Microsoft Azure Media Services

The service that Microsoft Azure platform offers for media workflows is Azure Media Services. It allows ingest, encoding, protection and publish in order to playback our content on the most important market players and devices.

In the following video you can see a summary of what the service offers:

Using the portal we can go through the entire workflow process when we working with media:

Azure Media Services Portal

We may think that this service is only interesting for large video distributors (broadcasters), such as TV, TV on demand, events, and so on. The truth is that we can get off to a more familiar scenario as managing internal company training, advertising campaigns, corporate announcements, and so on where we need to support different platforms and protect files (No, Youtube is not the place for this).

For each of the features provided we have a section:


Section for the ingesting or uploading, synchronizing metadata, encoding and publishing . Through the portal we can upload files up to 200MB in size, or we can copy existing files from a Microsoft Azure Storage account:

Azure Media Services Content Section

The typical workflow is as follows:

  1. Uploading videos.
  2. Encoding to the desired format.
  3. Publication of the result.


From here we can see the progress of our jobs, which can be further divided into tasks. Thanks to it we can also see the end result of the work required:

Azure Media Services Jobs


Within a single account we can associate multiple origins. That means We are providing different outputs for the content that we are managing within the account. Each one has its own configuration:

Origin default configure

In this section we handle the caching time, the IPs from which you can stream content and even specify the signature of the header if we are working with Akamai.

On the next tab we can reserve units for streaming:

Origin default scale

Depending on the number of units that we select will have more bandwidth for playback.


Azure Media Encoding Section

The only purpose of this section is to provide scalability when we’re encoding files. If we create several encoding tasks, these are executed sequentially, which means: until it doesn’t end with the first one, doesn’t start with the next. If we have a heavy workload in this sense, we can extend, when necessary, the number of parallel tasks that we want to be processed.

This post was intended to show each of the features that today provides Azure Media Services and what are the possibilities from the portal platform. In the next posts I’ll write about how you can perform these tasks through .NET, thanks to the SDK available.

Hope this helps.

Happy clouding!