Content Preparation UI

Video created by Josh Cheshire Employee on Mar 31, 2017

    This video will walk you through the Content Preparation UI, explaining how to transcode video with the Akamai platform.


    One of the features I didn't highlight (but should have!) was the help system accessed via the in context help icon icons in the UI. Our tech writer, Christopher Verner, has been working hard to provide in-context help where possible, and they can be accessed there.


    And for those who might want it, I've included the script for the video below to aid in understanding my voice.


    MSOD 3.4 UI Walkthrough

    Hi! I'm Josh Cheshire, one of the instructors with Akamai focusing on the Media products, and I'd like to introduce you to the new user interface we're rolling out for our Content Preparation platform. We've tried to take the confusion out of configuring Libraries or Collections, and turned the focus on what matters most to you: transcoding and packaging your videos into different bitrates and formats. Toward that end, we've introduced the idea of Content Preparation Workflows.


    Whether it's an Automatic Workflow that leverages a Watch Folder to transcode video, or it's a Manual Workflow that allows you to convert individual videos using the UI or API, we realize that it's the conversion process which is most important to you, and not how we ask you to organize it.

    So, let's take a look at the new UI, and I'll guide you through the processes of creating and editing your Automatic or Manual Workflows.


    When you first enter the new UI, you're presented with a list of existing Automatic Workflows. The menu here on the left allows you to switch between Automatic and Manual Workflows. Or, you can go to the media outputs that have been created from either Workflow.

    Automatic Workflow

    Creating a new Automatic Workflow is done by clicking the big orange button in the top right. Once you do so, a wizard appears that walks you through the steps to create all of the elements necessary to automatically convert content that you upload into the system. Let's take a look at the elements together, and discuss how we've changed the process.


    The first step is to define your Watch Folder. Through these form elements, you'll give us a name to identify the Automated Workflow on the main page. And then you'll need to tell us where in NetStorage you want the system to monitor for new video content. The options here are the same as in the old system, allowing you to specify how we should handle duplicate filenames, and where we should place your source content on success or failure to convert.


    One nice feature we've added to this UI is the heading on the File Picker that reminds you what you're choosing a folder for. 


    Once you've done that, you can tell the system about any companion files you may want to process with your videos. The three tabs here allow you to provide the settings for closed captioning files, ad conditioning files, as well as the ability to pass through any metadata you have associated with your videos.


    And then at the bottom, you can give us a callback URL on the Watch Folder. This is a URL on your side that will receive JSON messages from the system when new videos are detected, processed, and then completed. Any Callback URL you specify at this stage (meaning at the Watch Folder level) will override any similar settings at the Library level. This is intended to give you the flexibility to have multiple Callback URLs configured for your library that are specific to the Automated Workflows you've created.


    Clicking Next brings us to the second step where we tell the system how to convert the videos that are run through it. This is where we choose an existing Collection, or create a new one for our Automated Workflow. You can choose from any of the existing Collections in your account by starting to type in the text box and then selecting the one you want. If you select an existing Collection, then you can simply continue from this step and use the Collection in the Library where it's already created. Or, you can choose to Clone this Collection and place it into a different Library that either already exists, or that you create in the next step.


    Alternatively, you can create a new Collection by clicking the Radio Button and then providing the details of your particular Transcoding settings. I'm going to stick with an existing Collection, and show you how to move it into a new Library by clicking "Clone Collection". This brings me to the "Create New Collection" screen with all of the settings already in place. All I have to do now is confirm those settings and then provide a unique name for it before clicking "Next".


    Here we are at the third and almost final step: choosing the Library. It's at this point that we tell the system where we want to store the output of our Transcoding jobs. Just like in the previous step, we can again choose from an existing one by typing in the text box. Notice that the Library of the Collection I cloned is offered as the default choice. In this case, though, I'm going to create a new Library by clicking the Radio Button, and then giving the information necessary to create it.


    Notice here in the middle of the page that image generation needs to be enabled on the Library if you want to capture images with the Collection you configured in the previous step. Otherwise, the system wouldn't know where to store the images that were captured, which makes sense.


    Finally, you click "Next", review the settings you've provided for this Automated Workflow, and then either go back to make further changes, or create the workflow with the button in the lower right.


    And that's it! The page refreshes showing you the new Automated Workflow that you've created. As it's an Automated Workflow, you don't need to do anything else through the UI to take advantage of it. Simply upload your videos and companion files to the Watch Folder location, and the system will do the rest.

    Manual Workflow

    Now that we have looked at the basics of the workflow method for Content Preparation, let's quickly setup a Manual Workflow and see the differences between the two. You start by choosing Manual Workflow from the entity selector on the left and again clicking the big orange button in the top right.


    A wizard pops up, just as with the Automated Workflow, and you start to provide the details of how you want us to convert your videos and where you want us to store it. Once you're done, you've got a Manual Workflow that's ready to start converting your videos either through the UI or via the API.


    The UI method is pretty straight forward. You start by clicking the Plus icon here, and then select the videos you want to process by browsing through NetStorage and checking the boxes next to your videos. Click the Select button in the bottom right, and the system is ready to convert. You can add more files, remove files from the list, or just tell the system to start Transcoding using the big orange button at the bottom right.


    Notice that both the Automated and Manual workflows have an Edit link here in the form of a Pencil. This allows you to come back into the Workflow and change any of the settings you previously specified. That means you can adjust the Transcoding Settings in a collection, the destination where the output is saved in a Library, or adjust the Watch Folder in the Automated Workflow. As I mentioned at the beginning of this tour, we are working toward keeping this tool focused on your workflows, and not on the underlying architecture.


    Now that we've seen the workflows, let me show you the other elements in our menu here on the left. The Media option shows all of the videos that are either currently being transcoded, or have already been transcoded. Clicking on any one of them slides in a Details panel that gives you all of the information about the transcoding job including the source, Collection, and outputs.


    Underneath the Advanced Settings element, you can edit API users with the API Access element. Or, if you prefer working with the underlying components of the Transcoding system like we ask you to in the original UI, you can access the Collections and Libraries here.


    And that is our new User Interface! I'm sure you noticed that are a wide variety of settings available to you. Many of them should be familiar to you from the previous UI, but we know that's not always the case. So, remember that we have a full set of Documentation in the Support section of Luna.

    Thanks for your time, and happy transcoding!