Microsoft's Azure gets live video encoding

A smartphone held in front of an abstract blue digital background, with the Microsoft Azure logo displayed on screen

Microsoft's Azure has new features to make it easier to share and sell content via the cloud.

Azure Media Services now supports live encoding for streaming media and tools to make clips from live-streams, among other new features.

The new services, certifications and partnerships will "further enable end-to-end cloud based media workflows, from camera to viewer," said Sudheer Sirivara, director of Azure Media Services, in a blog post.

The Live Encoding tool will be available in the next few weeks. "Live Encoding allows you to send a single bitrate live feed to Azure Media Services, have it encoded into an adaptive bitrate stream and deliver it to a wide variety of clients for delivery in MPEG-DASH, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, Apple HLS, or Adobe HDS formats," said Sirivara.

Alongside the encoding tool are new live editing tools. "Media Encoder Standard now includes support for extracting sub-clips, i.e. taking a portion of the live stream and producing a new on-demand asset," said Sirivara. "Media Encoder Standard now also has the ability to extract live archives as MP4s for subsequent syndication."

Other new features include custom language models, so broadcasters can automatically generate subtitles. Plus, Azure now supports Google's Widevine DRM technology, allowing files encrypted with the service to be played.

Microsoft said its Azure Media Player has now served more than four million streams to websites and mobile apps since its April launch.