S3 Video and Audio Player For WordPress, Amazon S3 and CloudFront - Page 2 of 4 - S3 Media Vault - WordPress Plugin for Amazon S3 and CloudFront That Provides a S3 Audio Player and a S3 Video Player

Amazon S3 Pricing: How Expensive is it to use S3?

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault

One question we get asked frequently, is about how expensive Amazon S3 is if you're going to use it for all of your Videos, Audio, PDF's, Docs, Zip files, and images?

The first thing to note is that Amazon S3 has two types of pricing:

1) For Storage, and
2) For Usage

If you just upload a bunch of files to S3, and those files never get downloaded (regardless of file type), then you'll be paying for just storage.

But if you embed those files in your member's area using a plugin like S3MediaVault.com, and your members are watching your videos, listening to your audios, and downloading your PDF's/Docs/Zips, then you'll be paying for Storage *and* Usage.

If you're thinking about storing the files on your own website, don't (read this to see why).

The good news is that the cost of S3 is really low. And there are no fixed monthly costs. You only pay for what you use.

So unless you have hundreds of large videos and thousands of members consuming your content every day, the average S3 bill (based on what we've seen with our own account and from asking others) is going to be between $5 - $20 a month.

Amazon has a pricing calculator, but it can be a bit confusing. So here's you a rough idea. This is for Video, as that's usually the main kind of content in most online courses.

If you have...

  • 50 videos in your membership site,
  • 50 MB in size each
  • 50 members who watch each the video at least
  • 1 time
  • Bandwidth used per member = 2.5 GB
  • Rough S3 cost = $0.023 per GB 

Cost of S3 per member = 2.5 GB x $0.023 = $0.057
Roughly ~= 6 cents/member per month

Multiplied by 50 = $3 in bandwidth costs for all 50 members combined.

So your overall monthly bill would be $3/month.

Also, S3 has tiered pricing, so costs won't necessarily go up directly in proportion to increased usage.

You could use a video service like Vimeo to host your videos, but Vimeo doesn't support Audio, PDF's, Zips, Docs, Images, etc - only videos, Also, Vimeo does not offer "impossible-to-download" AES 128-bit encrypted HLS streaming like S3MediaVault can.

So if you want a single, integrated, easy-to-use solution for securing and delivering all of your premium content and media files, with maximum security for your videos, at a really low cost, then a combination of Amazon S3 and S3MediaVault.com is your best option.

AWS Free Tier

AWS also offers a free tier for new users. Here's what you get for free.

Free: 12 Months
Free: 5 GB of standard storage
Free: 20,000 Get Requests
Free: 2,000 Put Requests
No monthly costs
Pay as you go

What are the benefits of using Amazon S3?

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault

Using Amazon S3 - rather than hosting on your own server, or using CloudFront rather than a different Content Delivery Network (CDN), has a ton of benefits...

  • Outsource your media files to S3 and reduce the strain on your website
  • You shouldn't be hosting your media files on a regular web host that’s not truly meant for media hosting
  • Scalable
  • Secure
  • Simple
  • Has a web interface (which takes just a teeny-tiny bit to get used to, but is powerful and it works great) to manage your files and their security settings.
  • S3 becomes the hub where your files are stored.
  • S3 integrates with all other Amazon Web Services (AWS), like MediaConvert, Transcribe and CloudFront
  • S3 has deep integration with their own CDN, which is CloudFront. Which means more integrated and powerful solutions can be created, and have already been created.
  • And when you use a plugin like S3MediaVault.com that integrates with Amazon S3, that in turn integrates with MediaConvert to create HLS true streaming videos.
  • And S3MediaVault can also create true-streaming Audio.
  • And you can transcribe your Audios and Videos with the click of a button.
  • And you can add a CDN like CloudFront to it and make your files load super-fast regardless where your audience is from in the world
  • And you can create a S3 Video Player, S3 Audio Player, Audio and Video Playlists, and more, all using S3MediaVault.

The list is just endless.

And because AWS has such fantastic API’s for developers, there are a lot of software and services and WordPress Plugins - both free and paid, and sometimes really inexpensive ones too - that have been created to make your website work with Amazon S3 and all of the integrated services. 

And that means you get a huge array of options to choose from, and at super-competitive prices.

Or if you’re technical, have the time and resources, and that's a priority, then you could even develop your own software and plugins too - which is how I ended up creating S3MediaVault back in late 2008/early 2009, and the plugin was launched later in 2009.

And I did that because there was almost zero competition for such plugins back then. And the lone plugin that was in existence at the time (they're defunct now), didn't have everything covered, especially the features I wanted, and I felt I could build a better mouse-trap. And so I did 🙂

S3MediaVault Demos

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault

We have a separate section for all of the demos, to show you the range of features that S3MediaVault has to offer. Video Player (single and playlist), Audio Player (single and playlist) and Streaming and Progressive download Video Player, and File Protection.

1.  Streaming Video Demo (Encrypted HLS “True Streaming”)

2. Video Player Demo (Progressive Download)

3. Audio Player Demo

4. Video Playlist Player Demo

5. Audio Playlist Player Demo

6. PDF Download Demo

7. Video with Timestamps

8. Video with Captions

How (and Why) to use Amazon S3 to Deliver Audio, Video and PDF on your WordPress website

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault

"I want a REFUND!! Your course videos are not loading and your download links are all broken!!!"

"Your videos are loading really slow - unable to watch them!"
"I'm not able to access the course I just bought from you!"
"Your videos are not playing for me at all!"
"Can I get a refund? I can't download anything from your membership site!"
"I'm not able to log in to your website!"
"Your podcast is not downloading!"

"Unable to play the audio files in the member's area!"

Sound familiar? If it does, then I have great news for you, because I'll show you why it's happening and how to make sure it doesn't happen again.

And if it doesn't sound familiar and you haven't had your members say those things to you (yet), then I have even better news for you, because in this article, I'll show you how to make sure it never happens to your members - not even once.

Storing Video & Audio On Your Website (Hint: Don’t!)

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault

Do NOT use your web host to store audio or video files (or even PDF/Zip/Doc etc). Regular web hosts (think Godaddy, Dreamhost, Hostgator, etc – which are terrible web hosts, by the way) are not suited for media hosting, not even if you have a VPS or Dedicated Server.

If you’re a podcaster and host your MP3 files on your own server (you shouldn’t be using WAV files for podcasting, by the way), then when you release a new episode, your RSS feed could get hundreds (or hopefully thousands) of hits, and that will in turn download thousands of copies of your mp3 file. And that can put a great strain on your web host.

CDN’s like CloudFront and CloudFlare were created just for this reason – because regular web hosts cannot handle massive amounts of media downloads, especially if they happen concurrently.

And if you’re an Online Course Creator and you have Audio, Video and PDF in your courses, and you release a new course, or do a launch, then when a (even reasonably) large number of your members try to access your online course, that means potentially hundreds (or thousands) of requests to your video, audio and pdf. That could cause the same kind of spike in server utilization on your web host. That kind of load increase on your website could cause problems for your members: Website being too slow, errors when trying to log in and navigate through your membership site, videos and audio loading very slowly (or not at all), your website crashing and your members can’t even get to your member’s area, etc.

So for various technical and logical reasons, it’s never a good idea to host your media files – Audio, Video or PDF (zip,doc,etc) – on your own web site.

Podcasters: Use a regular podcast host like Libsyn (what I use and recommend; coupon code subscribeme gets you up to 2 months free) , BluBrry or PodBean. Or if you must host your own RSS feed, you can do that with PowerPress, but don’t host the actual files on your own server. Use a quality podcast host for that. And DO NOT use Google Drive or Dropbox or some free hosting site for this. It’s against the TOS of many of those services, plus free hosts can disappear overnight, and they’re still not optimized for audio delivery for podcasts.

Online Course Creators using WordPress: Store the files on Amazon S3 and use a plugin like S3MediaVault.com to securely embed your members-only content in your website from a fast and powerful media hosting service like Amazon S3, and then add CloudFront to it to deliver it at blazing-fast speeds.

What Next?

Check out this article How (and Why) to use Amazon S3 to Deliver Audio, Video and PDF on your WordPress website