Sometimes, you do not want to show video or audio to everyone. Or you want to show it to everyone, but you do not want third parties to publish your media on their site. S3 Amazon combined with Private Streaming can help you with this. I wrote already an article on this subject, namely S3: News from the CloudFront! Private streaming video, but here I like to discuss a tool for WordPress we created to accomplish this sort of functionality without the need to write a single piece of code.
S3Media Stream™ is a commercial plugin for WordPress which empowers you to setup streaming videos and audio on your site. It doesn’t matter if you are a novice or an advanced media professional, S3Media Stream helps you stream video and audio with a whole range of additional options. As explained in the related article, the advantage of streaming is that visitors can jump anywhere in the media without waiting for download and it also adds a double layer of protection against theft, thanks to the private streaming option.
No coding involved
S3Media Stream™ for WordPress works with 4 wizards for every media type which generate the code for you to copy and paste in your posts. In other words, there is no code involved. The four wizards consist of:
- Audio Wizard
- Video Wizard
- Flash wizard
- Link wizard
As you can deduct from this list, the plugin does more then displaying video and audio. You can also show eLearning projects from Articulate, iSpring Camtasia, Flash banners and even games or applications made in Flash. Furthermore, you can create protected links to any file type as long as you upload it to your S3 Amazon account. In the same way, you can protect the Flash projects.
Here is an example of a wizard:
You fill in the fields of the wizard, which contains helpful hints for each field and when you are ready, you can preview the result before you paste the code into your article. Some wizards are longer then others.
The Link Wizard is the shortest of all and it takes only 20 seconds to create a protected link with it. Again, you can preview and test a download link before you paste the code into post.
We are not going to repeat all the options of the plugin in this article because there are so many of them, instead, I suggest you have a look at the official plugin site www.wp21centrury.com and have a look for yourself. The home page has a lot of demos that show the power of this versatile plugin. It also contains quite a few useful tips to take monetizing rich media to the next level.
Who should use this plugin?
Although the plugin can play youtube videos and such, it’s real power lies in streaming video and audio on S3 Amazon. If you do not plan to take advantage of S3 Amazon, this plugin is not for you. You can find free plugins to play video and audio on the extension section of Wordpres and, as such, I can recommend a good plugin, namely Simple Video Embedder, which does a good job, I used it for quite some time myself.
However, if you plan to make use of S3 Amazon and you want to create a membership site or offer video on demand (VOD), this plugin is it! It works with any membership plugin and thanks to the functionality of S3 Amazon, you can stream video and audio only at the fraction of its regular cost.
One-to-one support, not some self regulating forum
Setting up the streaming media is not that complicated but there are a couple of things you needs to do in order to make it run smoothly. Luckily, the plugin has a set of manuals to explain the work flow from A to Z and it comes with a premium support plan of a full year. So far, all clients of the Joomla version of S3Media Stream were very happy with the support they received. We expect the same with the WordPress version as we proud ourselves on making customers happy. This is a one-to-one support plan, not some forum that is supposed to help itself as you get with many plugins these days.
What’s the down side?
We cannot come up with a downside currently, except that working with a S3 Amazon account can be daunting at first. However, we created quite a few tutorials to get you going on this site and we will continue doing so(see Related Articles below). One application I absolutely recommend is CloudBerry S3 Explorer on Windows. For Mac, I recommend CyberDuck. Both are agents between the S3 account and your local computer. You can upload the files with it, set permissions, create streaming buckets,etc…
How many stars is this worth?
This time, I do not give any stars because it wouldn’t be appropriate to do so. I leave giving the stars to the customer and rest my case. 😉