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Generate media playlists

The /media/playlist Robot merges segment files to generate playlist files for HTTP Live Streaming (HLS).

Warning: The /media/playlist Robot is deprecated and will be removed! Please use our /video/adaptive Robot for all your HLS and MPEG-Dash needs instead.

The /media/playlist Robot is able to generate playlist files for HTTP Live Streaming (HLS).

This Robot accepts HLS segments generated by the /audio/encode and /video/encode Robots. You need to pass an /audio/encode or /video/encode Step that had its segment parameter set to true to the use parameter of this Robot.

The segments need to be passed to the Robot all at the same time, and not one by one. That's why you must use the bundle_steps parameter, otherwise you will generate multiple playlist files each containing only one segment.

Also, please make sure that you export your segments (to Amazon S3 for example). If you do not do that your playlist file will become invalid after 24 hours, as we remove temporary result files after that time.

Here is a complete example on how to implement HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) for video with Transloadit. It also works with the /audio/encode Robot, though.

Generating a Master Playlist - a Playlist of Playlists

You can also pipe the output of several playlist Steps into another playlist Step to build a HLS playlist of playlists. The master playlist will make use of the resolution and bandwidth parameters of the parameter playlists. Here is an example:

Parameters

  • use

    String / Array of Strings / Object required

    Specifies which Step(s) to use as input.

    • You can pick any names for Steps except ":original" (reserved for user uploads handled by Transloadit)

    • You can provide several Steps as input with arrays:

      "use": [
        ":original",
        "encoded",
        "resized"
      ]
      

    :bulb: That’s likely all you need to know about use, but you can view advanced use cases:

    › Advanced use cases
    • Step bundling. Some Robots can gather several Step results for a single invocation. For example, the /file/compress Robot would normally create one archive for each file passed to it. If you'd set bundle_steps to true, however, it will create one archive containing all the result files from all Steps you give it. To enable bundling, provide an object like the one below to the use parameter:

      "use": {
        "steps": [
          ":original",
          "encoded",
          "resized"
        ],
        "bundle_steps": true
      }
      

      This is also a crucial parameter for the /video/adaptive Robot, otherwise you'll generate 1 playlist for each viewing quality.
      Keep in mind that all input Steps must be present in your Template. If one of them is missing (for instance it is rejected by a filter), no result is generated because the Robot waits indefinitely for all input Steps to be finished.

      Here’s a demo that showcases Step bundling.

    • Group by original. Sticking with the /file/compress Robot example, you can set group_by_original to true, in order to create a separate archive for each of your uploaded or imported files, instead of creating one archive containing all originals (or one per resulting file). This is important for for the /media/playlist Robot where you'd typically set:

      "use": {
        "steps": [
          "segmented"
        ],
        "bundle_steps": true,
        "group_by_original": true
      }
      
    • Fields. You can be more discriminatory by only using files that match a field name by setting the fields property. When this array is specified, the corresponding Step will only be executed for files submitted through one of the given field names, which correspond with the strings in the name attribute of the HTML file input field tag for instance. When using a back-end SDK, it corresponds with myFieldName1 in e.g.: $transloadit->addFile('myFieldName1', './chameleon.jpg').

      This parameter is set to true by default, meaning all fields are accepted.

      Example:

      "use": {
        "steps": [ ":original" ],
        "fields": [ "myFieldName1" ]
      }
      
    • Use as. Sometimes Robots take several inputs. For instance, the /video/merge Robot can create a slideshow from audio and images. You can map different Steps to the appropriate inputs.

      Example:

      "use": {
        "steps": [
          { "name": "audio_encoded", "as": "audio" },
          { "name": "images_resized", "as": "image" }
        ]
      }
      

      Sometimes the ordering is important, for instance, with our concat Robots. In these cases, you can add an index that starts at 1. You can also optionally filter by the multipart field name. Like in this example, where all files are coming from the same source (end-user uploads), but with different <input> names:

      Example:

      "use": {
        "steps": [
          { "name": ":original", "fields": "myFirstVideo", "as": "video_1" },
          { "name": ":original", "fields": "mySecondVideo", "as": "video_2" },
          { "name": ":original", "fields": "myThirdVideo", "as": "video_3" }
        ]
      }
      

      For times when it is not apparent where we should put the file, you can use Assembly Variables to be specific. For instance, you may want to pass a text file to the /image/resize Robot to burn the text in an image, but you are burning multiple texts, so where do we put the text file? We specify it via ${use.text_1}, to indicate the first text file that was passed.

      Example:

      "watermarked": {
        "robot": "/image/resize",
        "use"  : {
          "steps": [
            { "name": "resized", "as": "base" },
            { "name": "transcribed", "as": "text" },
          ],
        },
        "text": [
          {
            "text"  : "Hi there",
            "valign": "top",
            "align" : "left",
          },
          {
            "text"    : "From the 'transcribed' Step: ${use.text_1}",
            "valign"  : "bottom",
            "align"   : "right",
            "x_offset": 16,
            "y_offset": -10,
          }
        ]
      }
      
  • name

    String ⋅ default: "playlist.m3u8"

    The final name of the playlist file.

  • relative_to

    String ⋅ default: ""

    URL prefixes to use in the playlist file. Example: "/234p/"

  • resolution

    String ⋅ default: ""

    The resolution reported in the playlist file. Example: "416×234". More info.

  • codecs

    String ⋅ default: ""

    The codecs reported in the playlist file. Example: "avc1.42001e,mp4a.40.34". More info.

  • bandwidth

    String("auto") / Integer ⋅ default: "auto"

    The bandwidth reported in the playlist file. Example: 2560000. More info. This value is expressed in bits per second.

  • closed_captions

    Boolean ⋅ default: true

    When set to false, adds the "CLOSED-CAPTIONS=NONE" directive to the Playlist file.

  • meta_name

    String ⋅ default: ""

    The meta name as used for NAME in the #EXT-X-STREAM-INF path in playlists. Can be different from the (file)name.

  • protocol

    String ⋅ default: "http"

    The URL protocol used for all URLs in playlists. Can be "http" or "https".

Demos

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