Transloadit API Offers Photo and Video Processing As a Service

Daniel Luxemburg
Nov. 04 2010, 12:00AM EDT

Transloadit offers media upload, modification, and storage as a service for developers who need that functionality (or, as Transloadit's homepage puts it, "geeks who run web or mobile applications") but don't want to worry about it themselves. There aren't too many moving parts to it, but they're ones a lot of applications make use of. The Transloadit API's main functions include: file upload, image resizing, video file encoding, image thumbnail creations, and file storage on Amazon S3.

Transloadit Illustration: resize images, encode vides, extract thumbnails, store in S3

It might seem like a fairly niche market, but Transcode isn't the only company to target it. Drop.io, the file sharing service recently snapped up by Facebook, has been looking into providing a similar service with its Rich Media Backbone product. There's also the Zencoder API, part of an API-heavy Y Combinator class.

Transloadit's services are exposed as a REST API, but the company also provides a pre-packaged plugin for the popular jQuery JavaScript library and an iOS SDK. These resources give developers an easy, drop-in solution for integrating Transloadit into their projects. Both of these tools are designed to provide an interface for end-users to upload content directly to Transloadit. Because Transloadit also handles processing and storage, many applications could support user contributed media without ever having to handle the files directly.

In many ways creating new web and mobile applications has been getting easier and easier. But some challenges—like media upload and processing—are likely to remain best dealt with at scale and outsourced by smaller companies and independent developers to providers that are more specialized.

Daniel Luxemburg I'm Daniel and I'm a web developer and social media consultant based in Brooklyn with a particular interest in how open APIs are making it easier to innovate on the web. I started contributing to ProgrammableWeb in November '10.

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