Windows Azure Media Services preview launched!

Media Services ArchitectureThe wait is over! Back in April, Microsoft announced Windows Azure Media Services (see here and here) and yesterday the preview became available as part of the Spring release announcements.

We had the opportunity to try the bits as part of the TAP program and I can tell you that this is worth trying. The usage of the SDK API is really friendly and with the getting started and how to documents (see below) you will be able to get started in a heartbeat.

Supported Features

This preview release supports:


  • Use the Windows Azure Media Encoder and work with a range of standard codecs and formats, including industry-leading IIS Smooth Streaming, MP4, and conversion to Apple HTTP Live Streaming.
  • Convert entire libraries or individual files with total control over input and output.
  • Supported video and audio codecs:
    • H.264 High, Main and Baseline Profiles
    • AAC-LC
    • HE-AAC
    • VC-1 (Windows Media Video 9) Simple, Main and Advanced Profiles
    • Windows Media Audio Standard
    • Windows Media Audio Professional
  • Supported format conversions:
    • ISO MP4 (.mp4) to Smooth Streaming File Format (PIFF 1.3) (.ismv; .isma)
    • Smooth Streaming File Format (PIFF) to Apple HTTP Live Streaming (.msu8, .ts)

Content Protection

  • Encrypt live or on-demand video and audio with standard MPEG Common Encryption or Microsoft PlayReady, the industry’s most accepted DRM for premium content.

On-Demand Streaming

  • Streaming Origin support for Smooth Streaming and Apple HTTP Live Streaming
  • Seamlessly deliver content via Windows Azure CDN or a third-party CDN.
    • Add a scalable origin server with or without a CDN.
    • Scale to millions of users by adding a Windows Azure CDN or a third-party CDN.


Here is a list of resources that will help you get started with Windows Azure Media Services:

Stay tuned! Many exciting features are planned for future releases.


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