Creating and uploading pseudo-live sources

Source videos need an intro and outro of at least 2 minutes

Pseudo-live streaming works by broadcasting an uploaded video. Clevercast starts broadcasting the video at the scheduled time. 

The only difference with a ‘real’ live stream is that Clevercast takes care of the broadcast instead of you. Live streaming is done using the HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol, in exactly the same way as a ‘real’ live stream. This also means that a source file must contain an intro and an outro, just like a ‘real’ live stream would.

An intro and outro of at least two minutes long is required to ensure that all viewers will see the actual video in full under all circumstances

This is necessary because of the following reasons:

  • First of all, there is a certain latency associated with HTTP Live Streaming, which may differ depending on device and internet connection of the viewer. To ensure smooth streaming for all viewers, Clevercast player will buffer a number of seconds of the live stream, before starting to play the video (hence the intro).
  • Clevercast player automatically shows a custom image or message before and after the live stream. This ensures that viewers do not see a spinner. It may take a couple of seconds before the player detects that the live stream status has changed.
  • On most browsers and devices, there will be a latency of 15-30 seconds. But the HLS implementation on iOS devices allows a player to buffer up to two minutes of video. If you don’t provide an outro of two minutes (after the actual content has finished) this can lead to the ended image/message being shown while the actual live stream is still playing. 

Note: because of this requirement you shouldn’t use source videos with a total duration of less than 4 minutes, even for testing.

Uploading source videos

Once your source video is ready, you can upload it to Clevercast. Go to the Media > Upload Multi menu and make sure to select the Pseudo-Live Source’ workflow profile and the language of your video. If multiple languages are spoken in the video, you can also select ‘Original’ as its language.

Uploading a source video via HTTPS

Alternatively, you can upload the source video using FTP. Go to the Account > Settings menu and create a Hotfolder with the ‘Pseudo-Live Source’ workflow profile. Use the hotfolder’s FTP credentials to upload the video file to Clevercast. Once uploaded, Clevercast will automatically start to transcode the uploaded video.

Clevercast will transcode your source file to a format ideally suited for adaptive live streaming and transfer the different resolutions to our streaming servers. This may take some time, depending on the duration of your source video, so make sure to upload it long enough in advance.

Clevercast creates an item for every uploaded video, which also allows you to watch it on-demand (once the transcoding is succeeded), configure its metadata (eg. set a name and description, tagging) and set additional properties (eg. adding audio languages and closed captions). For more info about Item Management, see chapter 4 of the Clevercast Enterprise manual.

Your item is now ready to be used as the source of a pseudo-live stream.

Adding closed captions

If you want to broadcast a pseudo-live stream with closed captions, you can also add them to your item (if your Clevercast plan supports this). If you need a pseudo-live stream with both multiple audio languages and closed captions, first create the multilingual item (as explained above) and then add the captions to it.

To add closed captions, select the Actions > Add Caption menu on the left of the item page. This will display a popup dialog that lets you upload the WebVTT file for a given language

Uploading a WebVTT file (closed caption)

After the WebVTT file has been uploaded, Clevercast player will automatically contain a CC menu that lets you select closed captions.

The uploaded WebVTT files must be valid (eg. see this online WebVTT validator) and must take into account the duration of the intro. If the intro is added afterwards, make sure to time shift the WebVTT file before uploading it.

If an item with closed captions is set as the source of a pseudo-live stream, the closed captions will automatically be part of the pseudo-live stream.

Adding audio languages

If you want to broadcast a pseudo-live stream with multiple audio languages, you need to create a multilingual item (assuming your Clevercast plan supports this). There are two ways to do this:

  • Convert the recording of a multilingual live stream to an item. For more info about this, see the Clevercast Multilingual manual.
  • Create a multilingual item by uploading MP3 files to an existing item. This is explained in detail below.

Before you can generate a multilingual item, you must create a single-language item by uploading the source file (containing a single video and audio stream) as explained above. After Clevercast has finished transcoding the item, go to the item’s detail page. First make sure your item has the correct language setting (depends on your selection when uploading the file to Clevercast). To change it, select the ‘Audio Languages‘ panel and use the ‘Default Language‘ control to select the language spoken in the uploaded video. If the video contains multiple languages, you can select ‘Original’.

After you have ensured the item’s default language is correct, press Actions > Create Multilingual Video in the menu on the left. This will direct you to a page where you can upload the MP3 files for the audio translations. Under the ‘Upload New‘ panel, select a language and an MP3 file on your computer and press Submit. Do this until you have uploaded all translations. Note that the uploaded MP3 files must have the same duration as your video. 

Upload MP3 files for extra audio languages

When all MP3 files have been uploaded, press the ‘Create Multilingual Item‘ button: Clevercast will create a new multilingual item and transcode it for adaptive streaming. By going back to the Media > Items menu, you can see this item and select its detail page. Once this is completed, you can use it as the source of a pseudo-live stream with multilingual audio.

More info about pseudo-live streaming