media-nommer scampers closer to initial release

Tuesday, October 18 2011

Our Python-based, open source (BSD) distributed encoding system, media-nommer, is inching closer to what we’ll call an initial 1.0 release. We’d love to have other developers take a look, try our documentation, and help us chase down flaws before we stick a 1.0 on this thing and put it out there for others to rip to pieces.

Here are the basics:

  • An orchestrator/management daemon runs on some arbitrary machine of your choice (your own, in EC2, Rackspace, wherever). It provides a simple JSON API that your applications can send encoding jobs to. It also handles spinning up new instances and communicating job state to your applications.
  • Encoding nodes are spawned on Amazon EC2, with lots of configurable options to determine resource usage. The system can scale as far as EC2 will let you keep spinning up instances.
  • Encoding is handled through "Nommers". Each Nommer wraps a different kind of encoding software. The only Nommer currently is FFmpegNommer, which wraps ffmpeg. We’d love to see some other audio and video-related Nommers added (mencoder, anyone?).
  • The EC2 encoder nodes are never in direct contact with the master management daemon. The management daemon can be stopped and restarted at a later date (or on another machine) without any interruptions or data loss. No firewall holes needed.

We are dogfooding media-nommer like crazy on two very large projects at DUO, and it’s working really well for us. However, we’d love to have some other eyes and hands on the project, so please do consider checking it out. If you find yourself using Zencoder or Encoding.com with any kind of regularity, media-nommer just may save you a lot of money.



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