Kaltura’s Dragonfly release went live on the Kaltura SaaS (Software As A Service) on March 13th. If you happened to login to your account, you may have noticed some new features like enhanced roles and permissions, HTML5 player and mobile advertising support, and multiple thumbnails. We’ve also got content distribution, more robust video editing, and adaptive bitrate HTTP streaming for both Flash and iOS devices on the horizon.
Roles and Permissions
While Kaltura has always had a concept of Publishers (account owners) and users, the Dragonfly release adds a very clear concept of a user database along with user roles and permissions. An account owner can now add, delete, and block users in the KMC (Kaltura Management Console) and assign them highly granular roles such as “content uploader,” “syndication manager,” or “lord high fixer-upper”. The KMC comes with several pre-defined roles and new roles are user-definable by selecting permissions from a list of KMC permissions.
The new permissions will let you divide the responsibility for your Kaltura account amongst multiple people as well as create “maintenance-only” accounts and other task-oriented logins. It’s possible, for example, to create a role that sees nothing but the analytics tab when they login to the KMC. It’s also possible to create a user that can view, but not alter, various sections of the KMC.
HTML5 Player-Player And Mobile Support
You can now grab an embed code for our fine HTML5 player with automatic detection and fallback to Flash for browsers that don’t support HTML5 video, and then fallback to Java Cortado for browsers without Flash support.
We now have a Blackberry 3GP format to add to our set of mobile transcoding flavors that support Nokia, iPad, iPhone, and Android. And finally, we now support advertising on mobile players. The advertising settings you apply to your player in the Studio section of the KMC will now also apply for mobile delivery with the limitations described in this table:
|Device||Supported Ad Types||Notes and Limitations|
|iPhone||VAST Pre-rollBumper Video|
VAST Post-roll* Ads are played back in the native player* Player controls are not disabled during playback (user can skip the ads)
* Ads are not clickable
* Ads must be encoded for the iPhone (H264)iPadVAST Pre-rollBumper Video
VAST Overlay* Ads must be encoded for the iPad (H264)Android (v2.2 and newer)All* Android version 2.2+ supports Flash playback with all ad types.
Multiple Thumbnail Love
Kaltura has always had the ability to handle a single thumbnail, but now you can upload, or select from your video, multiple thumbnail clips to associate with any video in your KMC. Once the thumbnail is in your KMC account, you can use our new cropping tool to resize and crop it to your liking, then save it as a new thumbnail.
Content Distribution (Coming Soon)
Kaltura has long offered RSS syndication feeds from the KMC, but soon we’ll be adding content distribution as well (Note: some people use the word “syndication” to describe content distribution). That means you’ll be able to push your content to sites like YouTube and MySpace directly from within the KMC. Kaltura customers will be able to control the destinations for each video, and, for each destination, control the video qualities, thumbnail sizes, metadata, scheduling data, and more.
Adaptive Bitrate Streaming Over HTTP (Coming Soon)
Adaptive bitrate streaming over HTTP will improve the user’s video viewing experience. The Kaltura SaaS uses Akamai as its default CDN (Content Delivery Network) and the default video delivery protocol has been progressive streaming via RTMP. But soon you’ll also be able to select adaptive bitrate streaming over HTTP for both flash and iOS devices. That means new capabilities like seeking to any point in the video without waiting for the entire video to load, caching in routers and proxies outside the CDN network, and no requirement for a Flash media server which means more edge servers in the CDN.
Video Editing And The Community
You may note that the KAE (Kaltura Advanced Editor) and KSE (Kaltura Standard Editor) are gone from Dragonfly. Never fear, they will eventually be replaced by some basic, but more powerful, editing tools that will be more robust and handle the majority of use cases that our customers have been using them for. Stay tuned for further announcements about these editing options. Meanwhile, the KSE and KAE will live on as community projects on Kaltura.org. And speaking of community, look for the new and improved Community Edition (based on Dragonfly) to show up in the coming weeks.