Like it or not, visuals tell better stories than words. But using images and videos on a website presents challenges. This article is a follow-up to Website Image Performance Improvement, in which we discussed how to upload, store, manipulate, optimize and deliver images, efficiently and effectively. Now, let's talk video.
Much like we talked in our previous article about the managing images on your website, you may also have a need to render video content. Trust me -- simply throwing a <video> tag with an accurate source to the browser does not deliver user satisfaction. At a high level, you need to consider the website layout, video quality and delivery, as well as address challenges, such as:
Adjusting video quality based on network conditions. For example, users in developing countries may have a slower internet connection compared to users in developed countries
Delivering content to mobile users
Transcoding for different browsers
Manipulating video, such as resizing, cropping and adding visual effects
All these requirements make video complex. You cannot just take care of videos in few hours. In fact, you may find it difficult to find answers to certain questions on video management. But, there is one swift solution -- Cloudinary.
Cloudinary is an all-in-one media management solution. In this article, we are going to delve into using Cloudinary to easily upload, manipulate and deliver videos.
Let's see how we can use Cloudinary in our Node application.
All you need to start managing videos is to upload the best video quality you have. You can manipulate videos on-the-fly using Cloudinary's comprehensive API and easy to use manipulation URLs. Therefore, there is no need to do that before uploading. Let's see a simple code example from Node for making a video upload:
It is possible to use a desired format or quality level that suites a given video delivery situation. The fact that you uploaded an .mp4 video does not mean you have to upload another .webm version of that video. Cloudinary uses a feature called transcoding that enables you upload a single video and deliver it dynamically in different formats:
It is possible to add text content to your video at a given play time. Let's add a text, "Cool Video", at the down-middle part of our video. The text should be displayed after 2 seconds and should be removed after 5 seconds:
Cloudinary can deliver videos optimally using a smart technique know as Adaptive Bitrate Streaming. This is a video delivery technique that adjusts the quality of a video stream in real time according to detected bandwidth and CPU capacity. With adaptive bitrate streaming, videos start quicker, with fewer buffering interruptions, and is delivered at the best possible quality for the current device and network connection, to maximize user experience.
An eager transformation is initiated during upload. This transformation is an array that takes a streaming profile configuration. The MLB_Vid.mp4 video is encoded into HLS format using a Full HD streaming profile.
Eliminate stretching or shrinking videos when adapting them for different screen dimensions. Based on the resizing and cropping transformation feature we have seen, you can perform automatic resizing and cropping to fit the graphic design and layout on any device, at any resolution, using Cloudinary’s powerful URL-based transformations.
Now is the time to step back and reflect. Compare what you could afford to do with your videos manually and how long it would take, to what you can accomplish with Cloudinary in your arsenal. With Cloudinary, you’ll improve your productivity with its robust features and be able to cater to whatever media management needs you might have. Get started by signing up if you haven't already!
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