Archive for ‘Announcements’

February 16th, 2014

Introducing KIPP – Kaltura Install Made Simple.

by Jess Portnoy

kaltura-light-blue-bg

The installation of Kaltura, just like the platform itself, went through a lot of metamorphosis over the years.

Over the years, we invested many resources at making Kaltura the best media management platform. Featuring grand batch system, complex metadata engine, robust entitlements, simplified video transcoding and more.

Alas, built on many different technologies, the installation of the platform became a bit of a complex task. Requiring many pre-install steps and several tricky pit-falls, even for the expert Linux engineers.

 

Announcing “KIPP” – Kaltura’s Install Packages Project!
Putting in place the resources to simplify and standardize the installation of Kaltura.
To enable the use of standard Linux package managers (e.g. yum, aptitude) to deploy the Kaltura platform with ease.

 

Community ahead!

It was important for us to create an open and collaborative project from day 1. Enabling community users to take part in defining, testing and developing the project.

Open repository and packaging tools -

All RPM and deb specs are accessible on an open GitHub repository.
Also available a chrooted ready-to-go build environment to allow experienced package developers to get started with ease and contribute packages for other CPU architectures or other operating systems.

 

Many dependancies, many challenges.
Kaltura requires many 3rd party components. Some of which are available via official Linux repositories. Many are in different versions or compilation options than what Kaltura requires. And other are missing altogether from official repositories.

Most packages are available from supplementary repositories such as EPRL and RPMForge. But, relying on unofficial repositories would force a list of pre-install steps that KIPP was set to avoid. And it would also introduce the challenge of keeping up with updates from these repositories.

 

Clean & Simple!
To meet our simplicity goal, we’ve chosen a few project guidelines.

All packages will have the ‘kaltura-’ prefix.
This ensures a no-conflict with other packages the machine may already have installed.
It would also provide a simple approach to handling updates -
# yum update "*kaltura*"

All files go under /opt/kaltura/.
Apart from standard init scripts: /etc/init.d and symlinks to Apache and logroate configurations. If the user runs the un-install script – everything gets removed.

Release notes matter.
Every package contains project metadata, that includes the project’s github repository and changes log. The changes-log contain all changes or patches for each version as well as links to Knowledge Center release notes.

Simple single-server without compromising cluster installs.
A single call to the ‘kaltura-server’ meta-package will install a complete all-in-one Kaltura server. But, as you grow your usage, so should your network grow into a smarter cluster of dedicated servers.

Modular packages structure.
A key characteristic of Kaltura is it’s ability to scale and deploy across any size cluster. The install packages should allow for the same level of modularity in deployment:

  1. You only install what you need.
  2. You should always know exactly what you have installed and of which version.
  3. You should have full control over which parts to update or patch.
  4. You should deploy packages based on desired server-role by calling it’s role. E.g. front, batch, sphinx, DB, etc.

Automated, silent installs.
Repurposing and adding new servers in your network should be a painless and automatic task.

Post-install script for each server role, allows for an easy deploy or repurpose of Kaltura servers.
Utilizing answers-file, preconfigured server-role templates allow for automatic deployment of new servers.
Admins can use Chef scripts with preconfigured answers-file to deploy complete clusters with ease.

Building for today, designing for long-term.
The short-term goal is to solve deployment of Kaltura on Fedora and Debian based Linux systems. Utilizing simple shell post-install scripts we maintain a common code base whenever possible. That allows for reuse in future packages, reducing time to package for other systems such BSD variants or even OSX.
Also, if we add new directives or variables in the future, all we need to update is the answer file template.

 

Support the project:

  • Kaltura Admins – Follow the new install guide (http://bit.ly/kipp-rpm). Help test the installation and upgrade flows.
  • Packagers / Package Developers – If you’re experienced with Linux packaging (or brew/macports on OSX) drop us a line!
  • Tech writers, translators and anyone who cares – Let’s reach everyone who cares about online video, anywhere!

To stay updated and learn more, visit the project page!

 

 

January 24th, 2014

Boost Your Social Business with Kaltura’s Video Extension for IBM Connections

by Vitaly.Shter

Over the past few years, consumer social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube have radically changed the way we communicate. Seeing the benefits of consumers’ real time social information sharing, enterprises have been adopting social business systems like IBM Connections not only to meet the expectations of today’s employees and partners, but also to increase productivity and reduce costs.

diagram2At the same time, video usage has seen substantial growth within the enterprise, with Forrester reporting that over 27% of firms already implemented enterprise IP/digital video for internal use, and Gartner predicting that by 2016, large companies will stream more than 16 hours of video per worker per month. Innovative enterprises are using video to harness corporate knowledge. As a result, organizations are recognizing that in order to maximize the benefits and adoption of their social business software, they must enrich traditional social business components like news-feeds, communities, blogs, wikis, and profiles, with video. The simplest way to marry advanced video creation, consumption, sharing, and delivery capabilities with social business software is by using packaged video integrations.

Kaltura’s Video Extension for IBM Connections combines Kaltura’s market leading enterprise video platform with IBM’s leading social business software, into a seamless user experience that leverages video to dramatically improve collaboration, knowledge sharing, and communications across the organization. Think adding YouTube-like capabilities to a Facebook-like portal, with the addition of workflows and security mechanisms required by the modern social enterprise. This empowers employees with intuitive video tools that they are already comfortable using, while providing peace of mind to IT by allowing to securely centrally manage all rich media content in the organization.

Here is a short overview of how Kaltura’s new Video Extension can work seamlessly within IBM Connections:

So why video, you ask? There are many reasons why video is key to your organization’s communications, here are just 5 things to think about as you plan the future of your social business strategy:

  • Video is engaging and simplifies complex ideas:
    Both consumers and enterprises recognize video as an engaging and entertaining medium to convey powerful messages, engage audiences, and illustrate complex ideas. Video is the perfect starting point to get the conversation going since video viewers retain 50% more material than those who just view traditional information sources (according to a recent Wharton Business School study). According to Forbes, 59% of senior executives prefer to watch video instead of reading text, if both are available on the same page. So when your IBM Connection users are creating blogs or initiating online ideation discussions, wouldn’t it be great to let them add a relevant video into the mix?
  • Videos reduces cost by boosting training and ‘multiplying’ sales-force:
    7,500 video views per day on salesforce.com – this is equivalent to work done by 46 hyper efficient sales reps, educating customers on the product (According to Greney Jamie, VP, Social Media and Online Video, Salesforce). Similarly training videos watched by thousands of employees and partners are equivalent to dozens of corporate instructors onboarding and training employees and partners. “By integrating Kaltura into our virtual learning site and transitioning all broker training online with video, we have decreased the onboarding timeline for a new agent from 6 to 3 months” (VP of Learning, Coldwell Banker). No matter how you look at it, video cuts costs significantly.
  • Videos shortens ‘time to knowledge’ and facilitates expertise creation and recognition:
    Tapping into the communal knowledge base of a globally distributed workforce is one of the main benefits of social business software like IBM Connections. Add to that the ability for experts to easily record How-to videos and tutorials accessible 24/7 from any device, as well as the long “shelf life” of video, and you significantly shorten the time it takes to find information in your organization in the years to come.  Once you find the information, it is also about comprehension – it is much easier to watch a 3 minute video walkthrough, like the one embedded within this blog post, as opposed to reading a 10 page user manual. Provide your IBM Connections users with Employee Generated Content (EGC) tools like screen-capture, webcam recording, and mobile capture, and watch the level of organizational knowledge sky-rocket as a result of the videos they create and the chance to be publicly recognized for their expertise (you get bonus points for gamification initiatives that reward employee participation!).
  • Video authenticity brings people together:
    Video helps employees break geographical and cultural boundaries, with “nearly in-person” experiences that add depth, authenticity, and personification to their corporate online identity. Many of our customer executives use live video or send recorded video messages to thousands of employees, in order to create a sense of familiarity and closure that is unmatched by text-based communications. Many companies also initiate video contests to foster a sense of company-wide community and corporate pride (see this great example). An IBM Connections portal where executives and employees record and share their video messages and personal user-profiles, and where employees participate in creative video contests, transforms a large workforce into a tighter, community that takes pride in its work.
  • The demand for consuming and creating knowledge on-the-go:
    Today’s workforce requires access to knowledge anywhere-anytime on a myriad of mobile devices. With limited time at hand, and limitations of the mobile device screen size, video is the best medium to access knowledge ”just-in-time” by providing both visual and audio comprehension. This is especially important for mobile and “desk-less” employees like Sales, technicians, first responders, and retail staff who often need to learn a topic on-the-go right before taking action. In other situations, capturing and sharing knowledge videos remotely is business critical capability – think insurance agents documenting an incident on-site using their mobile device video camera. Imagine how powerful this can become with the proliferation of wearable computers like Google Glass and Motorola Golden-i, where video will play an even more central role for communicating, learning, and collaborating “on the fly”.

In summary, bringing together video and social business provides great value: fast, asynchronous, visual, authentic and engaging knowledge exchange through a many-to-many communication channel, resulting in speedier product lifecycles, competitive advantage, educated employees and constant dialogue across the global enterprise and customer base. Learn more about how enterprise video can enhance your business here.

January 17th, 2014

Wikimedia Community Debates H.264 Support On Wikipedia Sites

by Michael Dale

Wikimedia has been a long time supporter of royalty free formats, but is now considering a shift in their position. From the RfC:

To support the MP4 standard as a complement to the open formats now used on our sites, it has been proposed that videos be automatically transcoded and stored in both open and MP4 formats on our sites, as soon as they are uploaded or viewed by users. The unencumbered WebM and Ogg versions would remain our primary reference for platforms that support them. But the MP4 versions would enable many mobile and desktop users who cannot view these unencumbered video files to watch them in MP4 format.

This has stirred a heated debate within the Wikimedia community as to whether the mp4 / h.264 format should be supported. Many wikimedia regulars have weighed in, resulting in currently an even split between adding the H.264 support or not. The request for comment is open to all users of Wikimedia, including the broader community of readers.

What do you think about supporting H.264 on Wikimedia sites?

November 8th, 2013

You Can Have Your Own Netflix – it’s Called MediaGo™

by Iddo Shai

kaltura_mediagoIf you have ever been to the Kaltura office in New York, you know that from our conference room window we see Union Square and the place where the Virgin Megastore once stood. Today, what used to be a massive music store with dozens of listening stations (and a special section for Japanese imports!) is now a very big bank.

Virgin Megastores was joined yesterday by Blockbuster, which announced it would shut down all of its remaining video rental stores. The company, now owned by Dish, will continue operating its online video streaming service.

In 1999, Blockbuster was valued at $4.8 billion and around that time Virgin had about 23 music stores and revenue of $280 million annually. No doubt, much has changed.

Coincidently, yesterday we at Kaltura announced our latest product – Kaltura MediaGo™. “An out of the box Netflix” that offers a turn-key solution to have your own content store up and running very quickly.

MediaGo is another stage in the natural evolution of television, film, music, education and enterprise culture. Driven by powerful cloud services, low storage costs and proliferation of connected devices – many media companies, telecom service providers, content rights holders and independent producers can now monetize their content easily and cost-effectively. This is usually referred to as over-the-top delivery (OTT), but what it really means is that technology is now leveling the playing field not only for disruptors like Netflix and iTunes but for any business entity that owns quality content.

Beyond OTT, MediaGo also captures the strongest trends in the online video platform space. Since 2006 Kaltura has been a pioneer in online video with its open and flexible approach that allowed news and entertainment companies to utilize our strong API offering to create their own customized video experience. However, in recent months, as we have been tracking the news and entertainment markets, we noticed a strong need for an out-of-the-box content store that is easy to manage by the content providers and very intuitive for the consumers to use.

Kaltura PlayerMediaGo is designed to do just that. Basically, all that the content providers need to do is to add content (and set their price). For the user, subscription is easy and navigating the site feels intuitive and familiar. From a technology perspective, what’s still powering all of this under the hood is the same strong Kaltura API set. These include our industry leading video player, HD adaptive streaming, fast upload, DRM support, geo-blocking, custom metadata, content recommendation, analytics, easy site customization and of course the entire e-billing and user management aspects.

We believe that the business opportunity here is huge and we will keep writing about it in the coming weeks and months. But before I conclude, let me go back to my favorite place in New York circa 2003.

Gremlins in santaAs much as I loved spending endless hours in the Virgin Megastore at Union Square I know today that it wasn’t perfect. Why? Well, because it was a mega store. Sure, it had all the content I loved but it also offered massive amount of stuff I didn’t care for (sorry Gremlins dolls in Santa Suits). And much of this mega store experience still exists. YouTube is a mega store, iTunes is a mega store and Amazon is… probably the ultimate example. These stores are not going away, but that doesn’t mean your viewers are not looking for a new, more focused, personal and entertaining video experience.

Read more:

- Kaltura Introduces MediaGo, Its ‘Netflix-In-A-Box’ Portal For Media Companies (Techcrunch)

- Kaltura Now Offers Easy OTT Subscription Based Video Platform (ReelSEO)

October 28th, 2013

The Beatles Recorded BBC Sessions – Listen Now With Kaltura

by Charlotte.Copeman

The Beatles

Exclusive to THEBEATLES.COM, here is the first ever stream of She Loves You from Live at the BBC Vol 2 streamed through the Kaltura player! The much coveted and previously unreleased recordings and studio chatter by the Beatles will be released on November 11th and you can get a preview and hear some of your favourite Beatles tracks through the Kaltura player on The Beatles website

This version was taped for the fifth anniversary of Saturday Club on the 7 September 1963 at the BBC Playhouse Theatre, London. The Beatles’ biggest selling single in Britain spent twelve weeks in the Top Three, including two stints at number one.

These recordings are being made public for the first time ever, and include some of the bands’ early hits plus coverage of songs recorded at the BBC in 1963 and 1964. There will be much loved favourites including ‘Lucille’ and ‘The Hippy Hippy Shake’.

In addition to the tracks, the album will have exclusive audio of the group talking to the BBC’s radio presenters.

The new album, ‘On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2′, follows the hugely successful ‘Live at the BBC’ album issued in 1994, which sold more than five million copies around the world in six weeks.

The Beatles performed a huge catalogue of songs across 275 performances at the BBC between March 1962 and June 1965.

They appeared on 39 radio shows in 1963 and, on one single day, recorded 18 songs for three editions of their Pop Go The Beatles series in a session lasting less than seven hours.

In total they played 88 different songs, most done in one take with little time to correct mistakes!

Visit the site to hear your favourite classics now!

September 19th, 2013

M. Ping: An Expert in Enterprise Video Joins the Kaltura Family

by Laura Djian

KalturaLogoWe are excited to announce that Michael Ping has taken the role of Vice President for Enterprise Sales at Kaltura. Michael is a 27 year veteran in the industry who has participated in various roles with early stage technology companies that have garnered market definition and leadership including development, integration and video management solutions.  Most recently he spent seven years at Qumu where he was instrumental in creating their Enterprise Go to Market strategy and sales execution plan. His specialty is in understanding market trends, building field sales teams focused on customer success combined with his recent experience in the video space will continue to extend Kaltura’s leadership.

“There is little doubt Kaltura has a tremendous amount of momentum in the video management marketplace.  I am extremely honored to be part of the Kaltura team.  The vision and the efforts of the Kaltura team have provided the foundation for many marquee customers to date in embracing a ubiquitous video dial tone initiatives.  The innovative approach is unique in marketplace.  I am excited to continue extending the Kaltura successes and participate in assisting organizations in realizing the benefits associated with adopting video.”  Michael Ping, VP for Enterprise Sales.

“We are excited to have Michael Ping join our team of industry veterans. Michael brings with him years of hands-on experience from small and large companies, domain expertise in video, and a deep understanding of the enterprise sales and service cycles. Michael will help Kaltura continue the tremendous momentum it has as the industry leader for Enterprise Video” Shay David, Co-founder and CRO.

We’re excited to have such an expert in enterprise video on board, welcome to Kaltura Michael!

September 16th, 2013

Video Stream Live Events and Radio Shows with Kaltura and Orad (Demo)

by Iddo Shai

IBC 2013 logoIt’s been an exciting weekend here at IBC 2013 in Amsterdam. The Kaltura booth (Hall 3, B20) has been very busy as additional television broadcasters turn to online video technology to expand their distribution and revenue. At the same time, we are seeing strong interest from new content providers as radio stations, event producers and universities to be able to offer a great live video experience.

Kaltura and Orad are presenting at IBC 2013 an integrated offering that takes live shows created by Orad’s RadioTV and leverages Kaltura to provide a live and VOD portal, reaching viewers everywhere on any device. This solution fully automates switching between cameras during the live event. It also allows the producers to use various camera types: broadcast cameras, IP cameras and Skype feeds – all packaged with animated graphic overlays. This content is streamed via Kaltura and finally stored for VOD on the publisher’s MediaSapce.

RadioTV demo by Ehud Kulaker, Product Manager, Orad

 

Orad’s online video strategy – Itay Gissin, VP New Media, Orad

 

To learn more come see us at the Kaltura booth (H3.B20) and check out the demo at the Orad booth (H7.B27).

September 4th, 2013

Meet Kaltura at IBC Amsterdam

by Laura Djian

IBC 2013 logoSo are you all excited about next week as much as us? And no, we are not talking about the new iPhone 5S or 5C (or both) that are rumoured to be announced. We are actually more excited about all the cool announcements and demos that Kaltura has in store for IBC 2013, which will take place in Amsterdam (September 12th-17th). We will be there at Booth, Hall 3, B 20.

Like what, you ask? Well…

 

- Subscription based video portal– this week we released MediaSpace 5. The improved navigation, responsive design and the internationalised UI (Spanish, German and French) make it the perfect turn-key solution for global media companies looking to monetise their content using ads. However, we are also hard at work creating a subscription-based (SVOD) MediaSpace so customers can get access to great ad-free content by paying a monthly fee. We will share some more info on this during IBC – so make sure to stay tuned.

- The future of video streaming – come see a demo of MPEG-DASH adaptive streaming protocol, which has been developed by Google and Microsoft. We are really excited about this new streaming standard that is projected to make it so much easier to stream to Chrome and Internet Explorer browsers as well as the latest Android phones and connected TVs. MPEG-DASH also offers exciting capabilities when it comes to streaming live events. We have been experimenting with DASH and the Kaltura player, so be sure to drop by to see the two in action.

- The Kaltura player: now sexier and faster than ever – the robust Kaltura player is the crown jewel of our platform. It’s been the fastest and most feature rich HTML5 player for a long time. IBC feels like the perfect time to give it some nice upgrades with new skins, better mobile support, additional sharing capabilities and the best 508 compliant player in the market.

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- What else? – we have had great talks with some of the most innovative players in the live events broadcasting space. We will announce those partnerships during IBC. Keep following us here, on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Schedule a meeting – some of our top product and sales Kalturians will attend IBC and we want to meet you. If you would like to schedule a meeting, drop us a line here (info@kaltura.com)

Come to our booth – Kaltura will be exhibiting in the Israeli pavilion, so please make sure to come say hello – Booth, Hall 3, B 20.

See you next week!

August 5th, 2013

Sneak Peek: Kaltura MediaSpace 5 Video Portal

by Damian Rochman

RWDIt is no surprise that online video consumption increases year over year, as video becomes the standard form of communication and collaboration. With the increasing popularity of connected smart phones and tablets, mobile video views jumped 300% in the last year alone. Delivering a cross device video experience doesn’t stop at the transcoding and playback – it requires an optimized and engaging experience in the application itself. To address these requirements, we have worked feverishly with our customers to take MediaSpace to the next level and deliver an optimized cross device experience by using responsive web technology.


Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a form of design that adapts to the screen size on which a website is being displayed. It addresses the evolving landscape of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets by building a fluid layout that looks great no matter which size or shape device they are viewed in. After evaluating different approaches and frameworks we chose to base the MediaSpace user interface on Bootstrap, which is the leading open source RWD framework and most popular project in GitHub.

Since we were implementing a new user interface, we took advantage of this process to rethink and rebuild the entire user experience from the ground up. Every section in the application has been optimized for speed and usability. We’ve rethought the way that content and channels are organized, how we can streamline processes by decentralizing entitlement management and how to make it easier to customize the look and feel of MediaSpace.

More detailed information will be communicated in the coming weeks leading up to the release, but we wanted to share with you a few snippets of the new look and some draft documentation so you can get ready for this major release.

Navigation

The navigation has been unified and now you can assign both media and channels to the same hierarchy of categories, allowing you to browse both content and user curated collections in the same place.

KMS_Browse

View Media

The newly designed media page provides the central engagement functionality for the media in the same view rather than having it all split between different tabs. When you view a media entry, you will have direct access to the metadata, comments, share, like and in-video search without any additional clicks.

KMS_View_Media

In addition, we have created a unique experience for different types of media allowing you to use a different player for video, audio and image entries.

MediaSpace Skinning

One of the major advantages of MediaSpace is that it is an expandable and modular platform. In MediaSpace 5 we made it even easier to create your own custom CSS, by adopting the standard Bootstrap CSS format. There are different free tools that allow you to build a standard Bootstrap CSS without the need to do any coding and you will be able to upload that custom CSS directly from your MediaSpace admin console to quickly adapt the look to your own brand style. You can refer to the draft styling guide to see the possibilities and start creating your custom MediaSpace 5 CSS.

We look forward to your feedback and continued collaboration to make MediaSpace even better!

 

July 12th, 2013

The Content Recommendation Revolution- Getting More From Video – Free Webinar

by Asef.Ahmed

 

taboola_logo-new-large

After countless hours of work, numerous edits, and seemingly an infinite amount of caffeine, you have finally finished creating your video. Now comes the hard part, how do you get people to watch it? Unless you are a major publisher, you will probably find it difficult to have your content stand out amongst the endless sea of videos online without shelling out big bucks.

At least that used to be the case. Thanks to content recommendation and distribution platforms like Taboola, you can more efficiently and effectively monetize your content and build your audience by having your content matched to the right viewers on top sites such as BBC, TMZ, and Time.com.

 Join Kaltura and Taboola for a free webinar that will cover do’s and dont’s of content discovery, share case studies of today’s leaders in video, and enable you time for Q&A.

This live webinar will be hosted on Thursday, July 18 at 2pm (EST). The date is approaching fast, so make sure you register today!

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