Stream a file in Wowza Streaming Cloud

Learn how to use the Wowza Streaming Cloud™ service to stream a file in a live stream broadcast.

About file streaming


Wowza Streaming Cloud allows you to stream .mp3 and H.264-encoded .mp4 and .flv files. Files must be hosted in a publicly accessible location on a web server, Google Storage, or Amazon S3 bucket.

File streaming can be configured through the live stream or transcoder workflow. After you start the live stream or transcoder, Wowza Streaming Cloud downloads the file from the specified URL, and then starts the stream. Depending on the location of the file, the file size, and network conditions there may be a delay between the time the live stream or transcoder starts and when the file actually begins to play.

By default, files play once and then stop. To play a file on a continuous loop, see Play the file on a loop.

Schedules

You can schedule a file to automatically start streaming at a specific date and time. Then, prior to the scheduled start time, start the live stream or transcoder manually or use a schedule to automatically start it. This ensures that Wowza Streaming Cloud has enough time to download the file. For more information, see Schedule the stream.

Notes:
  • For best results, consider adding a buffer of 10 to 15 seconds to the end of the file. This ensures that the stream doesn't cut off prematurely.
  • Passthrough transcoding isn’t supported for HLS playback of .mp3 files.
  • 4k video files with a video bitrate greater than 6000 Kbps may cause performance issues when streaming.

Live stream workflow


  1. Sign in to Wowza Streaming Cloud.
  2. Click the Live Streams menu, and then click Add Live Stream.

  3. On the Live Stream Setup page, enter a Live Stream Name, choose a Broadcast Location, and then click Next.
  4. On the Video Source and Transcoder Settings page, select Stream from File as the source you want to use to connect to Wowza Streaming Cloud.

  5. Enter the URL where the file is located in the Source URL field.

    The URL must be publicly accessible. Supported protocols are http, https, gs, and s3.

  6. Specify the other video source settings, and then click Next.
  7. Complete the steps to finish creating the live stream. For more information, see Create and manage live streams in Wowza Streaming Cloud.

Test the live stream connection

  1. Select your live stream.
  2. Click Start Live Stream at the top of the live stream detail page.
  3. Click Start to confirm that you want to start the live stream.

    Wowza Streaming Cloud downloads the file from the Source URL.

  4. In Wowza Streaming Cloud, confirm that the stream is working by looking at the Video Thumbnail on the Overview tab of the live stream detail page.

    The Video Thumbnail displays a frame from the live stream every five seconds. The started date and time appear at the bottom of the thumbnail. Connection, transcoding, and delivery metrics begin to update in the Statistics panel.

  5. Check playback on various devices, browsers, and platforms to confirm the stream is playing as expected.
  6. Click Stop Live Stream at the top of the live stream detail page to end your test stream.

Transcoder workflow


  1. Click Advanced on the menu bar, click Transcoders, and then click Add Transcoder.
  2. On the Transcoder Setup page, under Source Delivery Method, select Use a file to stream.
  3. Enter the URL where the file is locatred in the Source URL field.

    The URL must be publicly accessible. Supported protocols are http, https, gs, and s3.

  4. Complete the steps to finish adding the transcoder. For more information, see Create and manage transcoders in Wowza Streaming Cloud.

Test the transcoder connection

  1. Select your transcoder.
  2. Click Start Transcoder at the top of the transcoder detail page.
  3. Click Start to confirm that you want to start the transcoder.

    Wowza Streaming Cloud downloads the file from the Source URL.

  4. In Wowza Streaming Cloud, confirm that the stream is working by looking at the Video Thumbnail on the Overview tab of the transcoder detail page.

    The Video Thumbnail displays a frame from the live stream every five seconds. The started date and time appear at the bottom of the thumbnail. Connection, transcoding, and delivery metrics begin to update in the Statistics panel.

  5. Check playback on various devices, browsers, and platforms to confirm the stream is playing as expected.
  6. Click Stop Transcoder at the top of the transcoder detail page to end your test stream.

Configure advanced properties


You can use advanced transcoder properties to play the file on a continuous loop and schedule the file to start streaming at a specific date and time.

Play the file on a loop

  1. Click Advanced on the menu bar, click Transcoders, and then select a transcoder.
  2. On the Properties tab, click Edit.
  3. Select Enabled for the Play source file on a loop property, and then specify True. The default is False.
  4. Click Save.
Notes:
  • Enabling the Play source file on a loop property overrides the idle timeout value for the transcoder. The transcoder will continue to run and accrue charges until manually stopped.
  • You can use a schedule to automatically stop the transcoder at a specific date and time. For more information, see Schedule live streams and transcoders in Wowza Streaming Cloud.

Schedule the stream

You can schedule a file to automatically start streaming at a specific date and time. Then, prior to the scheduled start time, start the live stream or transcoder manually or a use a schedule to automatically start it. For more information on schedules, see Schedule live streams and transcoders in Wowza Streaming Cloud.

For best results, start the live stream or transcoder at least 5-15 minutes before the scheduled start time.

Note: Wowza Streaming Cloud allows you to specify an idle timeout value to automatically stop the transcoder if no video is received after a specified length of time. The default value is 20 minutes. If you start the transcoder early to allow time for the file to download, make sure that the idle timeout isn’t set to occur before the scheduled start time. Otherwise, the transcoder will stop and the file won’t stream.
  1. Click Advanced on the menu bar, click Transcoders, and then select a transcoder.
  2. On the Properties tab, click Edit.
  3. Select Enabled for the Start source file at specified time property, and then specify the date and time that the file should start streaming, including the applicable time zone.
  4. Click Save.