So a couple of minutes ago I got an email from Bunny. That’s the CDN. So they can distribute files for your website, images and things like that from all over the world, speed up your website. But they’ve got a new product and it’s called Bunny Stream. This actually came out about a month ago judging by this blog post that I was able to find.
But it promises a lot of really powerful features. First of all, and probably most importantly is it’s really cheap. In fact, there, there’s no extra cost for using this streaming service. It just is included with the cost of the CDN, which is already very affordable. Bunny’s got one of the best options for payment plans in terms of they don’t make you pay a monthly minimum amount, you simply buy some bandwidth and you can use it over the course of a year.
And it’s as cheap as $10 for the entire year. So that is really cool. But what I’m noticing that is exciting is that they have some really cool DRM features. They’ve got this new DRM called Media cage to protect your content. So if you’re an online course reader, this could be a really great option for streaming your videos to your people, taking your courses without having to have a large extra bill or buy any additional software.
So without further ado, let’s just jump in and see how this thing works.
Now I’ve been a Bunny user in the past, but I am not currently using them. While it looks like I have used a little bit of bandwidth recently, but I don’t use them for any active client sites. We’ve kind of moved them all over to another provider for different reasons. I won’t get into in this video, but this could bring me back if this works really well. So I’m over in this new section here called Stream, and it looks like what I need to do first of all is to create a video library.
I assume you could kind of liken this to say, a channel or a client. This is going to be videos kind of segmented off by their website or whatever they’re going to be used for. So I’m going to go ahead and call this profitable tools and let’s go ahead and choose the locations where I want the videos served. So the idea here is that wherever someone is in the world, when they try to stream your video, bunny is going to try to match them up to a location nearest them so that the video plays quickly. By default.
It’s got three locations checked. Two in the US. And then one in Asia. There’s also this location right here in Falkenstein. I’m terribly uneducated, but this location looks like it’s the default location so that you can’t turn this off.
All videos will initially be uploaded there and then distributed to these other locations around the world. We can also turn on Oceana which is basically like the continent of Australia. By turning this on now, I’ve got pretty good coverage all over the world. I’m not really sure why this is off by default, as it doesn’t really add any additional expense to having it over on Singapore. I guess it’s monthly storage costs.
Right. So we’re going to increase our storage cost per month. All right, that makes sense. All right, so I’m okay with that. An extra three cents per gigabyte.
So the way I’m looking at this is let’s say I upload one video. That’s a gigabyte. It’s going to cost me month to store it. As long as you optimize your videos before you go ahead and upload them, your storage costs are going to be really low. You’re just going to be paying when people start to access the videos.
All right, let’s go ahead and add this video library. A nice little Bunny animation while this is added. All right, there we go. Now the next thing we can do is click into this video library and then we can start to configure things, I’m sure. Interestingly.
It’s a little bit slow to actually load this feature up, so my Internet is pretty fast here, but Bunny is not really responding at the moment. All right, there we go. It did eventually load just a little snag in the matrix there, I’m sure. So it looks like we have the option to create a collection, which I assume would be more like a playlist. Right.
So if you have a series of videos that are related to a particular course, it’s nice that you could organize them based on that. And you can also just upload videos straight away without putting them into a collection. Let’s go ahead and try out this collection feature. And I’ll just call this demo video hit. Okay.
All right. So now I’m inside of that collection of demo videos. There’s no videos uploaded here. Let’s go ahead and add a video. All right.
Looks like there’s a little drop zone. I can go ahead and add a video. I did actually record a video ahead of time just to have one to upload. It’s called Bunny test. Let’s go ahead and upload this.
There we go. By the time I dragged it in, it had already finished uploading. The video itself is very, very small, but there we go. It is now processing. It says encoding.
Now I would actually like to check out the encoding features. It is playable. All right. So there we go. I’m over in encoding on the left hand sidebar.
There’s some other options I’ll look at in a second, but I’ve got this option here to keep the original files. I like that. Some other services I’ve used will actually discard your original files, which means you have to keep a copy of them on your local hard drive if you ever want to upload them to another service. Assuming that something better does come out at some point in the future, or you want to switch for whatever reason, you’ll want to have the original files available to you. We’ve got this option here.
It’s grayed out. It says enable, early play. This will basically allow you to play the videos before the encoding has completed. So the idea here is that it’s going to encode the files. You can see the enabled resolutions down here.
You upload your video and then it’ll encode it into all of these different file formats, right? So we have a very, very small video. I’m going to turn this off because no one would ever want to watch one of my videos at this low resolution. In fact, I’m going to do that for everything up till seven hundred and twenty p and then I actually go higher than that. My videos go up to pretty high resolution and that’s because I do screen recording where you need to see every little pixel or it’s kind of difficult to look at.
So I’m going to go ahead and enable up to the highest resolutions, do whatever works for you. But that’s why I was so interested in this right away, is because I don’t really want a very small file to be served up when people look at my videos. I want to make sure that the screen resolution is really clear so that you can see all of these little details on the screen, even if you’re on a phone. Two more cool features here. Before we go back and actually look at the video that I uploaded, we’ve got Enable MP4 fallback.
It says this increases the encoding time and storage a little bit, but it’ll provide backward compatibility when devices don’t support HLS streaming. So that’s what this is using is HLS streaming to provide the videos. If you want to have an MP4 available, you can check this if that’s important to you. If you’ve got an audience that’s using older devices, this might be something worth testing because I believe it would be a little bit more of a security risk as well. If you’re just worried about people downloading the MP4, maybe you’re not, but if you are, you might want to turn that off.
In fact, I’m going to do that now. And then the last thing that I think is really cool here is we can actually add a watermark. So this is going to be like your logo on the screen. I’m going to go ahead and add my logo here and see what this looks like. All right.
So it gives me a little preview window here and there’s this little circle. I can grab this circle and kind of move it around. Getting it the first time was kind of difficult. There we go. I can resize it.
I can make it as big as I want. I’m going to go ahead and make it nice and small and just stick it in the upper right hand corner of the window. I think that looks pretty good here. Make it a little bit tighter. Well, that’s as small as I can get it.
All right, that’s looking pretty good. You can see that I can’t get any closer. It’s kind of adding maybe that’s my image file might have some space on the side, but I can’t actually get it to stay right in the corner there. But other than that, this is a really great integration or a great way to do watermarks. I’ve seen a lot of other software kind of just give you not as many options.
You can’t see exactly where it’s going to show up. It’s just like right hand corner and then it’s covering some piece of content. You can’t put it where you need it to be. Maybe you want it to be spaced out a little bit because you have a border or whatever it is. All right, let’s go ahead and roll with this.
I’ve got my enabled resolutions that I like. I’m not going to turn on either of these two features. Looking pretty good. Let’s see our player options here. This is going to give us the style of the actual player.
If we go back to the managed videos here and I click Play here, you can see this is what the video looks like. I want to change that orange color to be maybe more of a green color because that’s the brand and color. Let’s do that. Let’s go ahead and open this up. And I’ve got a hex code here that I use for my brand.
So I’m going to go ahead and paste that in and all right, that is exactly what I wanted to see. Kind of a greenish color. We do have the option to add some CSS in here if you want to go even further. And there’s some player controls so we can turn off the ability to play or pause the video. We can turn on things like skipping forward and backward, 10 seconds, show the duration of the video.
You can turn off the ability to go full screen or show the progress bar if you want. I’m going to leave these all on and just see what they look like. Go ahead and hit update here. All right, let’s get right to it. Let’s actually put this video on a website.
All right, so we’re under videos. I’m going to click on the name of the video here. And then what I want to do is actually grab this embed code right here. I’m just going to copy this and let’s go ahead and launch a WordPress website. I’ll try just embedding this right on a post and see what it looks like.
So here is my demo WordPress website. I’m going to go under post, add a new post. And let’s go ahead and I’ll do a slash here. This is the gutenberg builder. I’m going to go ahead and type HTML, and I’m going to paste in that embed code.
All right, we should be good to go here. I’m going to publish this. Go ahead and view the post. There we go. The video is playing.
I’ve got my watermark upright corner. I can see what that looks like. I’d probably bring it down a little bit. I would like to get it kind of closer, but overall it looks pretty slick. I can’t right click on the video so I can’t save it there.
I can open up the options here. It is responsive so I can’t choose the resolution. There’s no options for that. Like there’s no quality setting here. Oh, actually there is.
I take that back right in front of my face. I can choose between the different qualities that I set. So that is really cool to see. Overall, very impressed with how this looks. The only thing I don’t see is where the skip forward and back buttons are.
But you know what, my video is only 7 seconds long and they were ten second buttons. So that’s something I’ll have to test out later. Now I am not even using their encryption yet because if we go back over to the Manage Library, there is a security section here which has their basic DRM is turned off by default. If you turn this on, it’s going to disable the MP4 fallback as well as the early play options. I’m curious how this is going to work with iOS, because iOS, obviously a lot of people use iOS, and actually a lot of buyers use iOS.
A lot of people that are buying online courses are using iOS. So it’s a very important market. But traditionally, iOS doesn’t really like when you use third party players and try to go full screen. So I’m curious how this is going to work. In fact, that’s the next thing I really want to test is I’m going to pull open this page on my iPhone, make sure that it plays, and then I’ll try turning on the encryption just to make sure that it continues to play.
All right, so here we go. Here is my iPhone. I can go ahead and play the video. This is the test of Bunny Net. All right, there we go.
Let’s try and make this full screen. All right. It went to full screen just fine. Resolution is nice and high like I would expect. Overall, it looks pretty good to me.
All right, let me go ahead and I’m going to jump back over into the browser here and let’s turn on that encryption and see what that looks like. All right, so I’m turning on encryption. All right, now I’ve reloaded the page in a private window to hopefully get around any caching that might have occurred with the other video. I’m going to try to play it and it is not playing back now that it is encrypted and I am using iOS. So that is very interesting.
If I go to full screen again, no play. So the DRM is not going to work. And that’s fairly standard with iOS applications. It’s kind of what I was expecting to see, but I did want to check it out. So let’s go back to the regular mode here.
And as a final thing, just kind of investigate how protected it is just using their standard kind of player. So back over in Bunny. I’m going to go ahead and turn this off. I won’t be able to use the basic DRM. Well, actually what you can do here is you can turn on the basic DRM and then go back over to the encoding and turn on this MP4 fallback.
With this on, I would suspect that I might be able to go back to my phone here, probably reload the page even. And then the video will likely play. It’ll probably go to that fallback and turn off net that is playing back. And you can see it’s actually at a pretty low resolution. If I go to full screen mode here, I know it’s smaller on the screen, but it’s not quite.
This is the test. So that is probably that 720p fallback video that is playing. So there’s a nice tip for you. If you’re going to be using their DRM, make sure you turn on the fallback video so people on iOS can still play the videos correctly. All right.
And kind of as a last test, I’m going to do two things. I’m going to open this up in the inspector and see if there’s any ways to download the files directly. There should not be. And there should also be no way to download it using an application like Pull Tube, which is my go to video downloader. So let’s go ahead and open this up inside of the inspector, the developer tools that come with Chrome.
I’m going to go over to Sources now. I’m going to go to Network, excuse me, reload this page. And I’m going to find a video file here in a second. Let’s go ahead and actually test Bunny net. Go ahead and filter here.
Here is the video file. You can see it’s an M three, U eight. If I click on this, I can get the URL for the video file, or I can just double click on it and then it’ll try to download the video. I’m going to go ahead and just paste this into a browser here. And what’s going to happen is I’m going to get this forbidden message so that there’s no way to actually just directly download this file.
All right, here is pull tube. It’s zoomed up quite a bit, so it looks a little pixelated. But here’s. Pull tube. And what we can do here is do the same thing.
I can either add that URL that I just grabbed for the actual file. They’ll try to download the video. It can’t do that and then I can go back and just do that blog post. This is what you would normally do is you would grab the blog post, the course content or whatever it is you’re trying to download. Of course, only legally when you’ve purchased everything and you have the rights to do so, you would go ahead and put this in here and it would more often than not be able to download the files.
If I’m doing something with a vimeo page or a Facebook page, it’s going to be able to get it almost every single time. It also works with YouTube, but because this has the in the security section over here, we have the block Direct URL file turned on, that’s enough to just prevent people from being able to type in the URL and download the file. Let’s just finish up here by looking at the last bit of options. We’ve got some pricing options. By default, it’s going to use their high volume tier, which is designed for large files like video, so I recommend staying with that.
If you need an even faster performance, you can switch over to their standard tier, which is twice as much money. Really not necessary. This is more meant for loading your actual files for your website. The high volume tier is great for loading big media files, so I recommend sticking with that over under storage. This is where we saw in the initial setup where we set up the geo replication areas, and I turned on Oceania.
It’s important to note that these are on and then they’re on for good. They cannot be removed. So if you decide I really don’t want to pay that extra three cents per gigabytes, I want to turn this off, you’re actually going to need to create a whole new library and upload your files to that again, and then delete the existing one, update any of your links. So it would be a big pain in the butt. Make sure you get this right out of the gates.
You can always turn them on, but you can’t turn them off, I think is the important thing to note. There’s the ability to link up to vast advertisers. If you’ve got a large audience of people watching videos on your website, you can embed preroll ads right inside of your videos if you’ve got that set up. If you don’t, you probably don’t have a big enough audience to set this up for tagging hundreds of thousands of views per month in order to work with most vast ad networks. So probably nothing the majority of people need to worry about.
But that’s essentially it. It’s overall a pretty great product. I’m excited to begin using Buddy. Net. This might be the new path that I go forward with video hosting for our clients.
We’ll see how that works out. I’ll definitely keep you updated on any thoughts, but if you have run into any issues or have any thoughts on the BunnyCDN streaming network that is now available? Definitely leave me a comment down below. I’d love to know about it.