Hosting Videos on Windows Azure

This is going to be a series of long posts. With Silverlight Streaming ( being discontinued, I thought I’d write up the detailed steps required to host videos using Windows Azure. Since many people who host videos using Silverlight Live Streaming are not technical or development-inclined and rely on the Expression Encoder and Windows Live Writer plug-ins to automate the publishing process, I wrote these posts to suit that audience. In other words, if you can read, understand and follow the steps below, you will be able to host videos on Windows Azure. So don’t be put off by the length and wordiness of these posts – I tried to be explicit to the point of stating the obvious!

Please note that despite its name, Silverlight Streaming was in fact delivering content through progressive downloads. The Azure model is no different. If you are looking for a true streaming approach (e.g. Smooth Streaming), you will need to look at one of our CDN partners.

There are four posts:

  1. Provisioning Windows Azure – how to sign up for and set up a Windows Azure subscription.
  2. Setting up Windows Azure for video storage– how to create a storage account.
  3. Creating and publishing a Silverlight video to Windows Azure– how to use Expression Encoder to encode and publish a video to Windows Azure.
  4. Embedding a Silverlight video in a blog how to use Windows Live Writer to embed a Silverlight video hosted on Windows Azure in your blog.

Once you have completed the steps in all four posts, you should be able to embed a Silverlight video player in a blog post like the one below:



Credit for all of this goes to a number of people including Saeed Akhter in the Windows Azure team, James Clarke in the Expression team and Tim Heuer. All I’ve done is to synthesize the information that they already put out there.