Adaptive streaming is a hot topic for most streaming producers. If you produce your files with Adobe Media Encoder, you should know that Adobe has provided seven downloadable presets that you can use as a starting point. Click here to go to the download page.
You install the presets by manually copying them into your presets folder (a PDF instruction details where for Mac/Windows). Then, they appear as custom presets in the FLV/F4F format (they’re all H.264 presets). You apply them manually, so to encode the same source file to different parameters, you have to create the first encode sequence (from Premiere Pro or directly into AME), then duplicate the line in the queue, change to a different preset, and repeat as necessary. Not quite as slick as Microsoft Expression Encoder’s approach, where you apply one customizable set of encoding parameters to a single file, but it gets the job done.
Even if you’re not using AME, it’s useful to check the configurations that they recommend. Here’s a quick summary of the key parameters, with all files encoded at the original frame rate using constant bitrate encoding.
The only major surprise is that Adobe didn’t use the same audio data rate throughout, since supposedly changing rates can lead to popping and other audible artifacts. The keyframe interval is consistent, which is best practice for both RTMP and HTTP-based Dynamic Streaming. All resolutions divide evenly by 16 (mod-16 compliant) which will satisfy the compressionists among us, but ignores the fact that 640×360 is the most widely used resolution today.
Like Adobe says, though, these are just a starting point, so you can customize as you wish.
By way of background, Adobe actually posted the presets back in October 2010. Note that you don’t get them if you update the program – you have to download manually (at least so far).
Finally, you can read an article that I wrote about producing for adaptive streaming at Streaming Media here. To write the article, I spoke with lots of producers, including MTV, Harvard and the Microsoftie in charge of NBC’s Olympics and Sunday Night Football streaming video offerings.
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