Jan Ozer has done it again with his new book, Producing Streaming Video for Multiple Screen Delivery -- providing fundamentals, technical details, and extensive practical guidance on how to prepare video for today's world, with a profusion of delivery screens and devices, from desktop to mobile, web to set-top.
Jan is, of course, your go-to authority on streaming video theory and practice, with some two decades of experience reviewing video products, teaching and presenting seminars, and doing hands-on production of video shoots and on-demand streaming events.
You've seen his articles and product reviews in places like PC Magazine and EventDV, and he's still going strong in Streaming Media Magazine. Plus, he presents popular seminars on digital video and production -- particularly with updates at the Streaming Media conferences on using the latest tools and technologies (see earlier post).
Even better, Jan freely shares his publications and presentations on his StreamingLearingCenter.com site, along with blog updates, sample materials, and video tutorials that you can reference for further information.
Then there's the books -- Every couple of years, Jan kindly packages up his take on the current state of video in book format, providing both technical details and practical advice on compression, streaming, and the latest technologies. For example, his previous book, Video Compression for Flash, Apple Devices and HTML5, focused on Apple iOS portable devices and H.264 Web streaming, and looked forward to the growing importance of HTML5 (see earlier post).
In his new Producing Streaming Video book, Jan has significantly expanded the coverage, increasing the size from some 270 to 420 pages. In particular, this is now a complete reference, with new initial chapters with discussions of how to plan a streaming strategy, the fundamentals of video streaming and compression, and alternatives for adaptive streaming.
The next chapters then focus in detail on the popular H.264 format, with explanations of encoding parameters, and detailed advice for specific platforms.
Next, Jan dives into explanations and recommendations for encoding tools, including instructions for achieving the best compression and quality with specific encoders, and a separate chapter on producing for distribution via iTunes.
The book then moves on to distributing your videos, featuring extensive coverage of live streaming. After discussing alternatives for online service providers, Jan covers issues in live streaming, distribution options, and choosing a live encoder -- followed by a chapter going beyond the tech to offer sage advice on the logistics of producing live events.
The book concludes with three special topics: requirements and technologies for closed captions, great advice on essential software tools that you should collect for analyzing media files, and an introduction to HEVC / H.265, to help you prepare for the next great technology on the horizon (much like Jan's earlier heads-up coverage of HTML5 several years ago in articles, seminars, and his book).
This is a wonderful book. Jan's tone is friendly and helpful, passing on his knowledge and experience and advice. For example, the straightforward section titles move you cleanly through topics with clear explanations ("Tuning Your x264 Encodes") and addressing your questions ("Should You Abandon Older iPods?").
Jan has done the field a great favor by again taking the time to package the state of digital video into this organized book format. As further evidence of the way he contributes to the field, he even has made the illustrations from the book available as a PDF download, so you can view them in full detail and color.
Producing Streaming Video for Multiple Screen Delivery
April 2013, Paperback, 436 pages, $39.95
More on the book at StreamingLearingCenter.com, including detailed table of contents
Chapter 1: Formulating a Multi-Screen Strategy.
Chapter 2: Technology Fundamentals.
Chapter 3: H.264 Encoding Parameters.
Chapter 4: Configuring H.264 for Desktop, Mobile and OTT Viewers.
Chapter 5: Adaptive Streaming.
Chapter 6: Choosing an On-Demand Encoding Tool.
Chapter 7: Encoder-Specific Instruction.
Chapter 8: Producing for iTunes.
Chapter 9: Distributing Your Video.
Chapter 10: Introduction to Live Streaming.
Chapter 11: Distributing Your Live Video.
Chapter 12: Choosing and Using a Live Encoder.
Chapter 13: Producing Live Events.
Chapter 14: Introduction to Closed Captions.
Chapter 15: Essential Tools.
Chapter 16: Introduction to HEVC.