audio src=”ElephantsDream_SPA.mp4″ systemLanguage=”spa” />
<audio src=”ElephantsDream_audio-eng.mp4″ systemLanguage=”eng” />
Finally, you drag all of your MP4 files and your new XML playlist into the Watch Folder to kick off the remux job.
After a short period of time the Job Monitor will show the progress of the conversion.
You can select the Activity Log tab in the Job Details panel to see the detailed progress log.
After the job has finished and you will be able to locate your job in the Finished folder in the Job Monitor view of Transform Manager.
Just double click on the row for your Finished job and it will open up the location of the Finished Folder for your Job ID that will contain your generated Smooth Streaming content. If you want to automate the copying of the output content to a final location on disk, or to another server you can add the RoboCopy Task to the default MP4 To Smooth Job Template and supply the location details on where you want your copy to go.
The new MP4 to Smooth makes it very simple to use a lot of existing encoding software that supports standard MP4 files with H.264 and AAC to generate Smooth Streaming content quickly and easily. This can also be handy when you need to generate MP4 files for HTML 5 progressive download playback in browsers, and also want to quickly and easily add Adaptive HTTP Streaming with Silverlight.
Sam Zhang is the Dev lead on the IIS Media Services team, and in that role he has the most exposure to troubleshooting and fixing issues with large scale deployments of IIS Media Services. His experience over the past few years of deploying numerous events, including NBC Sunday Night Football and the Olympics, have given him a lot of experience in figuring out what is going right and wrong on the server.
I’m pleased to post a trackback to a collection of blogs that Sam just published that offer guidance on how to troubleshoot all kinds of issues on IIS Media Services! Enjoy.
I’m very excited to announce the release of IIS Media Service 4.0!
Some of the major features that we are anxious to share this week at the Streaming Media West conference include:
Encode once and stream to Silverlight, WP7, iPad, iPhone, Xbox.
Live Smooth Streaming updates:
- Stability: Improved stability and memory usage of Live Smooth Streaming under heavy server loads.
- Low Latency: Deliver near real-time broadcasts to Silverlight desktop clients. This feature is key for financial news customers, surveillance, e-learning, and on-line gaming (gambling) sites.
- New Publishing Point Details UI: Real-time publishing point statistics now available in the IIS Manager UI.
- Manifest Compression: Compress live-streaming manifests down to only a few lines to improve delivery of live 24/7 television for over-the-top services.
- Updated RSCA API: Real-time statistics available via RSCA API. (Blog post detailing this feature coming soon!)
- Metadata delivery: Deliver RDF metadata from encoder to the client creating unique player experiences.
- Caching and Disk Performance: Improved disk access and fragment caching.
- Customer Focused Engineering: New design changes reflect direct customer feedback and two years of customer experience with live broadcasting.
Apple HTTP Live Streaming: Real-time IIS Server packaging and delivery to iPhone, iPod, and iPad with the same encoded streams you use to reach Silverlight and Windows Phone 7 devices. New advanced capabilities for Apple mobile device deliver including:
- Live DVR: Pause, rewind, and seek.
- Archiving: Saves live content for DVR use or later on-demand playback.
- Archive Segmentation: Breaks a long broadcast up into smaller clips for easier storage and repurposing of on-demand assets.
- AES Encryption: Keeps your content safe while streaming by using a wire-level encryption. Note: This is not PlayReady for iOS, it’s just a wire-line encryption of segments per the Apple Pantos spec.
- B-Frame support: Provides better picture quality when delivering to iPad.
- HE-AAC audio support: Higher quality audio for delivery to iPhone and iPad.
Smooth Streaming Client 1.5 – (Coming Soon!)
- Low Latency client support.
- Manifest compression client support.
Read our official release announcement here.
- Install and try IIS Media Services 4.0 today
- Stay tuned for other IIS Media releases in the weeks and months ahead…
Also be sure to check out the new article First Look: Microsoft IIS Media Services 4 on StreamingMedia.com.
I was really excited to see this recent blog post by Geoff Cox of SouthWorks. He has taken our IIS Transform Manager Task API and created an custom Task for using the open source X264 encoder via the CLI (command line interface).
This is very cool, as there are essentially two very popular H.264 encoding libraries available in the marketplace. One of them is a commercial product that is licensed via Main Concept, and the other is the X264 library which was originally developed by Laurent Aimar. If you check the Doom9 forums, there is a lot of discussion on which is faster and better. I won’t comment there, and I would note that some of the comparisons up there are old now.
There are also a number of other ones out there built by professional encoder ISV’s but the X264 one is very popular with open source encoding applications like HandBrake and FFmpeg. X264 is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License ( so consider that a warning if you plan to use it – depending on your usage scenarios and legal requirements).
X264 is compatible with Smooth Streaming since it can generate closed GOP output by default. Only next step is to create multiple GOP aligned output streams at different bitrates and then remux them into fragmented MP4 format. We’ll have an answer to the remux from MP4 to Smooth issue soon.
The exciting part about this post from Geoff is that it shows how simple it is to create a custom task for Transform Manager and integrate it into the workflow with IIS Media Services. Currently the task that he has could be extended to support FFMPEG also with some minor tweaking. It could also be used to later generate Smooth Streaming content directly via FFmpeg or X264 once we ship the new MP4 to Smooth conversion task that we are creating for the IIS Media Services 4.0 release in October.
Here’s the direct link to the blog article by Geoff with the source code for the custom task.
Today we released Beta 2 of the Microsoft IIS Smooth Streaming Format SDK 1.0.
The IIS Smooth Streaming Format SDK provides application developers the capability to mux encoded video and audio elementary streams into Smooth Streaming fragmented-MP4 format that is compliant with the Smooth Streaming Format and Protected Interoperable File Format (PIFF) specifications. The IIS Smooth Streaming Format SDK includes a native C++ static library that can be linked into your applications to support the muxing of fragmented-MP4 into files or sent live via HTTP POST to a server running Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 and IIS Media Services 3.0 and IIS Media Services 4.0 Beta 1. The SDK is available for download here.
Documentation for the SDK can be found online here – IIS Smooth Streaming Format SDK MSDN documentation and the release notes are available here – IIS Smooth Streaming Format SDK Beta 2 Release Notes.
The primary purpose of the IIS Smooth Streaming Format SDK is to enable developers to create applications that can generate PIFF compliant Smooth Streaming formatted fragmented-MP4 files for use in video-on-demand and live streaming scenarios. In addition, the SDK can be used to encrypt content using standard AES encryption as required by the PIFF specification (this SDK only supports the PlayReady specific protection headers).
It is expected that the video and audio encoding functionality is done externally from the SDK. Encoding for VC-1 can be accomplished by using the Microsoft VC-1 Encoder SDK – Professional. If you wish to do H.264 encoding, you will need to acquire a 3rd party H.264 encoding SDK and AAC audio encoder. There are lots of encoding library choices available both free and commercial.
The components of the SDK include:
- A static-linked packaging library ssfsdk.lib, along with appropriate header files, that delivers f-MP4 wrapping capability to an application for use with the following video and audio codec combinations:
- Closed GOP encoded VC-1 with Elementary Stream Sequence Headers and WMA Pro, or WMA audio
- H.264 (AVC1 closed-GOP streams only with IDR frames at the first sample of a GOP – must not be an Annex B stream. PPS and SPS NAL units are not supported in the stream)
- AAC-LC audio
- Sample source code for a basic on-demand muxing application that uses DirectShow to source from files.
- Link to online MSDN documentation.
Updates included in the Beta 2 release of the Smooth Streaming Format SDK are:
- H.264 PlayReady sub-sample encryption support.
- PIFF 1.1 spec compliance.
- Multi-language audio muxing.
- Text stream and TTML track muxing support.
This is in addition to the following supported features:
- Support for Protected Interoperable File Format (PIFF) 1.1 compliant fragmented-MP4 file output.
- Support for ISO Base Media (ISO/IEC 14496-12:2008) spec compliance.
- Support for muxing live and on-demand content.
- Support for appropriate header boxes and formatting required for live streaming using IIS Media Services.
- Support for AES-CTR encryption of VC-1 and H.264 encoded content for use with PlayReady licensing servers and Silverlight 4.0 or higher.
- Support for writing out a compliant Smooth Streaming Transport Protocol server manifest files.
- Support for writing out a compliant Smooth Streaming Transport Protocol client manifest files.
NOTE: Beta 2 includes a “Go-Live” license if you would like to use this SDK in production applications.
If you have questions on how to use this SDK in your applications, comments, or feedback on the SDK please send them to me directly or to email@example.com.
Download the Smooth Streaming Format SDK Beta 2 here:
- Download the Protected Interoperable File Format specification
- Download the IIS Smooth Streaming Transport Protocol Specification
- Download the Smooth Streaming Client 1.0
- API documentation for Smooth Streaming Client
- More Information on Smooth Streaming
- More Information on Live Smooth Streaming
- Supporting documentation on getting started with Smooth Streaming
Today begins the next wave of updates to IIS Media Services. We released our first beta of Media Services 4 which includes the new support for live and on-demand streaming to Apple devices including the iPod, iPhone, and iPad using the same encoded elementary streams that are targeted at your Silverlight clients. We have also added a number of improvements to IIS Live Smooth Streaming to Silverlight. In this post, I’ll quickly cover all of the new stuff we released today, point you to our new walkthroughs and give you a preview of the upcoming features and more in-depth walkthroughs we are planning.
IIS Media Services 4 Beta 1- Now with iPhone and iPad streaming support!
IIS Smooth Streaming has been the leading platform for broadcasting live events using adaptive HTTP streaming on the internet. It was first used to deliver the 2008 Summer Olympics, and more recently was used for the 2010 Winter Olympics, March Madness, and the 2010 French Open.
The new capabilities of Media Services 4 will extend the reach of these live events to even more devices using the same set of encoded elementary streams. We can now encode a spectrum of bitrates in H.264 and AAC-LC in IIS Smooth Streaming format, push them to the IIS Server and deliver out to Silverlight clients on Mac, PC and Linux, Windows Phone 7, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Nokia s60, Broadcom and Intel set-top-boxes. That’s an incredibly wide range of screens to hit with a single set of multi-bitrate streams! IIS Media Services will simply unwrap the incoming fragmented-MP4 containers, extract the encoded H.264 and AAC-LC elementary streams, and re-packing them inside MPEG-2 Transport Stream containers for delivery to Apple devices. This means that you only encode the content once, and IIS handles the “packaging” of that content for distribution to multiple endpoints. For you Seinfeld fans out there, you can think of this process as “re-gifting” to your Apple friends, although this is definitely not a “label maker”. I’ll be posting guidance soon on how to broadcast to all of these screens using a range of encoding settings and bitrates.
Expression Encoder 4 Pro, which launched earlier this week and will be available for purchase at the Microsoft online store, also includes new templates for broadcasting live H.264 streams to IIS Media Services for delivery to multiple device profiles including the iPhone, iPad, and Nokia devices. For an introduction to Live Smooth Streaming with EE4, check out Sam Wookey’s blog post and walkthrough.
New! Transform Manager
In addition we are launching a new feature of IIS Media Services called Transform Manager, which provides simple integrated video encoding and batch conversion of video files to IIS Smooth Streaming format and the MPEG-2 Transport Stream adaptive streaming format supported by Apple devices. Transform Manager also integrates directly with Expression Encoder 4 Pro to allow you to use “watch folders” to queue up multiple encoding jobs on your server and deliver them directly to IIS Media Services 4 web folders as IIS Smooth Streaming presentations, complete with Silverlight player templates.
Transform Manager can also convert your IIS Smooth Streaming presentations directly into MPEG-2 Transport Streams and .m3u8 manifests for delivering content to Apple devices. We ship Transform Manager with several example Job Templates and Watch Folder configurations that enable you to drag-and-drop WMV and MP4 files into watch folders (or set up FTP or WebDav on your IIS server to upload content to your watch folders) and Transform Manager will automate the encoding to Smooth Streaming file format using Expression Encoder 4 Pro, transmux the output from EE4 to MPEG-2 Transport stream and create .m3u8 playlists, and then copy your generated media files to a uniquely named IIS web site for immediate playback.
We have also released a new SDK with Transform Manager so that you can write your own plug-in “tasks” that can be used with Transform Manager to support custom actions, third-party encoders, or your own encoding applications.
This alpha release of the Transform Manager feature currently only supports operating on a single IIS server and uses the local Task Scheduler for job management. In our future releases, we will be expanding the capabilities of the scheduler to support scaling-out Transform Manager.
IIS Smooth Streaming Client 1.0 RTW
Also released today is the IIS Smooth Streaming Client 1.0 RTW. This is the development kit that most of you already refer to as the SSME (Smooth Streaming Media Element). It is the core component that enables Smooth Streaming support for Silverlight clients. The Silverlight Media Framework 2.0 is built on top of this component. The new client development kit enables developers and designers to custom Silverlight players from the ground-up. You can build custom players that support full DVR-style time shifting, live ad insertion, multiple camera angles, closed captioning, and custom metadata tracks.
If you use the new Silverlight Media Framework (smf.codeplex.com) you get all of theses great features built into an open source player that you can extend upon. The new SMF 2.0 player has a more modular architecture, supports Timed Text Markup Language text tracks, support for VAST and MAST, support for the Microsoft Silverlight Analytics Framework and a plug-in API .
IIS Smooth Streaming Format SDK 1.0 Beta 2
And there is more! The IIS Smooth Streaming Format SDK 1.0 Beta 2 will be released to the web next week. This SDK is provided as a C++ static library for building in support to your own encoder applications for muxing IIS Smooth Streaming and PIFF 1.1 compliant streams, and also delivering to IIS Media Services. This update includes bug fixes to the Beta 1 features plus the following additional features:
- Muxing of properly-encoded VC-1 and H.264 video to PIFF 1.1 compliant output for live and On-demand.
- Creation of PIFF 1.1 compliant manifest files
- Support for PlayReady sub-sample encryption to support encrypted H.264
- Multi-language audio muxing support
- Text-streams to allow for creation of Timed Text Markup Language tracks
Even with all of these great releases and new features, the team refuse to stop for breath (hey, there is no Summer in Seattle this year anyways, so let’s just keep working on new features!). Coming later this year you will see the following additional features added to IIS Media Services.
- The Apple HTTP streaming support will expand to include AES encryption, DVR “sliding window” support and segmented archives similar to the standard Smooth Streaming support in Media Services to bring parity across both features. We will be doing the work necessary to make sure that everyone can broadcast to all their devices 24/7 if desired.
- Transform Manager scale-out will be supported through integration with a new scalable scheduler architecture. We will also be expanding our API to support integration with the task editing user interface to allow custom task developers to implement their own task setup and editing user interfaces.
- More Walkthroughs! I’ll be working on expanding our walkthroughs for both the iPhone/iPad broadcasting, Transform Manager API usage, Transform Manager integration with 3rd party encoders, using TTML, multi-language audio support, and new metadata support in Media Services.
Get the new IIS Media Services bits now using the Web Platform Installer link here!
For more details on this release of IIS Media Services, check out the following links:
It was a great week at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas this year. It’s always fantastic to run into the extended family of friends, partners, and customers from around the world. We had a lot of great new technology announcements and demonstrations this year and too many partner announcements to cover in a quick blog post, but here is a recap of the highlights.
IIS Smooth Streaming Client and Silverlight Media Framework (SMF) – showcased demos with Multiple audio languages and subtitles using SMF and the demos worked flawless. We demoed how you could build a player with less than 10 lines of code using SMF. In addition the latest version of the SMF player now supports Timed Text Markup language (TTML) for displaying captions and subtitles. We now support “textstream” tracks that work similar to the fragmented MP4 video and audio, but contain caption text in TTML format. We also demonstrated multi-language audio support. You can now seamlessly switch between audio tracks in the player. We also announced several new encoding partners that are adopting the Smooth Streaming Format SDK, and several partners who have integrated TTML caption conversion from 608/708 and Teletext, multi-language audio, and ad-insertion using SCTE-35 signaling via sparse stream events.
The Smooth Streaming Format SDK Beta 1 is available as of early March this year, and we will be shipping Beta 2 at the end of May which includes additional support for multi-language audio, Text Streams, and H264 PlayReady sub-sample encryption (per the PIFF 1.1 specification).
IIS Smooth Streaming in 3D – this demo was a crowd puller. It may be the colored 3D glasses but people loved watching 3D content in a browser and the same content was also demoed on a TV connected to a set top box running Silverlight. This demo was done working very closely with Level 3. Alex Zambelli, who put this demo together, has more details here.
The Silverlight Rough Cut Editor tool – I’ve talked about this project in the past. This was originally a project that I started on the IMM team for use as a web part in SharePoint. Since the IMM project was closed down, we have kept revising this tool and used it in many Live events including the Winter Olympics. Now the RCE code is available for you to download from the Code Gallery site on MSDN. You can create a new source by combing portions of multiple individual sources (including live Smooth Streaming sources) in a matter of a few minutes. The tool is really easy to use and super useful in creating highlights. It’s also easy to customize and extend since it is based on the PRISM framework. You can integrate the tool easily into your own MAM and DAM or custom database systems to create an end-to-end workflow.
Microsoft Silverlight Analytics Framework (MSAF) and visualizations of data using Pivot / Azure (Silverlytics) – SAF already integrates top analytics providers and enables easy analytics integration for Silverlight applications including the ones that use IIS Smooth Streaming. The folks at Location 3 Media used MSAF and Microsoft Pivot to create some super cool visualizations for real-time analytics data.
Silverlight Enhanced Movie Framework – this framework allows for rich Blu-ray like experiences with offline Silverlight apps. The demos included the movie “The Hangover” among others at the booth. This will be the future of movie delivery for me. I don’t even own a Blu-ray player because I prefer not to collect plastic landfill discs!
At the booth we demoed live IIS Smooth Streaming to an iPhone and iPad. The streams were generated by Expression Encoder 4.0 that was sending 10 different bitrates to multiple clients. This new feature allows you to enable on-the-fly transmuxing at the IIS Media Services publishing point. All you need to do is send the usual Smooth Streaming fragmented-MP4 streams to the publishing point in H.264/AAC at the right profiles and we will re-wrap to MPEG2 Transport Stream and segment the video on the fly. The same streams can also be consumed from the publishing point in their fragmented MP4 format using Silverlight on multiple clients, including Mac, Windows, Linux, Windows Phone 7, Nokia S60, and the Broadcom and Intel set-top boxes. This feature is going to be included in IIS Media Services 4.0 Beta 1 in June.
IIS Smooth Streaming for Windows Phone 7 – using the exact same streams that we are sending to the iPad we are able to deliver to Windows Phone 7, which is now running Silverlight and a version of the Smooth Streaming Media Element. The Windows Phone 7 is capable of decoding H264 and AAC at even higher profile settings than Apple’s IPad recommendations, and we should see some even higher quality presets coming soon for Expression Encoder 4.0.
IIS Smooth Streaming for Nokia S60 devices
Expression Encoder 4 (EE4) – we demoed encoding and delivering HD content using IIS Smooth Streaming and EE4 running on the same machine. EE4 is going to be a great tool when it ships. It now has support for Live Smooth Streaming! We had a 24 core Intel server streaming 10 bitrates of Live Smooth Streaming (from 6Mb down to 200kbps) along with a second instance of EE4 running with 3 streams targeted at the IPad profile settings. Fantastic!
In addition to all of this great news, we announced that Silverlight adoption has reached 60% globally, on Tuesday just down the street from the NAB convention we launched Visual Studio 2010, and on Thursday we launched Silverlight 4.0.
Here is the full Microsoft press release for more details.
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at IBC in Amsterdam at the end of the Summer with a lot more cool demos! We have some fantastic stuff in the works.
Beta 2 of the IIS Smooth Streaming Player Development Kit (SSPDK) contains a very important Silverlight control called the SmoothStreamingMediaElement. This control is the core client side component for making Smooth Streaming work in Silverlight.
In the latest release, Vishal Sood and team have added in support for a new manifest format called the Composite Manifest.
This new manifest can be used in scenarios where you want to do one of the following:
- Create a new video clip that is composed of many smaller sections of existing content.
- Create a single or series of highlight clips from a very long clip (which could be the archive of a live event).
I view this new Composite Manifest like a new Edit Decision List (EDL) format since I have a background in the broadcast and post production world. This new manifest allows me to create a cuts only EDL file that can be used by the player to dynamically generate new clips without going through the process of re-assembling, re-encoding, or trans-muxing assets.
This new manifest enables really cool scenarios where you can create Edit Decision Lists (EDLs) on the fly in a web based RCE tool (more coming on this later…) and generate new assets from existing ones without touching the content.
Pay close attention to the fact that even though your Smooth Streaming files may have chunks that are 2 seconds in duration, the new Composite Manifest lets you start and end your clips within the boundaries of that chunk. So you are not restricted to making edits at the fragmented-MP4 chunk boundaries.
Read up on the new Composite Manifest format and how to define Clips here:
Vishal Sood posted a new blog entry on the latest release of the Smooth Streaming Player Development Kit Beta 2 last week.
Read all about the new features in the Player SDK, and download the bits here: http://blogs.iis.net/vsood/archive/2010/01/15/iis-smooth-streaming-player-development-kit-beta-2-released.aspx
Key features include:
Basic Playback controls
- APIs such as Play, Pause, Stop, etc.
- Events for Playback and Diagnostics
- Properties to track position, etc.
- Advanced Playback support
- DVR support for Live Smooth Streaming
- Support for keeping track of Live event while in DVR (*new in Beta 2*)
- Trick Play: Slow Motion
- Trick Play: Fast Forward / Rewind (*new in Beta 2*)
- H.264 / AAC support (*new in Beta 2*)
- Ad Playback integration – scheduling capabilities, tracking Ad progress
- Live Ad Insertion with Live Smooth Streaming
- Rich Analytics with IIS Advanced Logging
- Support for specifying markers/Ad ingestion point outside the main manifest (*new in Beta 2*)
- Content Protection – PlayReady integration for VC1 content
- Composite Manifest Support for scenarios like Rough Cut Editing (*new in Beta 2*)
- Selecting Tracks for playback (e.g., restrict the bit-rates available, support multiple camera angles in a single stream, etc.)
- Support for progressive download Ads/content
- SSME is used in Silverlight Media Framework(SMF) and the partnership helps facilitate faster player development
The Silverlight Media Framework has also been updated to version 1.1 which includes the latest SmoothStreamingMediaElement from Beta 2 of the Smooth Streaming Player SDK. This includes support for progressive download content in addition to Smooth Streaming format support.
Get the latest drop of the Silverlight Media Framework 1.1 on Codeplex: http://smf.codeplex.com/
Michael Scherotter just posted a great sample of creating Netflix style ‘zoetrope’ player thumbnails in Silverlight.
His sample uses the latest version of the Silverlight Media Framework that is posted at http://smf.codeplex.com, and Expression Encoder 3.0.
We are looking into adding in support for embedded "Zoetrope” tracks to the Smooth Streaming Format SDK and Silverlight Media Framework in a later release.
Source Code: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/SMFThumbnailScrub