A few weeks ago, Filepicker.io added new features that allowed users to record video directly from their webcam into their cloud storage using OpenTok’s standalone recorder. What a cool integration! I can now leave video messages for myself everyday.
That very weekend, I attended the box hackathon and met the very cool guys from Filepicker. After speaking with them, I realized that OpenTok’s archiving capabilities integrates snugly with their api, especially with the recent release of our stitching API. And just like that, OpenTok Picker is born.
The archiving API allows developers to record video streams in an OpenTok session. These archives can be played back, or you can download the individual streams.
It turns out that downloading the individual streams does not make sharing very easy. If you recorded a conversation between two people for example you will end up with two FLV files. It would be much nicer if the two video files could be combined into one, so the resulting single video can easily be shared and played back.
This is where the stitching API comes in to play. Stitching allows you to combine an archive with up to four individual streams into a single MP4 file that can be played back in the HTML5 video player of your choice. Stitching individual videos is hard, but the stitching engine we built will time align all the individual streams, and mix the audio properly.
A few weeks ago we were very excited to release our archiving feature to a wider audience. Now a video conversation is no longer a fleeting moment in time, but something that can be recorded and played back.
What we noticed however was that people wanted a bit more then just having the ability to record and play back archives. Our partners want to take ownership of the individual videos, to modify them, and to more easily share them with family, friends and their own end-users.
What to do?
Guest Post written by Kristján Pétursson, Senior Engineer at Causes
While we were redesigning the Causes Wish last year, we very much wanted to let everyone personalize their wish with a video message. Imagine if instead of a big block of text to read, you could see your friend right there and they told you face-to-face why they care about the charity they’re supporting. If a mere picture is worth a thousand words, then 24 frames/second would surely melt the heart of even cynical Uncle Jake who never donates to anything. Sadly, no one offered a recording API that we could drop into a page. YouTube doesn’t expose it, Facebook rolled their own, and building one here would just be too much of a departure from our goals.
It’s a big day here at TokBox. We’re launching the public beta of two related products: archiving in the OpenTok API and the TokBooth plug-n-play app for recording video messages. As product manager of the OpenTok platform, it’s a huge deal for me. I’m incredibly proud of our team for pulling it off.
Why? I know from personal experience that this has been the #1 most requested feature from our developers and end-users. When I started at TokBox as an engineer fresh out of school, lots of people were asking to record their video chats. When we repositioned the company around the OpenTok API, even more people started asking about archiving live video conversations. And now we’re making that possible.