Blog: 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

Video Resolution Switcher

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault

S3MediaVault's Video Player now offers your viewers a Video Resolution Switcher with Multi-Resolution Streaming and Automated Streaming Optimization.

S3MediaVault allows you to create streaming video in multiple resolutions. You can choose the resolutions in the Settings page - 1080p, 720p, 360p, 240p and 144p.

And when the viewer first presses Play on the video, S3MediaVault video player will automatically choose the lowest-but-best resolution for the viewer based on their internet speed.

If they're watching from a device which has slow internet speeds (like 3G, or 4G or maybe they're using a service that doesn't offer high-speed internet, offers slow speeds, or has tiered or metered access), S3MediaVault will automatically serve them the most optimized quality of video for their internet connection.

That means, your streaming videos will load quickly for them regardless of their connection speed, saving them bandwidth, as well as saving you on your AWS bandwidth bill (win/win FTW!).

Basically, this is exactly the same as what happens on YouTube: Your viewers will be able to change the resolution of the video to a higher or lower number, and the switch will happen seamlessly, without affecting their viewership experience.

Streaming Videos vs. Progressive Downloads

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault

"Streaming": A Misused Word

Some use the word "Streaming" to describe any video that's playing in their browser.

But just because you are watching a video online, doesn't mean it is being "Streamed". Maybe true in the general meaning of the word, but not true in the technical sense. Let me explain, because it might not be of relevance to regular folks, but it is highly relevant to digital content creators.

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, 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 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

Why You Should Use Amazon S3

Amazon S3 - which is an acronym for "Simple Storage Service" - is Cloud Storage for files used by websites and businesses and apps of all types, shapes and sizes. Think of it as Google Drive for your website. Except, simple cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive have many limitations that S3 doesn't have when it comes to commercial businesses, websites, apps and online services.

Using Amazon S3 (rather than hosting on your own server) and using Amazon CloudFront (rather than a different Content Delivery Network (CDN)), offers 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. But if you use S3MediaVault, you can manage all of your S3 files from your own website, without having to log in to AWS.
  • S3 becomes the centralized hub where all your media 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, CloudFront. That means more integrated and powerful solutions can be created, and have already been created.
  • And when you use a plugin like , it integrates with Amazon S3, CloudFront, AWS MediaConvert to create HLS true streaming videos, AWS Transcribe to create Transcriptions of your Audio & Video, etc.
  • S3MediaVault can create true-streaming Video and Audio as well as Progressive Download Video, Audio, PDF and other files.
  • And you can transcribe your Audios and Videos with the click of a button.
  • And you can add 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