The long awaited 1.0 release of IIS Transform Manager (which for a while there seemed stuck in GMail-like alpha/beta development) finally hit the Web last week! You can download it and read more about its features here: http://www.iis.net/download/transformmanager
John Deutscher has written a nice overview of IIS Transform Manager 1.0 on his blog. Since we announced Windows Azure Media Services one of the most commonly asked questions has been “Will Transform Manager be supported in WAMS?” The answer is not a straightforward “yes” or “no” because many on-premises server concepts don’t translate directly to the cloud. The goal of Transform Manager is to automate transcoding, transmuxing and DRM packaging of media, and those will be exactly the core services provided by Windows Azure Media Services. So one could argue that Windows Azure Media Services will be a big, amped-up, cloud-based version of Transform Manager. On the other hand, concepts like “local watch folders” and “HPC clusters” don’t really exist in the cloud so workflows will need to be adapted to the cloud paradigm. Bottom line: all the key features of Transform Manager such as media transcoding, MP4–>Smooth transmuxing, Smooth–>HLS transmuxing, and DRM encryption will be available in Windows Azure Media Services too. Microsoft Expression Encoder will be available natively in WAMS under the new name Windows Azure Media Encoder, but WAMS will also offer the possibility of using 3rd party encoders.
The release of Windows 8 Release Preview was announced earlier today, so accordingly we also released some Windows 8 related updates to the Microsoft Media Platform. Smooth Streaming Client SDK for Windows 8 Metro Apps has been refreshed to Beta 1. This version of the Smooth Streaming Client includes many improvements, supports multiple platforms (x86, x64 and ARM) and enables the following features in the <video> tag and MediaElement object:
- On-demand Playback (Play, Pause, Stop, Seek)
- Live Playback (Play)
- VC-1 and H.264 codec support
- TrickPlay (New in Beta refresh)
- Slow motion (New in Beta refresh)
- Content Protection w/ PlayReady integration
Beta 1 release notes, including breaking changes and known issues, can be found here.
MMP Player Framework for Windows 8 Metro has also been updated to support Windows 8 Release Preview and the latest Smooth Streaming Client for Win8. The new version, known as Preview 3, can be downloaded here. Preview 3 focuses on advertising scenarios by adding support for VAST, MAST and VPAID standards, and dynamic ad insertion.