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Cloudflare Stream – Combines video encoding, global delivery, and player (cloudflare.com)
305 points by Bulk70 on Sept 27, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 256 comments



CloudFlare is entering a very crowded space. With YouTube and Facebook owning an overwhelming majority of video hosting market, what’s left is shared between Brightcove, The Platform, Ooyala, Bitmovin, Vimeo, Vidyard, Wistia and a whole ton of smaller players and in-house solutions (ffmpeg -> _any cdn_ -> video.js).

Surely, this piece of the pie is not as big as many had hoped for, but there’s definitely more than a 1000 companies that think their video content is worth a better platform than YouTube or Facebook, however they define “better”.

What’s the deal with ‘lossless compression’? I feel like they use the term very differently from how the industry uses it.

Multiple resolutions, adaptive bitrates, dynamic packaging for different versions of HLS/DASH/Smooth are pretty much a must-have for any video solution these days, free or paid.

It’s amusing to hear an argument that CDNs are hampering adoption of better video compression from a CDN company. However, while Akamai surely would love to bill for more bytes per minute of video, no one is asking them. They just distribute whatever and however many bytes origin server has for them (give or take some convenience features around it).

CDNs are scrambling to provide compelling features to increase stickiness, usually with limited success when it comes to video. Bandwidth-heavy customers do want to take advantage of rapidly commoditising technology and falling prices and are pushing for multi-CDN strategy.

Using correct terminology and customising stock Bitdash player would have helped at the start of such ambitious endeavour. Good luck to CloudFlare and congrats to Bitmovin.


Disclosure: OP works at Brightcove


Nah, but was until not very long ago.

Thanks, I contemplated whether I should disclose it, but given that I have currently have no stakes in the game, decided it's unnecessary.


Out of interest: why is a JS player required for video? Is it just to make more browsers compatible, the video more hackable for annotations/ads, or is there something else?

Edit: And a related question: would Cloudflare Stream work without the JS player using a regular video-tag?


More reliable & easier to use API, extendable support for other codecs/streams, customizable UI, customizable playback, plugin ecosystem, tracking


> Edit: And a related question: would Cloudflare Stream work without the JS player using a regular video-tag?

Depends on the browser. This is the primary reason why people actually use a JS player that wraps around video tag. The other reasons are to accommodate business logic (i. e. overlay on top of the video, pre-roll, thumbnail, etc.) and better UX.


The latter reason I get, but looking at video-tag compatibility on https://caniuse.com/#feat=video shouldn't just offering h264 as the baseline and the higher resolution formats in source-tags (https://caniuse.com/#search=source) cover almost any browser?


Yes but that is just the baseline. You want HEVC / VP9 for browsers which can play that, you want 5.1 audio for home theaters, you want adaptive streaming when the support is available, and so on. You don't want just the minimum for _all_ of your clients. You want some code that tailors the experience based on client capability. That's what the JS player handles.


Adaptive streaming sure, but can you not handle the different audio combinations using source-tags? And HEVC/VP9 with h264 fallback I would imagine is the primary use case they (WHATWG?) were thinking of supporting when creating the source tag.


Technically you could have a single URL that returns any manifest based on user-agent or whatever player info is available in the GET request.

But yeah, JS players make life a whole lot easier by providing a single API for customisation, handling media source extensions and a bunch of other stuff.


I do not like the player in post - it stops me using Safari's PiP feature.


How does it? THere's nothing specifically incompatible between PiP and post-video overlay.


Ok. Turns out there's a button for that. Usually (i.e. in youtube) I right click twice and get option to pip it.


It is required for adaptive bitrate streaming in browsers that do not support HLS (all browsers except Safari and Chrome on Android only).


Both.


The lossless compression example is, I think, taking about image compression.

Other CDNs charge for bandwidth so why would they offer their customers an easy to use 'optimize images' feature, it'll just lose them money. Cloudflare can offer it because making your images smaller saves them money.

This will be an interesting option for anyone who publishes videos but speed, integration complexity and pricing are going to be key.


I'm pondering using standard CDNs for serving bandwidth intensive payloads, but I have some doubts whether this is a right technical decision. I did not find any general purpose CDN that would explicitly encourage the use of their product for large files nor a CDN that would disclose any information how large payloads are handled by their infrastructure.

The primary use case for CDN is latency reduction for serving small files (CSS, JS, images) and such traffic has different characteristic and requires different optimizations than high-throughput traffic. I worry how long large files are going to be cached by CDN PoPs. PoPs can't certainly cache everything forever and they can be more eager to remove large files and in such case CDN will be reducing performance by adding an additional HTTP level hop to the origin server (and likely a few IP level hops). My other worry is that PoPs can deploy DoS detection heuristic that are tuned for standard web pages and a bandwidth intensive page may trigger the rules and have the traffic throttled. Such throttling is something that I've occasionally observed while testing CloudFlare with large files, but I'm not sure what was the cause, CloudFlare monitoring tools did not report anything unusual.


Most CDNs started by offering video, not necessarily latency reduction but a ton of bandwidth. Many of them allow you to upload videos directly.

Check out cachefly.com for instance.


If I wanted to create an alternative to YouTube with a conservative bent what are the chances Cloudflare will wake up one morning and shut me down?

What if the content is just generally in "bad taste" and not overtly Neo-Nazi, will CF feel the need to play "Content Cop" or are they willing to abide by their role as utility?


I know you guys took major issue with the Cloudlfare takedown of DailyStormer but try to look at the big picture. Mankind has never had a tool as powerful as the internet. The advent of the printing press played a key role in the lead up to the Salem Witch Trials. How big a role the internet played in the mess we find ourselves in today as a country, that's up to future historians to argue, but make no mistake the impact is massive and unlike anything we've ever seen. The spread of hate and bigotry on the internet left unchecked has now lead to real loss of life which is what prompted CloudFlare/Reddit/Facebook to push these new policies. How, in the face of actual murders can you contend that these companies are wrong to take down these websites?

Is loss of human life an acceptable cost for free speech?

Tech companies didn't choose to be the society police, yet here we are.


> Mankind has never had a tool as powerful as the internet. The advent of the printing press played a key role in the lead up to the Salem Witch Trials.

Name one person harmed by the site?

If you have ever seen a page of DailyStormer, you'd either laugh or go away.

No one has ever killed anyone after reading a few paragraphs on that site.

Putting in the argument of "Is loss of human life an acceptable cost for free speech" is not an honest way of describing censorship of content that is silly at its worst and dumb at its best.


But clearly when a huge crowd of Antifas are overwhelming and attacking a relative small crowd of stupid nazis, with bats, and one guy try to make it out of there before his car is smashed to bits (with the obvious tragic accident waiting to happen)...

Clearly it’s the nazis who are out of control and we need to take down their websites. Freedom of speech be damned!

Seriously. This was a harmless, stupid, non-violent demo for nazis to out themselves in, before the antifa turned up and got people killed.

Are their websites being taken down? No? How come?

Disclaimer: think nazis are about as stupid as it gets.

Edit: not exactly expecting upvotes for this post, but this thread clearly needs some balance.

These are the guys who rushed a non-violent demo. These are the people you are defending: https://mobile.twitter.com/PoliticalShort/status/90191505521...


> Edit: not exactly expecting upvotes for this post, but this thread clearly needs some balance.

It doesn't. Seriously, you're making excuses for a murderous white supremacist asshole.


Good points, I want to add:

We just witnessed something very significant, when Russia interfered. They had an express goal and they carried it out with technologies we know.

A medium that is absolutely free of censorship is not in your best interest, because it can and will be used to compromise you.

The solutions are difficult, but what is clear (especially to folks who have had to moderate even a small channel or forum) is that a policy of no-censorship never scales in the real world, the question is how you do it, where to draw the line, etc..


I'm facing this situation right now. I've peeked in the discord channel of the ones who want to post edgy memes on our forums and they see themselves as martyrs for getting banned or quitting the forums.


It sounds like you're just dealing with teens who want to be edgy.


That’s what The Daily Stormer was. Stormfront is still up.


> Is loss of human life an acceptable cost for free speech?

Yes, this decision has already been made. Freedom (of speech and more) is fought for and won through struggle and sacrifice. We have already lost much human life to defend these rights and continue to do so.

Bad actions will be dealt with the appropriate consequences, as they always have, but that does not mean we should start limiting rights. This is the foundation of the justice system and society itself.


That's the problem though. Cloudflare did not terminate DailyStormer because of the content. Cloudflare hosts over 40 ISIS related websites, which they continue to do and have not terminated.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/anti-terrorist-hacker-group-re...


> There's clearly some undefined standard here, known only in the head of Cloudflare's CEO.

Cloudflare was quite clear on the criteria they used.

> The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology.

https://blog.cloudflare.com/why-we-terminated-daily-stormer/

You can disagree with that criteria, and you can question whether this is the true criteria Cloudflare used. For the later, you need to provide evidence in opposition to this case.


Yes, they were extremely clear on the criteria they used: the CEOs emotional state.

“Let me be clear: this was an arbitrary decision.“

https://gizmodo.com/cloudflare-ceo-on-terminating-service-to...


As I mentioned above (in another subthread), thanks for the link!


ok, fair enough. but the parent to my post said this was about the content.. it's clearly not the content, even that tidbit is clear it's not about the content.


If you're going to weigh in on a contentious issue, particularly if you're going to correct someone, please take the time to do so with some evidence, regardless of what any other poster has commented. You can't control other's comments, but you certainly can control your own. That includes refraining from further muddying the issue.


> "Is loss of human life an acceptable cost for free speech?"

Just because one has freedom of speech does not mean one is free of consequence. So actual murderers should be punished. People believe what they choose to believe, and if it's not the DailyStormer it's some other hate mongering source (that's not exclusive to the internet).


> Is loss of human life an acceptable cost for free speech?

lots of people would say yes.


There's a difference between Stormfront, a neo-nazi site, and "a conservative bent"


There is an increasing (and worrying) trend among liberals to call racist or misogynist anyone who doesn't demonstrate enthusiasm for the cause of the day. Concerns about being censored when accused of racism isn't exactly irrational paranoia.

A recent example of what appears to be a moderate, democrat voting professor experiencing it:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4546704/Professor-ca...


That's the Daily Mail, a newspaper that supported Hitler during the 1930s, and today is not accepted as a source in Wikipedia due to "the Daily Mail’s reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism and flat-out fabrication"¹. So you'll forgive me if I'm skeptical.

Secondly there is nothing in that article about neo-Nazism, so I don't know why you brought it up? I'm talking about neo-Nazi sites, not general racism/etc.

--- ¹ https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/08/wikipedia...


If reading the daily mail offends you, there was a long column in the FT last week end about this phenomenon [1] but you will find references in various newspapers [2] [3] (and dozens others if you google it).

[1] https://www.ft.com/content/902581a0-99ff-11e7-b83c-9588e5148...

[2]https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/04/education/edlife/internet...

[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/student-protestors-and-t...


> If reading the daily mail offends you

It doesn't offend me. It's just not a reliable source.

And those links don't address my second point. There is no reference to neo-Nazism. I'm suggesting neo-Nazi website be taken offline/


> There is an increasing (and worrying) trend

No there isn't. That's like saying there is an increased trend among conservatives in general towards being Nazis.

There is an increase in the activity of the lunatic fringes on both sides. Ranging from hardcore tea party people to "OMG white people are the worst" morons all the way to antifa and neo-nazis.


> That's like saying there is an increased trend among conservatives in general towards being Nazis.

Someone compared the election manifesto from the British National Party (who are basically neo-Nazi) for the 2005 UK election, and the 2017 manifesto from the Conservative party, the main centre-right party in the UK.

And there were an awful lot of similarities which the Conservatives wouldn't have put in before.

https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2017/04/23/compared-tories-polic...


There is an irony in you posting two answers within minutes, one likening a british political party to neo-nazis, and the other highlighting that you make a distinction between neo-nazis and other forms of racism.


The British National Party used to be called the British Union of Fascists. Nick Griffin was leader for 15 years, until 2014, and is a holocaust denier. Until 2010, they had an official "whites only" membership policy. It's illegal for police, fire frighters, and prison officers in the UK to be a BNP member. The Church of England forbids it's priests from being members. It's not much of a stretch.

If you're not British you might think "oh they are just another political party", that's not true at all.


Define it. Then define it in such a way that everyone advocating this censorship will agree too. Then pledge that when people start pushing for additional censorship you'll vehemently push back.


You can start off with the definition in German law:

publicly or in a meeting approves of, denies or downplays an act committed under the rule of National Socialism .. publicly or in a meeting disturbs the public peace in a manner that violates the dignity of the victims by approving of, glorifying, or justifying National Socialist rule of arbitrary force

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_against_Holocaust_denial#...


So obviously people like Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz, Donald Trump, Milo Yiannopoulos, Ben Shapiro, Charles Murray, and George W. Bush don't qualify. So just reply with some links where you've been defending their right to speak as loudly as you've insisted Nazi censorship won't impair it. Because surely no decent person you would insist on clear lines of censorship and then quietly disappear as violent rioters use that reasoning to slander and silence people.

Edit: I'll take that downvote as a sign of "I casually claim censorship can be limited while doing nothing to stop its expansion."


This was exactly my first thought too. "I'd better not make any videos that the CEO will dislike or he'll shutdown my site on a whim and then brag about it."


It depends on the mood of their CEO.


I think this is rediculius. If they took down child porn, would you also have an issue with this? What about a phishing site hosting malware and capturing passwords for the Russian mafia? It seems clear to me you can’t be 100% agnostic to your content.

There is a huge gap between “conservative bent” and those trying to actively incite violence in the name of Hitler. And that they’ve only removed ONE such site across all their hosted properties is hardly an indication that their CEO is randomly moody. A single data point is not a trend.


GP was using that phrasing because of the post the CEO used to justify the actions:

" I woke up this morning in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet."

https://gizmodo.com/cloudflare-ceo-on-terminating-service-to...

The point of the matter is services can host questionable content and remove it to comply with the law or services can based on their terms of service remove content "as they see fit."

The question remains, when will a service come for your content? I'm not advocating for hate speech or any illegal activities, I just think cloudflare strapped on their skis and are now on their way down the classic slippery slope.


But they admitted that was a scary thing and prompted discussion about said slippery slope. Seems quite responsible to me.


Cloudflare has no issue providing service to phishing sites: https://news.netcraft.com/archives/2013/10/07/phishers-using...

They have no issue providing service to ISIS: https://www.theepochtimes.com/anti-terrorist-hacker-group-re...

The CEO literally said it was because he felt like terminating DailyStormer. Why is it suddenly wrong to repeat his own words?

Instead you make it sound like this is about the content, something cloudflare clearly doesn't have an issue with.


> The CEO literally said it was because he felt like terminating DailyStormer.

Do you have a quote where the CEO says this? Your statement gives the impression that this was nothing more than a whim. As I pointed out below, according to their own statement on the matter, that's not the case:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15350723


I find it bizarre that you repeatedly link to the sanitized corporate blog. The CEO has explicitly stated it was pure whim: “Let me be clear: this was an arbitrary decision.”

https://gizmodo.com/cloudflare-ceo-on-terminating-service-to...


Thank you for providing a link to support what the other poster commented.

I've provided the link I have for two reasons:

* it's a link I know about that's relevant to the discussion

* it is from Cloudflare themselves, so the chance of it being a misquote (accidental or otherwise) is less likely. I don't have a knee-jerk instinct to reject official statements as issued in bad faith without other evidence.

I repeatedly linked likely for the same reason you have: I saw something I thought was misrepresentative or misinformed more than once.

I'm thankful for the link because I can use that to alter my understanding of the event. There's a quote that's sometimes attributed to Keynes "When the facts change, I change my mind."[0] That's something I endeavor to do.

[0] https://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/07/22/keynes-change-mind/

I'll also admit to a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to the use of a throwaway account in a contentious discussion. I can understand the use of throwaways to protect identity, but in that case the standard should be higher: they should really be bringing something substantial to the discussion, not just repeating talking points.

Thanks again for the link. That's useful.


And that they’ve only removed ONE such site across all their hosted properties is hardly an indication that their CEO is randomly moody.

If you read the blog[1] regarding that incident, it provides a lot more evidence than the datapoint of the removal. It also completely undermines Cloudflare's claims of being content-neutral. Given that content neutrality is a binary state...

[1]: https://blog.cloudflare.com/why-we-terminated-daily-stormer/

Also hosted by cloudflare: ISIS sites, which are a lot more of a clear and present danger to real people than a bunch of racists. That means the standard has gone from content neutrality - to content neutrality so long as you don't imply things the CEO doesn't like. I.e. not neutral.

From the blog:

>And, after today, make no mistake, it will be a little bit harder for us to argue against a government somewhere pressuring us into taking down a site they don't like.

Anything I can say about this will be ridiculously snarky, but this is the hill you chose to sacrifice your principles on, Matthew? Really?


I was going off my memory of stormfront situation. Apologies if I incorrectly cited number of data points. I still am not concerned about the GP’s issue given the CEO expressed remorse and created a debate. It’s hard to imagine neo-nazis doing such a thing themselves should they create a cloud front competitor.

I agree they should remove ISIS sites. It’s marginally harder given you could argue it’s about religion/politics, but I’m happy to lump them in with neo-nazis inciting violence.

It’d be nice if you could create some perfect set of clear rules that you could cleanly apply to 100% of sites. Unfortunately the world is squishy and gray, which is why we have judges despite countless laws written in legalese that build on top of each other’s precedent. I don’t expect judging content to be the same. I appreciate the CEO thinking they should just defer to when gov forces them to shut something down. I also appreciate the perspective of removing extremist sites — you got one life to live so why not make a difference creating barriers to _EXTREME_ hate/violence around the world.


If you think that there’s a risk of Clouflare pulling your site down I’d choose not to use their service?

Seems an easy choice.


If you bothered to Google before posting, you'd see more than a single data point.

Voat was targeting with a letter writing campaign saying they were a child porn host when they weren't. All the liberals said "if you don't like Reddit, make your own." So someone did. And then liberals DDoS'd it into the ground and had any ISP that dared host them, filled with DMCA and child porn notifications.

Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have all worked against anyone who dares question the status quo. Not "nazis", normal people. But surely the creator of Dilbert is a threat to the nation and worthy of retribution, right?

I guess you guys are only for regulation and fairness when it suits your cause...


Would you please read the site guidelines and follow them? "I guess you guys are only for" is a clear violation.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


“Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have all worked against anyone who dares question the status quo.”

You should get your news from somewhere better than Breitbart. That’s not only transparently untrue – try spending 30 seconds watching the stream without seeing someone question the status quo – but comically so given the number of people complaining with cause that those services aren’t shutting down abusive users. I mean, Facebook and Twitter notoriously say that death and rape threats don’t violate their community standards until it gets widespread attention, and you think your unsourced assertion that simply asking questions gets anyone banned?


I, too, worry about the bigger trend of knocking legal sites offline because someone disapproves of them, but the discussion here is about Cloudflare's trustworthiness. So I'd like to point out that Voat is currently relying on Cloudflare to stay online.


“All the liberals,” “you guys are X,” intentionally loaded sarcastic Qs without an honest context... I feel like I’m reading Fox News here.

Bucketing half the population together is intellectually dishonest and does nothing to solve any problems or convince others of your points. Labeling them the enemy only creates further divisions for division sake. All it does is give fodder to those wanting confirmation bias on a given side.


It's pretty much paraphrasing what the CEO said about why they stopped providing services to the daily stormer.

Cloudflare can't be trusted anymore. If they want to say they have actual standards and rules that operate on (and shut down nazi sites based on those rules) that's fine.


It depends on whether or not the CEO is feeling poopy that day.


Zero.


What is my guarantee on that? Cloudflare has done it once, and I really don't know what political views would set the CEO off again. I hate what the stormidiots spout, but I'm pretty sure I don't trust Cloudflare anymore as neutral ground.


Especially the post-hoc rationalizing they did in that blog post - that was just insulting. I just couldn't help but get the impression that whoever wrote it thinks that the readers are either ignorant or stupid. It's probably just that whoever had written it wasn't experienced in cleaning up a mess and never intended it to be that way though.

I would have hoped that their answer to impulsive decisions would be 'checks and balances' to prevent it from happening again.


I’m not sure if you noticed, but you’re already replying to the CEO of Cloudflare.


Does that comment constitute a binding contract? If not, it doesn't matter who said it, it doesn't actually add anything to the discussion. Of course the CEO is going to say they won't take down your site, but how can I be sure?


Yes, guy accused of emotional decision making replying that he won't do it again isn't going to carry a lot of weight when there is no binding guarantee.


realized that after the fact....

The rhetoric of today and with people framing their opponents as the vilest people on earth, I just have a tough time with anything but absolutes on infrastructure decisions.

Of course, proper legal authority within their proper jurisdiction must be respected. I might disagree with a couple of court decisions, but a business needs to deal properly with those and I would never fault a business for that.


Eastdakota is Cloudflare's CEO, btw.

Admittedly the stance for/against Tor discrimination is a wide one.... That's an issue with users, not content.

But the only case where I believed he nuked a site was against Daily Stormer. They call for violence and eradication of all non-whites, specializing on Jewish and African hatred.

He wont even kick off booters, which even he admits are fraud artists even when they do pay. That's because their frontend and backends are different. Technically this service is legal, and only illegal if used as a weapon (intent). Therefore, Eastdakota wont act. [Hopefully I best paraphrased his views...]

So yeah, I would consider your site to be safe, unless you call for extermination of $race and actions to back that up.


> So yeah, I would consider your site to be safe, unless you call for extermination of $race and actions to back that up.

I more worried about someone telling Cloudflare I'm doing that or some other vile thing when I am not. It seems to be the standard way to get YouTube and Twitter to kick people off.


What about on the monetization side of things?

I know many YT firearms channels that have been basically blacklisted from monetization in recent months because YT classifies anything they do as "unsuitable for ads". It has forced a lot to double publish to https://www.full30.com/ to monetize their work.


While we intend to provide ways for our customers to insert advertising or partner with third party advertisers, I don't think we'll be providing an ad network ourselves anytime soon. As a result, end users will have much more control over exactly how their content is monetized.

Using your example, a firearms video stream could stream videos through Cloudflare Stream and sell ads themselves or partner with an ad network that was willing to sell them to an audience that cared about firearms. I totally agree that the one-size-fits-all solution of Facebook or YouTube reverts to the lowest common denominator and, in doing so, will inherently not be right for every publisher.


Presumably, the algorithm change was to make advertisers more happy. Advertisers don't want to advertise on some content, as much as the creators might like them to. The advertiser response to some people that get demonetized complaining is "we wouldn't have advertised in the first place if we knew, so count yourself lucky you got the money you did".

The reality is of course somewhere in the middle, and there's some content which some advertisers would not want to be associated with, while others might actually want to target, and the current algorithm may not be serving these needs well. Hopefully it's just a matter of a better system being needed that might come later.

Interestingly, which topic was covered recently in Mozilla's IRL podcast[1].

1: https://irlpodcast.org/episode7/


YT has also been demonetizing videos on one of my favorite veterinary channels for being too graphic. It's a shame because they use the funds to provide care to abandoned animals. They always warn when videos contain surgery footage, even though it's relatively tame imho.


You're talking about VetRanch I assume? Yeah they are demonetizing Matt's DemolitionRanch and a number of other similar channels.

Whatever algorithm YT changed a few months ago is really putting a hurt on content creators for little gain. If certain advertisers don't want to be on channels with certain keywords they should be able to configure that, but wholesale demonetization is really stupid.


> You're talking about VetRanch I assume?

Yes, that's it!


It’s going to take a lot more than that to convince skeptics and free speech advocates. Especially to anyone with a conservative or controversial position, those who probably have the largest incentive to move videos off of YouTube. Do you think Breitbart would trust you? What about the RNC? An eroge developer? What if 8chan wanted to add video uploads?

Trust is easy to lose and hard to gain.


>with a conservative bent ... what are the chances Cloudflare will wake up one morning and shut me down

>are they willing to abide by their role as utility?

I can remember when the conservative position was to support freedom of association, and to oppose regulating private businesses as utilities.


> I can remember when the conservative position was to support freedom of association, and to oppose regulating private businesses as utilities.

I can remember that as recently as this year, in the debate over net neutrality.


Just use something like https://pullgrid.com/ where you can host it from your dropbox or google drive and distributed through webtorrent. Or use https://vid.me/ or https://bitchute.com/


Well start by not saying they support your cause.


Content in "bad taste" doesn't kill people. Organized Neo-nazis do.


The nazi demo where people got killed would have been a non-violent event where stupid nazis outed themselves peacefully if the antifa hadn’t showed up, outnumbered them, and attacked the nazis, armed with bats and other weapons.

The nazis are shit too, no doubt, but it’s hard not to blame the antifa for the ultimate outcome.

Also worth remembering: the nazis were using their legal right to free speech in a legal demonstration. The antifas were illegally and violently obstructing it.

Don’t be too quick to pick sides.


So does any organized hate group and it's not hard to link any content "in bad taste" to the message of some sort of hate group.


Are we really worried about being able to tell the difference between bad taste and advocating for genocide? I'm not convinced there's a gray area between those two.


Racism doesn't have to be overt.


Ah yes Daily Stormer, just a website with a "conservative bent"


The right to be a customer of cloudflare (edit: cloudfront typo) is not really a "free internet" either. Personally, I value the right to not do business with nazis over the right to have hate speech backed by a CDN. No one is stopping you from starting your conservative YouTube on your own servers.


God for the amount of going around accusing others of being slaves and cucks and whatever you would think you'd all be a bit, y'know, stronger and complain a lot less


So, will Cloudflare have the same kind of DMCA and/or ContentID controls that YouTube has? How will they police the content they stream for their clients/partners?

I know a few online businesses that don't use YouTube because they operate in a grey area in terms of fair use on videos (videogame footage) and they don't want to build their video business on YT because of their "trust the claimant over the content producer" and 3-strikes approach to DMCA claims.

Obviously if customers are paying Cloudflare to host their videos, I would assume the dispute process would be less one-sided, but have they said anything about this yet?


We will respect copyrights and our obligations under the DMCA and other laws outside the United States.


Can you be more specific? I'm not invested in this, but if I were, I would want to know:

- will Cloudfare require a legal DMCA takedown notice in order to take down content, or will they allow 'trusted' partners such as large companies to simply assert a violation?

- will Cloudfare employ any sort of automated copyright screening algorithms, like ContentID, that automatically prevent sharing of some content?

- when served with a DMCA takedown, will Cloudfare immediately take down the content (presumption of guilt) or will they allow the content-provider time to respond, either to contest the takedown or take responsibility?

- will Cloudfare push back against or provide consequences for filing fradulent DMCA takedowns?


Disclaimer: As far as I understand it. May not be completely accurate, not a lawyer much less a lawyer in the USA.

On receiving a DMCA takedown notice they have to remove access to the content. Them's the rules of the DMCA. You can then file a counter claim if the notice is mistaken or fraudulent or you have the required permissions. The next step for the claimant is then to either remove their claim and allow your content to be restored or sue you. The DMCA also requires repeat infringers be banned from the service. In this case I imagine that means your account, not singular website, gets banned.

If they don't do that then Cloudflare loses their safe harbor status and would be liable for the content you upload.

While possibly controversial to say, the way YouTube handles copyright claims is actually far easier and much safer (legally) on the end user.

You should always seriously consider the repercussions if you're going to have a site that handles user-uploaded content. Primarily make it as easy as possible for your service to receive the initial DMCA takedown notice rather than force the claimant to go to Cloudflare directly.

For a similar process check out how GitHub handles DMCA claims: https://help.github.com/articles/dmca-takedown-policy/


As I understand youtube allows large companies to automatically delete videos, without sending a DMCA? They have some kind of API where they can delete videos they think violate their rights so that Google has less administrative costs. This has backfired in the past as many videos were deleted that didn't actually violate any rights.



the only acceptable DMCA obligation for cloudflare is to forward the DMCA takedown notice to the customer who uploaded the video, and let them choose to handle the notice the way they decide! Any other method is game-able by large media companies to enforce their copyright on fair use that they arent allowed to enforce.


How is YT different in this regard? Why are they the end user for the DMCA request but CF wouldn't be?


I think "the only acceptable" in the GP should be read as "the only thing we should accept", as the rest of the comment is really pointing out how Youtube's system is gamed by the large media companies.

There are penalties for false DMCA claims, so allowing companies to bypass a real DMCA claim lets them shirk a lot of work (and responsibility) for making sure those claims are correct, lest they incur legal or financial penalties.


Because YT chose to insert themselves in front of the DMCA.

When someone copyright claims your video, they're not actually sending a DMCA, they're doing a YT-specific process that just happens to look sorta like the DMCA notice/counternotice process without involving the legal system.


I think the commenter was specifically looking for an answer to this question, not an overall statement that you’ll comply with the law:

>So, will Cloudflare have the same kind of DMCA and/or ContentID controls that YouTube has? How will they police the content they stream for their clients/partners?


i.e. my DMCA'd videos may no longer be accessible on Cloudflare. But people can still go directly to my site outside of Cloudflare. I just have to pay the bandwidth charges. :(

On top of that, I suspect there's no "3 strikes" rule, either. A cache is a cache. Entries in the cache expire for a lot of reasons, including legal ones. Lots of cache expiration has no impact on ongoing caching of new data.


Looks like this is a Bitmovin resell - Player is Bitmovin and the DASH manifests are clearly created by them too. Storage appears to be Google Cloud storage with Cloudflare's CDN tacked on in front. Doesn't look like any radical innovation to me.


https://blog.cloudflare.com/how-cloudflare-streams/

How they deliver the video is pretty innovative:

> How we accomplish this is by dynamically assigning data centers IP ranges based on which are currently being underutilized. Then videos are loaded alongside a manifest file, pointing the player to where they can locate the different chunks of the video for each bitrate. (As we described earlier, this is how adaptive streaming works: the player uses this manifest file to quickly locate different bitrate formats and switch between them as network latency changes). That manifest file is dynamically generated to point to the closest data center using Cloudflare’s default Anycast IP for the first chunk, then to the underutilized data centers for subsequent chunks. The final result is that the first segment is fast, with low cost subsequent segments. This allows us to offer a video solution that is at the best price, because let's face it, enabling video today is really expensive and unpredictable and it doesn't have to be.


That's not really innovative - other CDNs are already doing the fast first few segments and then slower/cheaper CDN once the buffer is built up. Hola CDN for example. https://holacdn.com/multicdn

Dynamic Manifest generation has been done for years, first by Unified Streaming, now by most companies.


The innovative thing about Hola is that they're using people's computers that have their VPN software installed as PoPs.


Here are the technical details behind Cloudflare Stream: https://blog.cloudflare.com/how-cloudflare-streams/


Any idea when the pricing will be finalized?


We have a good sense of the pricing but want to talk with more customers during the beta period. We're sure that it will be charged on something that doesn't create a perverse incentive against innovation (like per-byte pricing). Initially the pricing will be time based (e.g., per minute viewed) and we think we may be able to create a CPM price (i.e., per view regardless of length up to some limit). Our goal is to be the lowest cost, highest quality, easiest solution in the market.


>Our goal is to be the lowest cost, highest quality, easiest solution in the market.

Youtube is free. Sidenote, I am still interested in this product.


Youtube is free, but you can't white label it. NBC isn't going to build their catch up video site on Youtube


Just to represent the people who like me will not be able to invest time considering your tech until pricing is available.

The pricing of the infrastructure has the potential to literally poison a product.


Same. I was excited until I saw no pricing. Representing a 7+ figure yearly budget for this.


>"Why? Simply put: the video streaming market is screwed up. While there's a lot of money spent on video, there are only really about 1,000 customers that do any meaningful level of streaming."

So the statement that "the video streaming market is screwed up" is based on the fact that Cloudflare themselves only have 1K customers doing a meaningful level of streaming?

You might want to talk to Akami, Amazon, Edgecast and Fastly. I'm sure they will tell you the video streaming market is quite healthy.


No, to be clear, if you add up all the companies using all the CDNs you mention you only get to about 1,000 that are doing so at any meaningful and interesting scale. That's a shame. There should be 100x that. That's what we want to enable.


Why should there be 100x more? Video is not optimal for lots of information. It's not interactive or easy to cite and reference. It is bandwidth intense and typically has a lower information density per byte than text has.

There are plenty of places for video, but I am not so sure we need more of it. I'd say the tendency to put more content into video format is an overall negative trend.


Whether some info is in video format is irrelevant.

The fact is, the only platform for video, right now, which can work is youtube. If you host your own video instead, it both has a high cost, and low rate of returns.

If cloudflare can make hosting your own video more cost effective, it is a plus for the internet. I don't want youtube to be so dominant that they can start doing things like censoring and curating.


My comment was about them asserting there should be 100x the video content. Why should there be? It's a pretty horrible way to share information, in all but a few situations.


CloudFlare isn't saying there should be 100x more videos.

They're saying that they can make it easy / viable / cheap enough that 100x more self-hosted video providers could exist.


> No, to be clear, if you add up all the companies using all the CDNs you mention you only get to about 1,000 that are doing so at any meaningful and interesting scale. That's a shame. There should be 100x that. That's what we want to enable.

Emphasis mine.

That's exactly what it looks like to me, more so when I look at it in context with the rest of the comment they made?


> No, to be clear, if you add up all the companies using all the CDNs you mention you only get to about 1,000

It's very clear that he's counting companies using the CDNs to distribute video content. What would the 1,000 figure refer to otherwise?


And he's very clear there should be 100x more companies making video content. My contention is that video is a horrible way, usually, to convey information. More companies means more video. That's a pretty horrible idea, actually.

Video is, except for a few areas, a horrible way to impart information. The only 'good' thing about video is that you can embed unskippable ads.


The 1,000 was quantified as "1,000 that are doing so at any meaningful and interesting scale."

With no indication for what "meaningful and interesting scale" actually means. I even asked what the criteria was for "meaningful and interesting scale" was. I received no "meaningful or interesting" response. However I was downvoted several times.


I got a downvote for asserting that it was a horrible idea and that they'd suggested we needed 100x that. So, I quoted their post in my next reply.

Maybe someone has vested invested in online video content?

It really is a horrible way to communicate most of the time. It has uses, don't get me wrong. I don't see it having 100,000 useful uses, however. Every news site will be nothing but a text blurb and a video, it'll be video all the way down. It's a horrible idea.


You're assuming that video is used primarily to share information.

How Edisonian of you: http://ethw.org/Phonograph (TL;DR: Edison meant it for business but it boomed for entertainment).


That's what communication is. Even a movie is sharing information. Even a music video is sharing information. The whole Internet is sharing information. Some of it has less value than the rest, but it is still information.


To quote again:

> It's a pretty horrible way to share information, in all but a few situations.

Those few situations are probably 80% of internet traffic :)

> That's what communication is. Even a movie is sharing information. Even a music video is sharing information. The whole Internet is sharing information. Some of it has less value than the rest, but it is still information.

Technically true, practically meaningless. If I want to see Star Wars I probably want a nice 4k video, not the ASCII 80x20 version of it.


If you have your own blog and want to provide a video, your best bet currently is to just use youtube. Many would probably prefer not using their service but providing your own streaming is just too complex.


Is the solution to video streaming being overly centralized really to centralize everything under one CDN?


Well, currently we're centralizing it all under YouTube so...

While I'm not the biggest Cloudflare fan I definitely welcome this move.


What do you define as "meaningful and interesting scale"?

I happen to work directly in this space and I want to know if you think my traffic numbers are meaningful.


Increase supply to increase demand! Never fails.


Is this sarcasm? There's already a big demand for competition for YouTube and this seems to be a move that makes this possible.


Do you have a citation on hand for this? I’m not familiar with the industry or incumbents and don’t know one way or the other.


I think the CEO of cloudflare is a pretty decent authoritative source for such a statement.


Okay, but (candidly) he's also selling something, so isn't an independent citation valuable? Is it wrong to ask for more information?


The same CEO that also happens to be marketing a new product?

Do you really believe that all statements made by CEOs should be accepted without question?


Obviously not, and I'm not saying that. I think believing this statement from this ceo at this time is reasonable. The research he did to come to his numbers is probably independent and you probably won't be able to find a citation as everyone on here is constantly crying for for every minor assumption.

What motivation does he have to lie about this particular number? His track record on honesty to date is good and the company is forthright in its dealings, from what I have seen. This isn't one of the google or microsoft boys trying to sell you on some shite AI in return for a high def feed from you eyes 24/7.


Could you please provide a citation for that figure of only 1K companies doing any meaningful and interesting scale. Also what does "meaningful and interesting scale" mean? What is the criteria? This all sounds like typical Cloudfalre marketing bullshit.


To be fair, while he isn’t giving hard answers to a lot of questions in this thread, you’re being really antagonistic with that last line. I’d like more information too, but it doesn’t improve the odds he’ll answer to your satisfaction by publicly calling him out.


I didn't think it was antagonisti, it certainly wan't meant to antagonize anyone. I apologize if it comes off that way.

I've simply grown tired of the perpetual Cloudflare marketing machine and the lack of citation of the figures they throw around in these regular marketing posts.


Sure, that is easy - 'meaningful and interesting scale' is the amount of streaming that the 1000th largest video streamer does! So simple!


Do you restrict the content usage policy? Is it possible to use this service e.g. for adult content or e.g. political content (all legal in my country) ?


This is very cool. We noticed the same thing -- it's stupidly hard and expensive to do anything cool with video -- and worked on a similar product in YC S12.

https://techcrunch.com/2013/04/08/yc-backed-tapin-tv-evolves...

Sadly, it didn't work out for a number of reasons, largely unrelated to the actual idea. I'm glad someone else is finally working on it.


> There's no good technical reason not to enable lossless compression

Why would you want to losslessly compress audio or video? The resulting files would be huge--often too huge to steam. Lossy compression is what you want.

I must be misunderstanding the article?


My guess is they mean "visually lossless" i.e. "lossy" compression but with high quality settings so the user won't notice any difference.

That's a slightly odd way to phrase it, and I'm amazed that it's not a basic part of any streaming service these days, but makes more sense to me than the other suggestions.


I interpret that as meaning the difference between using stream copy and re-encoding videos when converting between different formats.

For instance, the user might upload an H.264 video as an MP4 file. Streaming services generally won't serve the MP4 file itself, but will create an HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) version where the video is split into multiple .ts chunks along with a .m3u8 playlist.

However, such services (including YouTube) will generally re-encode the video when doing so, and the end result will have poorer quality than the original uploaded file.

This is actually unnecessary because .ts files support the H.264 codec, so the video does not need to be re-encoded. Instead the streams can be copied to retain their original quality.

If additional compression is necessary, I suppose it would be possible to apply HTTP compression using algorithms such as gzip or deflate.

Of course, this is purely speculation. It would be nice if Cloudflare clarified what they meant. But it would certainly be great if they used stream copying where possible instead of re-encoding.


If you read on for context, it sounds like they are comparing to the case where the customer simply sends some uncompressed video file, and pointing out that you might as well enable lossless compression in this case. However, CDNs (or somebody) introduce technical obstacles for this because they charge by bandwidth, so compression would hurt their profits.


> uncompressed video file

1920x1080 at 3 bytes per pixel and 30 frames per second is 11GB for just one minute of video, and 186MB per second. That's far too big and expensive to stream, and outside of somewhat special circumstances I've never heard of anyone storing video in such a huge format.


Agreed. We don't have the whole story here, I'm just trying to understand from context. Perhaps the thing that's being sent is not a raw video file, but some other file that could still be improved via lossless compression.


I would assume because the CDN customers make downstream promises to their own customers that the data will maintain losslessness. There are two potential reasons why that guarantee might be useful that I can think of:

- your product is explicitly lossless as a feature (like Tidal for streaming lossless music)

- you have to provide the files to others for reasons other than watching or listening (like editing), where integrity matters, and the use case/context requires a stream instead of just a file download


I dont think theyre saying lossy isnt useful - but that too many people arent doing _any_ compression at all. Thats the way I read it; I could be wrong.


I like this idea - but I worry about the cost.

YouTube is, essentially, free. Even if I don't want to use them as a host, I can upload a video and a few minutes later download it in DASH and a variety of older formats - again, for free.

If I do use them, I might get a few quid of advertising revenue.

CloudFlare video lets me keep people on my site (damn those distracting cat videos) and possibly gives me a branded player. That's nice - but is the cost of use (per minute transcoding) going to be worth it?


If you're not willing to pay for the video hosting and serving, you're not their target audience. YouTube was made for you.


I think there is some middle ground. It costs very little to host a blog or a static website. If you want to add video to such a site, things change completely, and the main option for most people is youtube. So if you add the ability to self host video with some reasonable pricing (i.e., something without nasty surprises if your video goes viral), it could work.


The blog will probably stay on embedded YouTube, where the content might even generate some long tail coin if successful. This seems to aim a little higher:

If YouTube is the home tape deck of video streaming and Netflix/Amazon are the major record labels, cloudflare would provide record pressing and distribution services to indie labels. (Do millennials even understand those terms?) The ideal customer would probably be a smaller Disney competitor who wants to try their luck at selling directly but understands very well that they can't hire a team of engineers matching that at Netflix.


This is so needed. A powerful Youtube alternative which can be setup by the mainstream.


The value in Youtube is that Google pays for it, not the mainstream.


The value of Youtube is the network of content consumers and producers that use it. The danger of Youtube is it's total monopoly on video discovery.

A system like this will make it easier to create Youtube competitors, so when youtube screws over a part of their producers / consumers they have somewhere viable to turn to.


Making it easier for people to create competitors to YouTube (and Netflix and Snapchat and Facebook and...) is exactly the reason we built this. Doing video at scale is far too difficult and, as video becomes more important, that difficulty is creating a barrier that keeps new entrants from getting into the market. We want to be a part of helping solve that.


Speaking about monopoly, there are many competing video hosting services in China. That's a quite fruitful competition among them, leading to many of them try to find the niche for itself and lean to some user category or other.


Youtube was started by the mainstream. Google acquired Youtube.


I typically find myself off set with every new Cloudflare offering, followed by wondering if they are reaching for a niche outside of DDOS protection.

I'm not in a position to explore a need for Cloudflare outside of hiding my origin IP addresses, but for those of you who are, are you actually using and benefiting from the wide array of offerings from Cloudflare? As it stands now, I see these announcements and make a mental note to expect a slough of marketing emails in my inbox for the next couple weeks.


Yes, they have plenty of customers benefiting and are one of the few companies that are constantly innovating with new features, especially with content delivery performance and security. As much as I dislike network consolidation into a handful of companies, there are not many real competitors for the features and value of Cloudflare.


I thought I made it clear that I realized that when I asked for other people's opinions.


Speaking about consolidation, sometimes it looks like AOLv2 (or MSNv2) is coming, with Cloudflare on transport layer, Google on WWW layer on top of it, and Facebook on social layer on top of it.


Nice edit. Were the downvotes getting to you?


Nope.


I basically use Cloudflare for dns management, they make it so easy....


I use a ton of registrars, almost all have equal simple dns management as CF. Which requires a party less to use or leak traffic information to.


What is the turnaround time for DNS to propogate on all of those registrars? Are you forced into waiting for TTL's to expire?

I may be wrong but I think eugeneionesco is referencing instant DNS changes which come as a benefit of using Cloudflare and other large DNS management companies. I've never personally seen a registrar offer anything like that.


Almost instant DNS change is something that I kinda take for granted. Surprising that's so rare...


well ... the protocol was designed not do that.

DNS is "just" a globally distributed, eventually consistent, key:value store, with a ton of caching built into it.

Also, while it may look instant to you, it may not be to your customers / users / other internet people.


While DNS caches can sometimes impact DNS updates, we rebuild the entire zone file when a DNS value is updated, and purge the previous cache. Even for customers, this should happen pretty quickly. We maintain a 5 minute TTL on all proxied records internally. So, this happens much faster than most other DNS services.


Yeah - that's a pretty standard way of doing things, and thats how DNS servers themselves will operate (mostly) when you make an update to a recordset.

Its not your cache that is the issue.

People have miss behaving caches, that do not always respect TTLs, some apps can cache the DNS response (I remember a Java issue where the initial value found was cached for the lifetime of the process!).


The TTL publicly is static and doesn't matter. The resolver you hit will just point to Cloudflare NS. Why we are faster, is because we point internally, and we don't have misconfigured TTLs or caching (I mean, things happen but it's not common). So once you update the global resolvers your visitors would hit to point to CF, their cache/TTL should never matter since we dictate where our internal DNS points the requested record.


That is not how resolution works.

What happens is:

#1 - Application (browser, chat client, etc) gets FQDN. It checks if it has the recordset in its cache, and if the TTL is expired.

#2 - Application asks the OS for the recordset. The OS checks its cache, and TTL expiry.

#3 - OS asks the configured local DNS resolvers for the recordset. They check their cache, and TTL expiry.

#4 - These resolvers ask the configured upstream resolvers (e.g. ISP for most home users). They check their cache, and TTL expiry. (This step can repeat, depending on how networks are configured. E.G. ISPs may have DNS resolvers per city, which ask central servers)

#5 - If all of those previous steps fail (the recordset is not cached, or the TTL is expired) the last resolver in the chain will ask the root for the NS records of the zone, which will get fresh records from CloudFlare.

Remember - any of these recursive DNS servers could have an override to cache the recordset for longer than the publicly defined TTL. This is not as much of an issue anymore, but it used to be a massive one.

And this is before applications decide that they know better. - see http://docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/technotes/guides/net/pr... (networkaddress.cache.ttl section)


what mugsie wrote plus.. My post was regarding the management of the zonefile/domain, not so much performance or things related to TTL.

What exactly if your function at CloudFlare Jake? Pondering if this is more marketing then technical/service function. Any chance you are in charge of social media and forum posts about CF?


This is a secondary issue. Lots of shitty DNS hosts do not immediately start serving the new records when you push an update.


It's instant because CloudFlare isn't changing DNS records, just where its pointers point to.

Look at it / try it.


Their DNS changes are fast even when the site is not being proxied through CF.


Yeah - the global propagation time from you hitting save, to it being live in all their POPs is impressive.

As a reformed Akamai DNS customer it is like time travel :D


I have, and I use it.

Thats not DNS, that is global load balancing.

Try using something other than HTTP over that FQDN.


are you one of those people running DNS with TTL measured in tens to hundreds of seconds?


You don't leak any traffic information if you don't enable the proxy, which I don't.

I like the simple easy to use interface and the fact that all the domains that I manage are there, no need to login to multiple registrars.


I believe DDOS-repelling service is an intended consequence of their global CDN, not its purpose. Its purpose is speeding things up for users.


Do you offer audio streaming? I run a site that has 1M+ audio samples uploaded.


Yes, we will.


Didn't see any mention of DRM support. Are there any plans to support DRM packaging? Playready/Widevine/Fairplay/etc.


This link is 404ing at the moment: https://www.cloudflare.com/stream/

Linked from this page: https://www.cloudflare.com/performance/


Thanks for the heads up. Fixing now.

https://www.cloudflare.com/products/cloudflare-stream/


I do a lot of video stuff, and I have no idea what lossless compression is. What does it mean? Does it mean not using a resolution higher than the player is presented on the screen? Does it mean setting a sensible minimum CRF in x264?


Lossless compression is where you reduce the file size without removing the audio / video data. Where as lossy compression is where you reduce the file size by reducing the audio / video content (typically using methods that are non-obvious to observers)

An easy but somewhat crude comparison would be a text file that reads:

“Space,” it says, “is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

Lossless would be putting that content into a ZIP file (eg winzip / 7zip / etc).

Where as lossy would be rewriting the passage to something like:

“Space is really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. You may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

Generally lossy compression will yield better compression because you can vastly reduce the information you need to compress and then apply lossless techniques as well.


Lossless means lossless, i.e. you have no loss of information. The decompressed video is exactly what you had when you started. It's PNG (lossless) vs. JPG (lossy) or FLAC (lossless) vs. MP3 (lossy).

Of course lossless compression is typically a lot less compact than lossy alternatives (the article mentions a 1/2 compression ration, which is not much compared to lossy video codecs) but it means you're not degrading your video at all, you just have additional processing.

Note that some algorithms these days claim to be "visually lossless" which is mainly a marketing gimmick which means that it's lossy but you wouldn't be able to tell the difference with the naked eye in normal conditions (TICO claims that for instance).


> Does it mean setting a sensible minimum CRF in x264?

In ffmpeg, -qp 0 will get you lossless x264. I use it all the time (via OBS) to losslessly record my screen.


Lossless means that the data is compressed on a bit-level. Has nothing todo with encoding. Similar to WinRAR and ZIP, it probably uses a compression algorithm specific to cloudflare storage to serve the video faster?


You can have lossless compressors tailor-made for specific applications who will typically achieve a better compression ratio than the "generic" compression algorithms WinRAR, ZIP and friends use.

For instance try zip'ing a WAV file and compare it to the same file encoded in FLAC. Typically FLAC will achieve better compression while still being lossless.

There are lossless video codecs, like VC-2 for instance. It's not very common in the consumer world however because people generally don't want to stream or store high definition video with a single digit compression factor (that single digit being generally around 2).


--cq 0


> The next Evan Spiegel shouldn’t have to

> know what a megabit per second or H.264 are.

Yes, yes he should


Will this be able to handle live streaming, for example using OBS?


From the comments on the blog post.

eastdakota: "We plan to support live streaming. We're gathering data on how people would prefer to do streaming. As soon as we figure out the best way to support the greatest number of use cases we'll add it to live to Stream."

Definitely really interested to know what they are thinking of doing. Potentially a customer if they do it right and much cheaper than the competition!


This only appears to be for VOD.


In the past I created a product around turning photos in to videos. This would have been insanely helpful. At that time the best we could do is support one file format and size.


It's interesting that they have "monetization" in one of the panels in their process diagram. Does that mean Cloudflare is getting into the advertising game?


I am curious if this means they will enable access controls on streams somehow.

One of the challenges with video delivery and where sites like YouTube can't work is if your business relies on providing videos to paid or logged-in members only.

Patreon creators get around this in a kludgy way by using unlisted YT videos (which can still be shared by rogue patrons) but that's not ideal.

But if you want to control access to a stream based on some custom business logic in your application, you're currently stuck serving your own video or using one of the existing combination of encoder/server/player that their post alludes to.


We already do that for other types of content. Won't be different for video.


That's great to hear! I'm not familiar with all your services so I didn't know you already did this..


This is commonly solved using Amazon S3 and single-access tokens I think?

Pretty hefty work involved in getting it reliable, would be nice for a "drop in" solution.



Cloudfront supports private content [1].

Its good to see video encoding/storage/delivery maturing; the more players in the space, the more options one has to choose from if a provider prefers to not host your content (whether that's because of a ToS violation, or because the company CEO just doesn't want to host your content). "Drop in" solutions give your provider a great deal of control over your fate, which is okay, until its not.

With Patreon raising a large round ($60MM) of financing [2], I'd expect them to build out their own streaming system based on S3, an encoding engine, and a CDN, versus be under the control of a turnkey provider (a la Reddit having to move off of Imgur).

[1] http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonCloudFront/latest/Developer...

[2] https://patreonhq.com/new-round-funding-816d5a592477


(serious question) why would Patreon build out their own video hosting system? Unless I misunderstand their business model, that's not really part of their core business.

I feel like video hosting/streaming is part of their Patron's businesses, not theirs. They just manage the subscriptions.

If I was an investor in Patreon, I would not want them spending my money building out a proprietary video hosting platform.


And here's another good reason - https://twitter.com/InnuendoStudios/status/91341833850793574...

YouTube apparently blocking links to Patreon (and others) on videos unless they're monetised.

"Here's a fun wrinkle: if your channel doesn't have at least 10,000 total views, you can't monetize at all. Small channels with dedicated Patreon supporters are F'd."


> why would Patreon build out their own video hosting system?

Because a fair number of Patreoneers (this really needs a better name) have private videos for patrons and, if hosted by Patreon, they can do a much better job of keeping them private than, say, making the Patreoneers use YouTube with a private link and hoping no-one leaks it.


I disagree. As has been mentioned, a common use case of Patreon is providing exclusive, private videos to patrons. Hosting it themselves of course allows access of the video to be aligned with payment.

It probably also wouldn't be that expensive. Their videos would mostly be behind paywalls. It's not like YouTube or Reddit Videos where they could get a million views overnight. So the delivery cost would be naturally constrained.


Right, but why wouldn't they just use Cloudflare or some other CDN partner?


I am talking about them 'hosting it themselves' via the use of CloudFlare.


CloudFlare is in an incredible position for advertising since they are a proxy.

Imagine just dropping a tag like this onto your page:

    <display-ad width="300" height="250">
And CloudFlare scans your page to figure out the genre of ad to display, does the live auction, and replaces it with a real ad. Now imagine that for non-display ads like injected content.

Meanwhile even Google has to crawl your Adsense pages to know what sort of content to serve. And they have to worry about things like websites serving different content to GoogleBot. Some interesting possibilities when you're proxying all of a website's traffic.

Even if Adsense let you render ads server-side by proxying user info to them, that's a lot more work for every website owner compared to what CloudFlare could enable since it already is the proxy.

Or imagine CloudFlare encoding live-auctioned ads directly into your videos on demand as part of the video stream itself.


And you did not even mention the biggest difference to the conventional model: those ads would be indistinguishable from regular content on the network level. Good luck trying to get an ad blocker to remove your personalized "message from our sponsors" from the picture of a kitten you wanted to see when it is watermarked right into the JPEG.


If I owned Cloudflare this is the direction I'd go. Ads without the MBs of bloat that existing ad networks add.

As a cloudflare customer and an everyday internet I am thankful cloudflare hasn't gone in this direction.


On the other hand, ads that load as simple images would be a big step forward compared to the current situation where rendering ads can max out a CPU.


I believe this is exactly the sort of thing they're pursuing with CloudFlare Apps.


Very likely. Advertising is a proven and resilient industry.


From Jan 30 about advertising: https://blog.cloudflare.com/firebolt/


Probably connecting with third-party like every other video platform.


Does this bad boy have any chance of working when viewing from China? For what I understand content behind Cloudflare CDN doesn't work from there.


This is not for live streaming Wowza-like no ?


I would love to see an open source way to do this. Video streaming is kind of the last really crappy thing on the web. Sure you can upload an .mp4 and use a video element, but thats not really streaming. Cloudflare is a great service and I recommend it to clients, but personally I don't want to rely on third parties for my personal projects. I want to support and promote the open web.


Again.. More services that us Tor users are exempt from, lest we go into captcha hell.

Edit: Seriously, -1's and an accusation of supporting pedophilia? I've certainly hit on a raw topic. And frankly, I'm not wrong regarding Captcha hell. We've had dozens of articles and threads about that very topic.


As a Tor user, there was a time when Cloudflare's captchas reduced drastically. And as long as you're using the Tor Browser, there's a great chance that you'll rarely see Cloudflare's captchas.


I saw a website recently that I couldn't load. Neither multiple different exit nodes through tor browser nor clean residential IP though chrome on linux worked and cloudflare's captcha was impossibly difficult to solve, I gave up after multiple attempts. Thankfully nice people here reposted the content into a comment.

Cloudflare still has a long way to go in terms of being nice to humans.


In that case I would use cached version either through web.archive.org or Google's cache.


Indeed. If I recall correctly, it was when there was a 200+ comment thread with the top comment being about abusing Tor users WRT Cloudflare. I believe the CEO showed up, and then later ran an internal test on engineers forcing all of them to run through Tor.

For a short while, it was significantly better. It probably lasted for 3-5 weeks, and then things fairly quickly progressed back to their usual, namely being captcha hell.

(Request first page, do captcha, click on next link, do another captcha, go back to first page, do captcha... wash rinse repeat.)


Are you sure that you're using the Tor Browser? If you're shoving up your browser's traffic through Tor and its header is different from the Tor Browser you'll in most cases end up with a captcha.

Edit: Also the event you described happened much earlier than when the drop of Cloudflare captchas happened, which was around if I remember correctly when Google announced "invisible captchas".


So how is that a solution? The problem is that Cloudflare blocks Tor, not Tor Browser: not every Tor user uses Tor Browser.


> So how is that a solution?

Well, it's not.

> The problem is that Cloudflare blocks Tor, not Tor Browser: not every Tor user uses Tor Browser.

Except the advice is, even when it does block Tor Browser, as they say it doesnt, the answer is to use Caching services.

The problem here is, it's now taboo to call these issues out. My posts' scores are -3, -1, and 1... I highlight this because it hid my main post. And alas, "-1" is used to silence legit grievances.


> So how is that a solution? The problem is that Cloudflare blocks Tor, not Tor Browser: not every Tor user uses Tor Browser.

Well then they did a favor to you and you should thank them, if you're using Tor without the Tor Browser chances are big that you're screwed by your fingerprint and lack of first party isolation and stream isolation, see the 2nd last paragraph here for example https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14583699


The Tor bundle is necessarily less secure than something like Qubes. Tor and the browser should be separate. Advanced users are capable of evading fingerprinting in exactly the same way.


This is correct. We radically altered how we handle Tor Browser months and months ago. I personally use TBB and I don't see Cloudflare CAPTCHAs.


Hmm.. Then a slightly different question: Do you handle OBS4 transits differently then? I have a few places that I go that actively block Tor - OBS4 and Scramblesuit both traverse these blocks.

Because of that, I primarily run those transits, and I tend to get captcha hell still. I'd be willing to debug on my end.


I think you're misunderstanding things, Cloudflare has no way to know which pluggable transport (such as obfs4 and the retired scramblesuit) you use to access the Tor network. They're only interested in exit traffic.

Which Tor Browser version do you have?


We need to stop Cloudflare.


You realize all their customers willingly use them right? The correct answer would be to offer better competition.


We also need to fix the internet so that DDoSing is harder.

Imagine a world where all ISPs didn't let you spoof IP address. And, controversially, one where ISP customers had to pay for their SmartToaster's outbound DoS.


Why?


They are monopolizing and centralizing the Web to the detriment of everyone. You don't need to believe me, though: the free and open Web is on a march toward death, Cloudflare is one of the nails in its coffin, and I will be happy enough to say "I told you so" once the grave is filled.


The decentralized web is broken. You can kick almost any website off the internet after sending $2 to a booter. This leads to centralization.

Though of course CloudFlare protects booters as well, but I'm willing to buy their philosophical argument.


Look at how entrenched the big video players are. If anything this is creating more competition.

And better - if a service that started by using this got large enough, they could spin out on their own with no ties to the original platform.


Do we need to stop Akamai, AWS CouldFront, MaxCDN, Rackspace, et al, too?


What can we do to stop it?


Why don't you just create competition for them?


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