For learning applications, recent years have become a period of explosive growth: many players have appeared on the market from scratch or continued to develop rapidly. And many of them, of course, provide users with possibility to watch live videos. In this blog post, we are gonna tell you how to implement a video streaming feature for learning application with the most popular video streaming technology - HTTP Live Streaming.
The pandemic has attracted particular interest in the online education market. It is one of the industries that benefited from lockdown during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic mostly.
While video has been a powerful educational instrument for years now, 2020 accelerated this tendency.
Video streaming is one of the most popular features in educational platforms since it’s a good way to organize a large amount of content. It can help improve the overall learning experience by giving deeper explanations of certain concepts or by providing students with clear visuals that simply cannot be conveyed through text.
Some statistics to prove the importance of video for EdTech:
While video streamings are more time-consuming to create than text content, they can pay off by being more interesting and valuable to learners. HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) is an HTTP-based media streaming communication protocol developed by Apple as part of the QuickTime, Safari, OS X, and iOS software. The work is based on the principle of splitting a whole stream into small fragments, sequentially downloaded via HTTP. The flow is continuous and theoretically can be infinite. When integrating the HLS feature into your education platform, you can choose the most relevant protocol opportunities to adjust it to your needs.
Microsoft Smooth Streaming and Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) HLS support most browsers and mobile devices.
The HLS protocol supports both live broadcasts and viewing recordings. Thanks to the manifest and fragmentation technology, rewind is fast and available at the same time as the ability to switch to live. This is an important advantage over the RTMP and WEBRTC protocols, which are focused only on live broadcasts.
The HLS protocol supports Digital Rights Management (DRM). The technology allows you to track the illegal use of content - both recordings and live broadcasts. At the same time, the digital rights management infrastructure is quite simple.
The HLS protocol scales very well to any number of viewers using CDN services and guarantees uninterrupted delivery of content anywhere in the world.
To easily employ all the HLS advantages, you should know the major technical specifications of the HLS protocol.
Capture devices (cameras, microphones, etc.) capture content. The content is sent from the capture device to the live video encoder. The encoder transmits content to the video hosting platform using the RTMP protocol. The video hosting platform uses HLS ingest to push content to the HTML5 video player. This process requires two main software solutions: an HLS encoder for live video and a powerful video hosting platform. We recommend utilizing the Video.js library that supports HTML5 video and HLS.
The possibility of watching live streams creates a great experience and interaction between the participants of the educational platform. However, you need a reliable development team to integrate the whole protocol correctly and meet all your requirements.
If you are looking for the development team to integrate video streaming into your learning application, we at Axon will be glad to become your technology partner.
Axon’s software engineers have enough background in educational software and the development of video streaming features. By developing software solutions since 2012, Axon team is striving to deliver a high-quality product in a timely manner.
Video streaming is a powerful technology that has become the EdTech industry standard. We hope this article has introduced you to the basics of video streaming, its principles of work, and its main benefits.
To bring order to the chaos of your video content, be sure to integrate an HLS. It’s the only solution that can truly win more clients and keep them interested now and in the future.