VideoDB Documentation
VideoDB Documentation
Building World's First Video Database

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Unraveling Multimedia: From MP3/MP4 to the Future with VideoDB

Ashutosh Trivedi
In the wide world of multimedia, terms like MP3, MP4, and codecs often float around. But what do they really mean? And how are emerging technologies like videoDB reshaping the landscape?
Let’s understand some basics 👇
The Basics: MP3 & MP4
At their core, MP4s are file containers primarily housing video and audio data.
Video Data: Think of video as a series of compressed image frames. For a 60fps video at 720p quality, without compression, we'd be storing full size 60 images of size 1280*720 for just one second of footage.
Audio Data: This is typically an aac/mp3 data stream, which is essentially compressed PCM (pulse code modulation) information of analog audio.
The Need for Compression
Compression is crucial for two main reasons:
Storage: Reducing the size of multimedia files for storage.
Transmission: Making it feasible to send large files over networks.
Various codecs, developed by giants like Apple, Microsoft, Google, and MPEG, handle this compression. These codecs, which stand for compressor/decompressor, encode and decode this data, a process that's quite CPU-intensive.
Transcoding is term used for conversion between codecs or to change/edit information in the video files. For e.g. you have a HD video (720p) and you want to convert it to 260p quality m4a to reduce size.
The Tools of the Trade
Transcoding is resource-heavy. While ffmpeg is a popular open-source solution, enterprise-grade transcoders, optimized for GPUs, offer faster performance. Nvidia, for instance, has a GPU tailored for transcoding, and AWS offers specialized instances at a premium.
Streaming: The Modern Delivery
Directly delivering large video files over the network is inefficient. Enter streaming 👉 a solution for Video on Demand (VOD) and Over The Top (OTT) content.
Apple's HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) is a prime example:
It breaks MP4s into smaller chunks, stored as .ts files.
An m3u8 file acts as a playlist or index for these chunks.
The video player requests chunks based on various factors, ensuring smooth playback.
While HLS dominates, alternatives like Adobe's HDS, MPEG DASH, and Microsoft Smooth Streaming also exist.
The AI-Driven Future
In our AI-centric world, customization is key! Traditional formats aren't adept at on-the-fly modifications, searches, or combinations of videos. For these tasks, a system would need to:
Smartly store information.
Understand user commands.
Retrieve, extract, and modify based on commands.
Encode this into a new MP4.
Convert this MP4 into a streamable format.
VideoDB bypasses the need for traditional MP4 creation and transcoding. This results in a massive speed advantage as there's no wait time for transcoding processes. Additionally, it offers a significant cost advantage, as transcoding, especially at scale, can be resource-intensive and expensive.
In conclusion, as the web continues to evolve, so does the way we consume and interact with media. VideoDB’s innovative approach promises a future where media is not just consumed but interacted with on a deeply personalized level.
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