HTTP Live Video Stream Segmenter and Distributor

This project is an attempt to make it easier to set up a live streaming server using Apple's HTTP Live Streaming protocol. The source includes a ruby script and a C program that use FFMpeg to encode and segment an input video stream in the correct format for use with the HTTP streaming protocol.

You can find the source in the git repository at github.

For some background on this project you may want to read the following posts: HTTP live streaming with an open source segmenter, HTTP live streaming to S3/Cloudfront and iPhone HTTP streaming server version 1.


  • Creates both single and variable bitrate outputs for progressive enhancement
  • Transfer encoded segments via copy, FTP, SCP or transfer to AWS S3


FFMpeg is the primary external requirement for the ruby script. The segmenter needs libavformat to compile and that can be obtained by installing FFMpeg. The script also needs the following gems installed:

See for more information. To intall run gem install net-scp

RightScale AWS
See for more information. To install run gem install right_aws


You will need to compile the segmenter first. Assuming that you have all the needed libraries installed this is as easy as doing a make in the root directory.

You may copy the script and the segmenter binary to any location you want. You will need to let the script know where to find the segmenter binary in the configuration file.


There are a number of example configuration files included in the distribution. Here are definitions for all the different configuration options:

  • temp_dir – Where the script will put segments before they are transfered to their final destination
  • segment_prefix – The prefix added to each stream segment
  • index_prefix – The prefix added to the index
  • log_type – The logging type to use. Options are: STDOUT, FILE
  • log_file – If using the FILE logging type where to put the log file
  • log_level – The level of logging to output. Options are: DEBUG, INFO, WARN, ERROR
  • input_location – Where the origin video is coming from. This can be a file, a pipe, a device or any other media that is consumable by FFMpeg or the given source consumer. See the source_command option as well.
  • segment_length – The video segment length in seconds
  • url_prefix – this is the URL where the stream (ts) files will end up
  • index_segment_count – how many segments to keep in the index
  • source_command – The command used to push video the encoders
  • segmenter_binary – The location of the segmenter
  • encoding_profile – Specifies what encoding profile to use. It can be either a single entry, 'ep_128k', or an array, [ 'ep_128k', 'ep_386k', 'ep_512k' ], for multi-bitrate outputs.
  • transfer_profile – The transfer profile to use after each segment is produced
  • Encoding profiles are given a name and have two options following that name:
    ffmpeg_command – The command to use for this encoding profile
    bandwidth – The amount of bandwidth required to transfer this encoding
  • Transfer profiles are given a name in the same way encoding profiles are and have various options following their name.

    • For S3 based transfers:
      transfer_type – Must be set to 's3'
      bucket_name – The S3 bucket to put the segments in
      key_prefix – A prefix to attach to the start of each segment stream0001
      aws_api_key – The AWS api key for S3
      aws_api_secret – The AWS api secret for S3
    • For FTP based transfers:
      transfer_type – Must be set to 'ftp'
      remote_host – The remote host to ftp the segments to
      user_name – The user to use to log into the ftp site
      password – The password to use to log into the ftp site
      directory – The directory to change to before starting the ftp upload
    • For SCP based transfers:
      transfer_type – Must be set to 'scp'
      remote_host – The host to scp to
      user_name – The user to use in the scp
      password – The password to use for scp. This is optional, if it isn't provided the scp will be done using a previously generated private key.
      directory – The directory to change to before uploading the segment
    • For copy based transfers:
      transfer_type – Must be set to 'copy'
      directory – The destination directory to copy the segment to

Here is an example of the progressive enhancement in action:

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