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video streaming api

What is a video streaming API?

A video streaming API (Application Programming Interface), is software that allows a program to quickly and easily assimilate video streaming features.

Taking a step back, an API is any interface between 2 programs that allow them to speak to one another. In the case of a video streaming API, one of the programs being connected is a video streaming system.

The advantage of a video streaming API is that a developer can easily integrate video features into their app. They can focus on other features, knowing that all of the complexity and domain knowledge needed for streaming is just “taken care of” by the API.

What does a video streaming API do?

That sort of depends. Each video streaming API will have slightly different features, but we can list the common ones that appear in most APIs.

Video on Demand (VOD) streaming API

Video on Demand APIs will allow you to stream pre-recorded videos to your customers. Generally these API endpoints will allow you to upload a video, and the API will encode, store and deliver the video for you. The api might have one of several technologies under the hood: HLS or MPEG-DASH. In addition to upload/storage and playback, the VOD API might also include APIs to control:

  1. Poster: Change the image that appears before the video starts.
  2. Captioning: Add captions to the video
  3. Chapters: Mark points in the video
  4. Advertising: Insert ads - before, during or after the video.

Live Streaming API

Live streaming is the ability to share live events in real time. The live streaming API might use one of several live streaming technologies - typically either HLS or webRTC. WebRTC features much lower latency, but has a limit on the number of participants, whereas HLS will have a slightly higher latency, but no limit on the number of viewers.

A live streaming video api will commonly have features to create a live stream, the ability to start and stop broadcasting the live stream, and the ability to record the livestream as a VOD. You'll also have a url where viewers can watch the livestream from.

Video Player API

Some video streaming APIs offer a video player. The player may be customizable via the API - allowing you to create different players for different audiences. You'll likely be able to change many aspects of the player skin - such as colors and logos. Some Video streaming APIs offer only a player, while others may recommend players to add into the API.

Video analytics API

As your viewer begins to watch your videos, you'll probably want playback data on how viewers are consuming the content. Since the videos are being served from the API's network, these analytics are often available. - how many views, where they are - the type of device, etc. You might even have access to session data - how much of the video was watched, how much of it was skipped? Did the users watch at 2x speed?

Video streaming API at api.video

We're a video API. We offer VOD, live, player and analytics APIs to help developers easily add streaming video to tehri offering. We'll handle all the encoding, hosting, CDN, network and delivery - and even give you a player with analytics that you can use our API to parse.