What’s latakoo doing to my video?

Richard Metzler
Feb 28, 2018 · 5 min read

A peak under the hood at the technology that powers the latakoo Flight application

When you upload a file with latakoo, there are a couple of technical processes that are happening simultaneously, thanks to our patented technology.

Typically, these are serial steps, but latakoo combines encoding and compression with transfer to save time. With other encoding and delivery systems, transfer can not begin until encoding is complete. With latakoo, encoding, compression and transfer happen in a single step.

Before we get into the technical process, let’s review some terms.

Encoding and Compression
Encoding is a general term that describes some way to represent data. Compression is one type of encoding, but there are others, including; encryption, error-correcting and wrapping a file in a different format.

Because compression is the most common type of encoding within the video workflow, often times these terms are used interchangeably. However, even in the video workflow that’s not always the case, as we’ll learn in a bit.

Codecs & Containers
A codec (short for encoder/decoder) writes and reads data to and from a particular file format. There are specialized codecs for storing video, audio, text — every type of digital data.

A container is just another type of file, but a file that contains multiple other files wrapped within it. In the case of audio and video, it’s convenient to have the data for both files wrapped in the same container, so they always travel together. Video and audio codecs are usually independent of container formats. For example, a QuickTime movie can be encoded with the Sony XDCAM codec or the Avid DNxHD codec. Conversely, XDCAM video can be stored in a QuickTime movie or an MXF container file.

You can think of a container file as a box. You can put almost anything in the box, including video and audio encoded with any codec. Taking the metaphor a step further, you can think of metadata as the label on the box. It tells you things about the contents of the box.

latakoo can encode video with any number of different codecs, such as XDCAM and H.264, and can wrap audio and video into many different container formats, such as MPEG-4 (.mp4) and MXF. (Here’s a complete list.)

Uploading with latakoo

During the upload process, the Flight application encodes the video to H.264 and places it in an MPEG-4 container file. An H.264 creates a smaller, compressed file which gets nicely packaged into an MPEG-4 container for transport to the cloud.

When you drop an XDCAM MXF file into Flight, latakoo breaks the file into segments, encodes each segment to H.264, places it in an MPEG-4 container, and sends each segment to the cloud as soon as it’s ready. Since latakoo combines encoding and transfer into a simultaneous process, it is much faster than encoding the complete video clip before transferring it.

The original file is broken into smaller pieces. Each piece is encoded to H.264 codec, compressed to a selected bit rate, and uploaded to the latakoo cloud in an .mp4 container.

Downloading with latakoo
When you download a file, Flight works the same, just in reverse. The file comes down as H.264 MPEG-4 and is encoded to the codec and container format you choose using the Flight application.

If you select the default download, it remains the H.264 MPEG-4 that was created for transport to the cloud.

The speed of your machine affects the speed of the encoding. If you have a newer machine with a lot of CPU power, the process will be faster. If you need more speed, latakoo HUB automates the transfer and encoding of files quickly and securely, and HUB can also process multiple files at once.

What latakoo doesn’t do to your video

This process, of changing the video parameters is called transcoding. In latakoo configurations, a HUB server handles transcoding as part of a customized workflow. latakoo solutions architects configure HUB to work seamlessly in your workflow.

Compression Settings

latakoo Quality Slider Settings in Bit Rates
Bitrate is expressed the number of megabits per second (Mbps) used per unit of playback time.

Enterprise customers can set the compression rates their Flight users see, eliminating unnecessary options and simplifying the interface for their users.

Skipping Encoding and Compression

Sending a video uncompressed is available for any individual uploads. Since group stitching of video files requires encoding to make a single clip from multiple clips, the uncompressed option is not available for stitched files at this time.

Want to learn more about latakoo? Join us for a How to latakoo live training each month. Register here to join us.

latakoo learning

latakoo is the fastest, easiest way to transfer video files…

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store