AirMozilla

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Overview

Air Mozilla is the video (multimedia) presence of Mozilla on the Web.

Air Mozilla presents live video streams of Mozilla community events around the world as well as an archive containing recordings of previous live events. There is a self-service interface for uploading pre-recorded videos.

Events include Mozilla project meetings, brownbags, developer chats, design luncheons and meet-up events in Mozilla spaces.

Topic-specific channels allow grouping of recordings by area of interest. Community members who would like to curate a channel are invited to contact the Air Mozilla staff.

Also please contact the Air Mozilla staff if you would like to have your local Mozilla community events streamed, either live or pre-recorded. One of our primary goals is to encourage much more content from the greater Mozilla community, and we're delighted to help mentor local Air Mozilla Producers around the world.

History

Air Mozilla began as a streaming audio service to make project meetings more accessible to remote participants. By 2007 it was streaming video on a monthly basis.

In 2009, Aza Dotzler, Air Mozilla's creator, described the technology for the first streaming video implementation:

"Right now, I'm using a cobbled together set of tools. The local part doesn't matter to you all (yet,) but I'm sharing it anyway. On my local machine, I'm capturing the video (dvgrab) encoding the DV stream to Theora (ffmpeg2theora) saving a local copy (tee to local file) and pushing the bits (oggfwd) to an icecast server. Then I've got a WordPress install where I have our Air Mozilla web page that embeds the stream using the video tag. On that page I've also got an embedded IRC chat (mibbit) in an iFrame. When the live streaming event is over, I upload the copy of the video I saved locally using WordPress's upload feature and then I link the video in the WordPress page using a bit of JS that will dynamically swap out the src URL in the video tag when someone clicks it."

In late 2011 Air Mozilla was rebooted under the stewardship of Richard Milewski. The Mozilla WebDev team provided a design refresh of the Wordpress blog to bring the site in line with then-current Mozilla website design standards.

In 2012 the Wordpress Blog was replaced with a Django/Playdoh custom CMS system implemented by Peter Bengtsson and Mozilla Intern Tim Mickel. (You can see Tim's intern brownbag in the Air Mozilla archive).

Beginning in 2012 Air Mozilla production facilities were added to a number of Mozilla offices world-wide. Today live stream events can be originated from Mountain View, San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver, Toronto, London and Berlin. The infrastructure also supports accepting live streams from any location with a reasonable (>2Mb/sec) net connection. The live streaming venues can also bridge content from Mozilla's Vidyo teleconferencing system.

Air Mozilla Today

The current (2014) implementation streams multi-bitrate RTMP streams and multi-bitrate HLS streams. Air Mozilla allow four different levels of access:

  • Public events are visible to anyone visiting the website.
  • Staff-Only events are only visible to users logged in with a Mozilla LDAP login.
  • Contributor events are visible to loged in staff and contributors who are also "Vouched" Mozillians on mozillians.org.
  • An additional category of restricted events are visible to staff and only those mozillians who are members of selected curated groups on mozillians.org. The specific curated groups can be specified on an event-by event basis.

Air Mozilla encoders now stream through the Edgecast CDN so there is no limit to the number of simultaneous viewers who can watch a live event. Recordings are stored on an Amazon S3 instance and transcoded using Vid.ly to support a wide range of viewing devices.

There is an Air Mozilla Roku channel and selected events are streamed using HLS. HLS streaming also supports iOS devices and some other devices on which RTMP (Flash Video) streams are not supported. The current plan is to transition all streaming from RTMP to HLS by the end of 2014.

The video workflow for a RTMP live stream event on Air Mozilla looks like this:

Workflow for RTMP Live Stream