In this post, we will take a look at Video Streaming using Gumlet’s Content Delivery Network of CDN. In the past I have used YouTube, Vimeo, and Publit.io for this blog. While we will shortly revive the YouTube channel, my plan is also to update the old videos for better streaming quality and viewer experience. For the time being, my focus will be on hosting short videos (typically under 1 minute) that I have created for promoting this blog and a couple of related sites.
You can listen to the audio version of this post by clicking below
The Universe of Video hosting and streaming services
YouTube, Vimeo, and to an extent Facebook and Dailymotion remain staples for content creators to host their video recordings. Then there are social media sites- Instagram for example, which also offer live streaming and recording. Over the past years, there have been several new players in the video hosting streaming market over the past few years, such as Swarmify, Offeo, VadooTV, Vidthere. Many of them use google cloud or Amazon Cloudfront as a back-end. If we really look at the space, we will find a good variety of categories and options that server different needs.
- Live streaming applications: If you have a meeting, a product launch, a demo or an event taking place, you can use the broadcast feature from these SaaS providers for setting up a live stream. In addition to YouTube and Facebook, there are newer tools such as RemasterMedia and Onestream in this space.
- Group meeting software In addition to Zoom, MS Teams, Go To Webinar and Google Meet, there is Zoho Meet 11Sight, jio Meet
- Webinar software There is a bit of overlap between Group meeting and webinar tools. The purpose of the group meeting oriented tools is to have calls or discussions between much smaller groups, say under 100 participants. For much larger groups, there are tools like Go To Webinar, Zoho Webinars, Hey Webinar, Big Marker… the list is exhaustive.
- Video Hosting providers With these services, you can upload the raw video on their sites. The back end operations for these services to optimize and convert the videos into multiple formats (720p, 4k, webm, etc..) for streaming across multiple devices Publitio and BunnyCDN, alongwith Wistia and Spotlightr are some such sites. So also Vimeo.
- Video creation services that also offer hosting and/ or streaming as a bundle (YouTube can be categorized here, so also Hippovideo)
- Video streaming services, which take the videos hosted elsewhere, process them and optimize them for streaming through their Content Delivery Network or CDN. Gumlet largely falls into this category.
The below video is served via Gumlet’s Content Delivery Network
(video opens in full screen mode on mobile)
Background: Videos in multiple formats and form factors
For the past few days I have been cleaning up the older posts on this blog, which meant I was unable to publish the blog posts for most of the week gone by. Typically I compose the drafts but I do not schedule them for publishing, pending some last minute corrections or additions. Today I decided to publish a post on Video streaming. In the coming weeks, I will post a lot more videos in this blog (as embedded players) than I have done in the past.
In 2020 and 2021, I had created several videos using a variety of tools such as:
- Videoeasy, the stock video recorders in iOs and Android devices
- Screen captures on Mac,
- Browser based SaaS like Invideo, Hippovideo and Tyle.
- While consolidating the image assets, I also came across a huge library of videos where I had installed Linux distributions using Virtualbox on a Mac.
That means, we have over 100 videos that can be uploaded on video hosting or streaming services! Many of them can be used on this blog.The challenge is that just like images, these videos are also recorded in different formats (.mov, .mp4, .avi, .webm, etc.) and form factors (square, rectangle or vertical “tall”). I was looking for a single or maximum two hosting services that will allow seamless hosting of these videos, irrespective of the file type or form factor. Since I am using Gumlet for image CDN anyways, I decided to give it a try. In a follow up post, I will also write about using BunnyCDN for a similar purpose.
Gumlet’s Video Hosting Plans
This is a new feature launched by Gumlet in January 2022. I got access to it recently (February 2022). I have the Appsumo plan, which means I should get around 100 minutes for video storage and 1,500 minutes for video streaming per code. They also have a ‘free’ tier if you would like to test their service. Free users get 100 minutes of storage and 1,000 minutes of video streaming. You can find the comparison of the plans in the image below. (Appsumo plan was customized for the SaaS deal aggregator, you can find its details here.)
Under The Hood: How to Use Gumlet’s Video CDN
For this discussion, we will assume that you are using a desktop or a laptop. Many of the below may be applicable or available on tablets or phone also, but I haven’t tried them extensively to make a confident call.
1. Once you have set up your account and/ or logged on to your account, you will find the menu to enter the Video management module on the left hand side of your browser.You can create a project, (called Collection)and define its properties. That is, you can either upload the video, or import it from a folder or a web storage space which is already integrated or connected with Gumlet. I created one project of each type, that is, one for importing videos from a web folder, and another from where I could upload the video. Once the video has been ‘brought into” the Gumlet CMS, the steps are quite the same irrespective of the method you choose.
2. My first collection is called “Amar- Posts” in which I will import the videos from web folder.
3. You can edit the title (name of the video ,add description, and keywords and other metadata for search engine optimization.
4. Updating Title, Description and Metadata for Videos in the Gumlet CMS Interface
Wrapping it up: First impressions of video CDN by Gumlet
Below is the video I published on Gumlet CMS while writing this blog post. The screenshots you see above are for this very video! The interface is intuitive, learning curve is short and the videos render well. Delivery is speedy on mobile and home wifi network. Later today I might test it on VPN by changing locations to select cities across the world. That may give me an idea on the performance of the CDN a a ‘dipstick check’. The testing was not without its hiccups. While importing files from web folder, I got errors today. This was not the case when I had tried last week. This will need some digging around. I might update this post once the deep dive has revealed the cause for the error. In the meantime, I am happy to test out this CDN and use it on this blog within the limits of my CDN plan.
This post was updated on 2022-06-04