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Summary:

Encoding.com is introducing a new, faster way for its customers to process files into as many formats as they need. Its “Instant Encoding” feature cuts the time it takes to transcode large files in half, giving it an edge against other cloud encoding firms.

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Cloud encoding vendor Encoding.com is introducing a new, faster way for its customers to process files into as many formats as they need. Its Instant Encoding feature can increase the speed with which files can be transcoded by as much as 100 percent, which could give it an edge against other cloud encoding firms and even on-premise and hybrid solutions.

With Instant Encoding, video files sent to Encoding.com can now be transcoded while they’re being transferred, instead of waiting for the file transfer to finish before the whole process begins. Depending on the size of the file, that can have a dramatic impact on how quickly the encode is completed. With a 500MB file, Encoding.com CEO Jeff Malkin said the company typically sees an increase in the transcoding speed of 100 percent, which means the time it takes is essentially cut in half. In some cases, the transcode was complete at almost the same time as the initial download.

That innovation could give it an advantage against other cloud encoding vendors — like Zencoder, which announced a $2 million funding round earlier this week. But more importantly, Malkin said it puts pressure on traditional encoding vendors, and those that are introducing new hybrid models that include on-premise equipment that connect with cloud components. According to Malkin, the release of Instant Encoding makes those solutions obsolete.

“The remaining hurdle to cloud encoding has been the speed of moving the file into processing,” Malkin told us in an interview. But now, since videos are being processed as the file transfer happens, he said “it’s as if the encoding cloud is in your data center.”

While reducing the overall time it takes to transcode in the cloud is a good thing, it still doesn’t completely do away with the upload time, which by itself can be brutal. But Encoding.com is betting that making the service free and available to any of its customers will help spur adoption. To enable Instant Encoding, all a customer has to do is add an API call while processing files. While free now, Malkin didn’t rule out the possibility of at some point making it a premium service, or limiting its availability to customers that do a certain volume of transcoding.

Encoding.com recently launched a new, unified short URL service called vid.ly that encodes video files into all the formats a publisher needs, and serves up the appropriate file based on the device requesting it. Malkin said it could also add Instant Encoding to vid.ly when the company begins offering premium features along with that service.

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  1. Well done, Encoding.com. Elastic cloud-based encoding has huge advantages over on-premise or “hybrid” encoding, and features like help this make cloud encoding more compelling.

  2. Cool feature!

    How does it handle 2 pass encoding though?

    TK

  3. Matthias Jakel Thursday, April 14, 2011

    The first guys who made realtime encoding were the berlin-based transloadit.com. http://transloadit.com/blog/2010/12/realtime-encoding-over-150x-faster

  4. Felix Geisendörfer Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Congratulations from transloadit.com. We’re excited to compare this to our realtime encoding, which we released 4 month ago:

    http://transloadit.com/blog/2010/12/realtime-encoding-over-150x-faster

  5. @Felix Geisendörfer — LOL!

  6. @TK – Presumably the first pass would process while the file is being downloaded, and the second pass would start when the download is complete (and the first pass is finished). Since the first pass is often faster than the second pass, this feature will represent less of a speedup on two-pass encoding.

    Transloadit’s version works directly from a web upload, I believe, and not just from a file host. Which is a nice feature when dealing with UGC content originating with an upload.

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