blueapple.mobi
       Delivering Internet Video to Mobile Devices
                                  A White Paper




4889...
Executive Summary

This white paper outlines XinLab’s capability to extend any Internet video service to
mobile users thro...
Background

The very large base of Internet-capable mobile phones, carried by users at all times, is a
compelling target. ...
•   On-the- fly processing: Instead of requiring media clips to be pre-encoded and
    multiple formats produced, XinLab’s...
Summary of functional capabilities

This section provides a summary of blueapple.mobi functional capabilities. A more
deta...
supported by 90%of WAP-enabled devices across US
                                  carriers
International                 ...
Detailed functional capabilities

This section gives a detailed description of blueapple.mobi functional capabilities. Ple...
•   Phone to phone.
       Supports ability for users to recommend playback of a video on their friends’
       phones via...
Load Balancer

       Backup           DB
         DB                            WS/AS                      WS/AS         ...
•   Dynamic Ad insertion
       XinLab’s unique on-the- fly transcoding capability enables personalized ad
       insertio...
•   Administration
    Provides monitoring and configuration of the transcoding platform.

•   Monitoring
    System alert...
Functional Flow Diagrams and Mockups

                  This document uses a mockup and story-board to explain XinLab’s bl...
1.    Home page




                                                        Search video asset, goes to video listing




...
Once a user selects a link (e.g., Most Recent) or types in a search term, the user request is
processed, resultant videos ...
Playback options

A. Playback
Video playback options are presented to the user on the Video playback page. Depending
on us...
B. Post-roll action: Send To A Friend




                                                                                ...
C. Post-roll action: View comments



                                                                     Description
   ...
4. Web to phone flow


               Desktop playback page


                                                User request...
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blueapple.mobi

  1. 1. blueapple.mobi Delivering Internet Video to Mobile Devices A White Paper 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  2. 2. Executive Summary This white paper outlines XinLab’s capability to extend any Internet video service to mobile users through a mobile video transcoding and delivery service called blueapple.mobi. Blueapple.mobi is in public beta (http://blueapple.mobi) and can be deployed with specific branding, icons, and minimal integration quickly and easily. Users access the blueapple.mobi service via a mobile Internet site (WAP or xHTML depending on the handset), and play video clips via the handset’s native media player. Blueapple.mobi is carrier- independent and supports three video playback modes to ensure that greater than 90% of potential users can enjoy the service: • Streaming on handsets with native RTSP support. For example, the Samsung A900 on Sprint’s EVDO network. We will expand streaming coverage to Windows Media in 2Q2007. • Download and Play on handsets with a native media player that supports 3GP, 3G2, or Windows Media. For download users, a 10 second preview of the video is available. • WAP Sampling for handsets where the browser does not have access to a media player. In this mode users “flip” through five-second intervals of the video manually or via auto-refresh. A blueapple.mobi user is presented with descriptions of and links to all videos matching a given search string, favorites list, most popular, recently viewed, highest rated, etc. When a user selects a video (i.e. clicks a link) our back-end systems request the video from its host site (i.e. YouTube, MetaCafe, etc) then encodes and streams the video on- the-fly. Because blueapple.mobi encodes and streams on-the- fly, it can extend existing services and content management systems rather than requiring duplication or additional infrastructure. It can be used to bundle content from partners or the broader Internet into a single, unified and seamless mobile service. Importantly, mobile users have access to exactly the same content as Internet users, at exactly the same time. The encoding and streaming infrastructure that supports blueapple.mobi currently supports users across 300 mobile operators in 80 countries. It supports audio, video, and still picture source files: • Audio – MP3 • Video – Flash, Flash Live, WMV, MP1/2/4, M-JPEG, 3GP • Still Pictures – JPEG 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  3. 3. Background The very large base of Internet-capable mobile phones, carried by users at all times, is a compelling target. This target is increasingly capable in terms of multi- media features such as video cameras and video playback as well as access to broadband networks. The Internet is a vast – and generally untapped – source of video content for this large base of mobile users. User generated short videos in partic ular are perfect for filling small intervals of downtime and great for sharing with friends – especially among young mobile-savvy consumers. Getting this video to mobile users is challenging. Mobile applications face unique challenges not present in the desktop world: • Limited real estate and interaction mechanisms • Diverse form factors and capabilities • Complicated manual network configuration • Sensitivity to network delay for short-attention-span users • Network connection diversity A successful mobile application must address all these challenges. Specifically: • Lowering usage barriers by eliminating steps such as downloading applications and/or manual configuration • Dealing with device diversity seamlessly • Ensuring the widest reach of users Because of the technical challenges found in the current mobile environment, few applications have realized their potential and reached widespread adoption and usage. XinLab’s mobile media delivery platform is designed to address these challenges and provide a scalable, flexible solution for innovative mobile media applications. It has the following design principles: • Lowering usage barriers: Rather than require end users to download an application and manually configure their devices, XinLab’s mobile delivery platform employs server-side intelligence to cater to device diversity, producing the proper format for a given device. • Ensuring wide reach: XinLab’s mobile media platform is designed to handle the widest range of output formats in order to ensure the widest device and network coverage. Utilizing a proprietary device and network database that employs 12,000 entries, XinLab’s mobile media platform delivers 3GP, 3GP2, and WMV files in streaming or download format according to the user’s device and network configuration. In addition, playback and sampling options are available for devices that do not have native media playback capability, allowing us to reach close to 100% of Internet-enabled handsets. 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  4. 4. • On-the- fly processing: Instead of requiring media clips to be pre-encoded and multiple formats produced, XinLab’s mobile delivery platform employs on-the- fly processing to provide maximum flexibility for publishers. As a result, new and dynamic Internet content is available in the mobile environment without expensive infrastructure setup. • Sensitivity to mobile-specific requirements: XinLab’s extensive experience in media processing and streaming allowed us to build functions such as generating short preview clip for download users that is delivered quickly while the rest of the clip is being processed. Users get something quickly and are more likely to stay for the rest of the video. Ultimately we will deliver these unique previews to users via MMS, further increasing the reach of our solution. 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  5. 5. Summary of functional capabilities This section provides a summary of blueapple.mobi functional capabilities. A more detailed description is presented after this table. Feature Description Browse & Search • WAP 2.0 / XHTML-based solution that allows mobile users (WAP 2.0 / to use their native browser to browse Internet video assets XHTML-based) (for which playback on mobile devices is supported) • WAP 2.0 / XHTML solution includes menu items to enable browsing based on certain criteria (e.g. most recent, most popular, highest rated, etc.) as well as searching • Content including menu items on the WAP portal are programmable. Integration with • WAP 2.0 / XHTML-based solution can be integrated with Portals third party WAP portals Playback of assets • Supports playback of video assets on mobile phone using via phone the native player • Depending on user device and network capability, three options are presented to the user: 1. Streaming/download for handsets/network that support streaming 2. Download only for handsets/network that support download but not streaming 3. Video sample option for device/handset that do not have the capability to play a video stream from a WAP browser, devices that do not have a native player, or native players that can not be invoked from the WAP browser. Post-roll events • At the end of playback user options include recommending that clip to a friend via SMS (phone-to-phone), adding to favorites, playing the clip again ,or browsing related assets Phone to phone • Supports ability for users to recommend playback of a video on their friends’ phones via SMS. A message is sent to the recipient when the video is available for viewing. • Includes “send to friend” as an option at the end of playback • Ability for users to view comments, tags and ratings from mobile device Add to Favorites • User can add a video to their Favorites List either from videos they have browsed or video sent directly to them via Mobile-2-Mobile distribution. • Includes “Add to Favorite” as an option at the end of playback • Includes access to Favorites as a menu item in the main WAP portal Transcoding • Manages transcoding of assets that are made available for mobile devices to the appropriate format(s) that is 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  6. 6. supported by 90%of WAP-enabled devices across US carriers International • Designed and implemented to extend and localize. support Branding • The mobile solution can be co-branded. Availability • Service has 99.9% uptime Scalability • Platform is very scalable. See detailed description below. Ad insertion • Enables dynamic ad insertion into front and end of video playback Reporting • Provides detailed reporting metrics on a regular basis Administration • Administration and configuration support for reliable and flexible service 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  7. 7. Detailed functional capabilities This section gives a detailed description of blueapple.mobi functional capabilities. Please refer to the “Storyboard and Mockups” in Appendix B for more detailed flow information relevant to the explanation here. • Browse & Search (WAP 2.0 / XHTML-based) WAP 2.0 / XHTML-based solution that allows mobile users to use their native browser to browse video assets (for which playback on mobile devices is supported). Includes menu items to enable browsing based on criteria currently supported by the Video site (e.g. most recent, most popular, highest rated, etc.) as well as searching. A configuration file exists to turn on and off the content listing items such as Most Recent, Most popular. • Integration with WAP Portals WAP 2.0 / XHTML-based solution can be integrated with a WAP portal and is fully supported and conforms to standard WAP 2.0/xHTML, a link to the home page can be placed on WAP portal in the form of http://.blueapple.mobi/?r=wap • Playback of video assets via phone Playback of video assets on mobile phones is fully supported using the native player. Video playback options are presented to the user on the video playback page. Depending on user device and network capability, three options are presented to the user: 1. Streaming/download for handsets/network that support streaming 2. Download only for handsets/network that support download but not streaming 3. Video sample option for device/handset that do not have the capability to play a video stream from a WAP browser (devices that do not have a native player or native player cannot be invoked from the WAP browser) Decision on what option to present to end user is drawn from XinLab’s device/network database that currently includes over 12,000 unique device and network entries. • Post-roll events At the end of playback, blueapple.mobi provides user options, which may include recommending that clip to a friend via SMS (phone-to-phone), adding to favorites, playing the clip again, or browsing related assets. • Web to phone Enables PC users to send the video asset to a mobile device by specifying a mobile number. A SMS message is sent to the recipient when the video is available for viewing. Supports capability to define a group of recipients and send an asset to that group 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  8. 8. • Phone to phone. Supports ability for users to recommend playback of a video on their friends’ phones via SMS. A message is sent to the recipient when the video is available for viewing. Includes “send to friend” as an option at the end of playback • Add to Favorites. User can add a video to their Favorites List either from videos they have browsed or video sent directly to them via Mobile-2-Mobile distribution. Includes “Add to Favorite” as an option at the end of playback. Includes access to Favorites as a menu item in the main WAP portal • Transcoding. Manages transcoding of video assets that are made available for mobile devices to the appropriate format(s) that is supported by 90%of WAP-enabled devices. Asset will be transcoded into mobile specific formats including 3GP, 3G2, WMV and WAP sampling. • International support. Blueapple.mobi is designed and implemented such that it can be extended and localized. The system has the capability to perform char set conversion, user country/carrier diction as well as display of localized menu items and UI elements. • Branding. Configurable UI elements provides uniform brand image to the end user as other WAP properties. • Performance. When a user is requesting a video from a mobile device, the request is made to the backend XinLab mobile transcoding and streaming server, utilizing XinLab’s unique on-the- fly transcoding and delivery technology, original video is being transcoded and streamed in a progressive manner. Usually streaming and downloading can start within 5 seconds, depending on network latency. In the case the video is cached, the response time can be even less. 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  9. 9. Load Balancer Backup DB DB WS/AS WS/AS WS/AS Admin TS/SS TS/SS TS/SS TS/SS TS/SS TS/SS TS/SS TS/SS TS/SS Cache Storage Cache Storage Cache Storage Cluster 1 Cluster 2 Cluster n TS/SS: transcoding streaming server WS/AS: web and application server Cache Storage: content encoding cache Load Balancer: for web and application severs DB: device, user and content db Admin: admin and monitor station Backup DB: replicating redundant DB • Availability Blueapple.mobi has 99.9% uptime. The above figure shows the deployment diagram of XinLab’s Mobile Media platform. Transcoding and streaming tasks are load-balanced across multiple independent and stateless transcoding/streaming clusters and servers. The transcoding/streaming servers can be provisioned on or off without interrupting overall system. DB server is replicated by a hot redundant server that replicates DB in real time. Application servers are load balanced to provide both high degrees of availability and scalability. • Scalability As shown in the deployment graph above, transcoding and web server requests are load balanced across multiple independent transcoding and web servers. The system scales with addition of more hardware and provisioning of higher bandwidth. 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  10. 10. • Dynamic Ad insertion XinLab’s unique on-the- fly transcoding capability enables personalized ad insertion at user viewing time. Personalized user information is collected and sent to third party ad serving engines in real time for a personalized advertisement. Personalized information passed to the ad engine includes: § User agent § User country and mobile network § Current viewed video information such as search term, category § User viewing history XinLab’s platform dynamically serves a personalized ad by inserting a short ad clip or ad image sequence into the current viewed clip. Accepted parameter: § Position – front or end of video § Duration – how long the ad should appear in case of ad image • Reporting Provides detailed reporting metrics available through a web interface. The following metrics are displayed: • Daily unique visitors • Daily total stream views • Daily total number of searches conducted • Most viewed videos • Most represented handsets • Monthly unique visitors • Monthly total stream views • Monthly total number of searches conducted For paid services • Total purchased clips • Total daily, monthly revenue • Purchases listed by clip names • Purchases listed by user For ad supported services • Total daily, monthly impressions • Total click throughs • Total daily and monthly ad revenue 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  11. 11. • Administration Provides monitoring and configuration of the transcoding platform. • Monitoring System alerts and maintenance events are delivered to a configurable set of users. Remote access capability is provided through SSH interface. • Configuration Configuration capability is provided to a group of users. UI elements, service features (Send to a friend, most popular listing, allows comment and etc) as well as target content sites are configurable through a secure web interface. 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  12. 12. Functional Flow Diagrams and Mockups This document uses a mockup and story-board to explain XinLab’s blueapple.mobi application flow. Desktop-to-mobile/mobile-to-mobile storyboard/flow Home page Favorite, not signed in Favorite, signed in Search results, Most popular, Highest rated, Most recent Sign on My favorites Continue to favorites Related Select video Post-roll action but not signed in Video playback Related videos Video player Play video Add to favorite Play end Post- roll signed in Post-roll finish, back Signed in, continue post- roll action Send2Friend View comments 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  13. 13. 1. Home page Search video asset, goes to video listing Link to video listing Option to sign out for signed-in user A WAP user clicks the blueapple.mobi link to get to the home page. The user is presented with a number of options including “Search”, “Most Recent”, “Most Popular” and “Highest Rated”. User can choose to click on a link to browse or type in a search term to search. 2. Video listing page Title Preview thumbnail Link to video playback page Navigation links to more results Link back to home page 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  14. 14. Once a user selects a link (e.g., Most Recent) or types in a search term, the user request is processed, resultant videos are broken into multiple video listing pages and the first video listing page is presented. The video listing page shows the video’s description, links to a specific video and navigation options for getting to other video listing pages or back to the home page. Each video is presented with a preview thumbnail and description including duration and a link to the video. A user can choose a video, go to the next/previous video listing page, or go back to the home page. 3. Video playback page Title and description Preview thumbnails Playback options Post-roll actions Navigation, back to listing or home page Once a user selects a video, the request is processed and a video playback page is presented. A video playback page presents video preview with description, video playback options, post-roll options as well as navigation to go back to video listing or home page. Different playback options are presented to the user depending on handset/network capability. Detailed explanation of those features is explained in the next section. After playback, a user comes back to the Video Playback Page; a set of post-roll actions is available for use. These include “Send To A Friend” and “Add to Favorites”. A user can also choose to go back to the video listing page or home page. 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  15. 15. Playback options A. Playback Video playback options are presented to the user on the Video playback page. Depending on user device and network capability, three options are presented to the user: • Streaming/download for handsets/network that support streaming • Download only for handsets/network that support download but not streaming • Video sample option for device/handset that do not have the capability to play a video stream from a WAP browser (devices that do not have a native player or native player cannot be invoked from the WAP browser) Decision on what option to present to end- users is drawn from XinLab’s device/network database that currently includes over 12,000 unique device and network entries. For streaming capable handsets and networks, choosing the playback option will invoke the native player which connects to XinLab’s back end streaming server. Standards-based streams are streamed to the user’s handset. Streaming parameters (bit rate, frame rate, screen size) are adjusted at streaming time to ensure best delivery quality for the handset and network. For download capable handsets, a preview clip (10 seconds) is produced immediately after the user clicks on the page. “Chunked” clips as well as the entire clip are presented as they become available. For video assets that are cached by XinLab’s backend cache server, preview clip and entire clips are presented as soon as the page is presented. For handsets that do not have native playback capability, a video sample link is presented for user to sample and view sequences of video images. 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  16. 16. B. Post-roll action: Send To A Friend Description and preview Send input and action Navigation links After viewing a clip, a user can choose to send the video clip to a friend through SMS. This is done through the “Send To A Friend” link, which will lead to the “Send To A Friend” page. On that page, the user is asked to put in the MSISDN. Assuming the destination msisdn is in the same country as the sender, a default country code (+1 in the US) is presented. When user presses “Send” button, the backend server will send an SMS with a link to the same Video playback page. A receiving user can open the SMS message and follow the link to the video page where the same video is located with customized playback options, post-roll actions and a link to mobile home page. After Send, the user is directed back to the video playback page. A user can also cancel send operation and get back to the video playback page. 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  17. 17. C. Post-roll action: View comments Description and preview Add comment Comment display A user can choose to view comments on the video playback page through the “View Comments” link to the Add/View comment page. Up to three comments are displayed on a page. More comments are available through a link to more comments. On the Add/View Comment page, navigation links are available so a user to go back to the video playback page or return to the home page. D. Post-roll action: Add to favorites Add favorite is displayed on the video playback page. For a user who is not signed in, the user is directed to a sign in page. After successful sign in, the video entry is added to user’s favorite list and the user is directed back to the video playback page. 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi
  18. 18. 4. Web to phone flow Desktop playback page User requests web to mobile at Video site Video site backend server makes request to XinLab Server with msisdn and video id XinLab Mobile Media Platform XinLab Server sends a sms to the specified phone number with a link to the video page User opens sms link to launch the video page Mobile playback page As one of the post-roll actions, a desktop user for has the capability to send a video to a mobile phone by “Web to Phone”. After getting the user’s input of a mobile phone number, the server will contact XinLab’s server to deliver a SMS message to the mobile phone. The SMS message, when arriving at a user’s mobile phone, displays an instruction and a link to the video play back page. The video playback page is the same as the delivered by “Phone to Phone” explained earlier. Once the user is on the Video Playback page, he has the option to go to home page to browser and view other videos. 48890 Milmont Dr., Suite 106D Fremont, CA 94538 Telephone: 510-656-1417 www.blueapple.mobi

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