Baby It’s Cold Outside, Ensemble Still On Fire!
Up here in Central New York we’ve been enjoying below freezing temperatures all winter. Today it’s a pleasant 22 degrees which feels toasty compared to yesterday’s single digit morning. I know many of you cannot relate to all this cold weather talk and I’m sure it makes southerners shake in their flip flops, but we northerners embrace this climate. How, you ask? Your golf courses are closed, your parks are covered in snow, and your boats are in storage. So what do you do? WE CRANK OUT NEW VERSIONS for our customers and we occasionally have a few more adult beverages as we now have unlimited outdoor refridgerator space! We’ve released two excellent versions this winter, so let’s take a quick look at what we’ve been working on since the winter solstice.
Verision 3.8 Release (December 22, 2014)
Users can log into their Ensemble Video library and click on Bulk Upload to add large numbers of audio or video files to Ensemble Video via our built-in bulk feature. To learn more about the Bulk Upload feature review the Bulk Upload Audio and Video Files article.
Sorenson Squeeze Server Integration
Ensemble Video now integrates with Sorenson Squeeze Server. Squeeze Server was developed with large scale content producers in mind, and is great for a multiple user environment that requires a standardized output. The integration is very similar to our integration with Harmonic ProMedia, but there are are couple significant differences, first Squeeze Server can be installed ion a virtual machine! Additionally, Squeeze Server support FLV transcodes!
Here are some key Squeeze Server features:
- Supported Formats: Squeeze Server supports all the formats you need (and then some) including: MPEG-4, MOV, FLV, MPEG-2, WMV, AVI, WebM, Flash, MKV, AC3 and many more.
- Server Specifications: Squeeze Server can be installed on a virtual machine.
- Divide & Conquer: Now saturate multiple cores at once for more efficiency encoding.
- Adaptive Bitrate (ABR): Supports all major formats — including MPEG DASH, Apple HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), Microsoft Smooth Streaming (H.264) and Adobe Flash Dynamic Streaming.
- Administration Console: A completely redesigned admin console allows for a much smoother workflow.
- Higher Quality: Squeeze Server presets consistently maintain quality across a variety of formats.
- Workflow Customization: Install in minutes and be up and encoding immediately with zero-configuration queues.
- Watch Folders: Encode multiple files simultaneously via watch folders.
Version 3.9 Release (January 19, 2015)
In the latest Ensemble Video release we’ve made significant upgrade to the Portal feature. First of all, the portal is RESPONSIVE. FYI, the responsive design allows the Ensemble Video portal to adapt or respond to the viewers device. To keep it simple, the viewer will have a customized appearance on their PC, iPad, Android Tablet or iPhone. Take a look at a example portal here.
New Portal Options
Ensemble Video institutional administrators can now customize several components of the portal. the new options are illustrated in the screenshot below.
Add a Custom Style
With Version 3.9 there are over 20 custom styling options available, so almost every pixel of the portal can be modified. You can edit the color of the navigation bar, the header, the links, the footer on top of many more useful options. This will enable designers to keep things consistent with their brand and styles.
Add Multiple Playlists and Viewing Restrictions based on Login Identity
The upgraded portal now supports adding multiple playlists (which we call channels in the portal) from multiple organizations and media libraries to an individual portal. Additionally, institutional administrators can add security restrictions to channels. For example, a user that is in the “Staff” LDAP group would log into the portal and see the channels they are allowed to see based on their identity.
This feature will be great for businesses, universities and organizations who want to deliver customizable public and private content to their audience. Here is a quick preview of what a user will see when logged in. Notice the logged in user has access to individual videos and restricted playlists along with public portal content.
Add Google Analytics Tracking Code
Lastly, administrators can add a Google Analytics Tracking Code to their portal.
Let’s Wrap It Up
That is a ton of output in a less productive season! You may be wondering why I say that, I’m surprised you haven’t heard that normal workers produce less in the cooler climates. Cornell University researchers conducted a study that involved tinkering with the thermostat. When temperatures were lower (68 degrees, to be precise), employees committed 44% more errors and were less than half as productive as when temperatures were warm (a cozy 77 degrees). Read the full article here. So how do we do it? I can’t confirm or deny this, but I’ve heard Ensemble Video staffers have superpowers! So while you southerners enjoy golf and you west coasters enjoy your sun, we’ll continue to defy academic research and science in a North Pole-like climate.
In all seriousness, we hope you enjoy these features as much as we enjoy snow days! Check back soon, on top of all those Santa Claus rumors I heard a month ago, I also hear that Ensemble may be releasing a new Live Streaming feature, a New Player and if you are good you might even see Capture Devices with Scheduling.