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Amazon Elastic Transcoder

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Prerita Agarwal
Data Specialist @
23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM


When I was doing my engineering, one of my teachers encouraged me to learn about AWS(Amazon Web Service). That was the time when my journey to learn more about AWS started. During my research, I learned about Amazon Elastic Transcoder, and the concept of Transcoder amazed me so much. So today, I will share the most potent and valuable details about the Amazon Elastic Transcoder.

So, In this article, we will understand the definition of Amazon Elastic Transcoder components in detail.

What is Amazon Elastic Transcoder?

Amazon Elastic Transcoder is a tool of AWS(Amazon Web Services). It is a media transcoding in the cloud. It is cost-efficient, highly scalable, and easy for programmers and organizations to convert media files from their supply format into versions, a good way to playback on devices like smartphones and tablets.

Amazon Elastic Transcoder takes a media file from an input source and converts it into the developer’s preferred format. Then it stores the media in an Amazon Simple Storage Service(S3) bucket. Amazon Elastic Transcoder supports different input and output formats like MP4. AAC, AVI, FLV, MPEG 2, and 3GP.

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Components of AWS Elastic Transcoder

There are three major components of AWS Elastic Transcoder:



Jobs do the work of transcoding. Each job converts one document into more than 30 formats. For example, if a user wants to convert a media file into five different formats, they can create files in all five formats just by creating a job. It takes the input file that the user wants to transcode, the name of that transcoded file, and some other things as an input. You have to specify a template, also known as Preset, which includes audio and video settings you want to apply for the transcoded files.


Pipelines are like queues that are used to manage your Jobs. Transcoder approaches jobs in the order in which they're delivered to the pipeline. There are two types of Pipelines: standard priority jobs and high priority jobs. From the name itself, it's clear that you may place the task in a high-priority pipeline if you need the file to be transcoded immediately. Otherwise, you may put it in a standard priority pipeline.

A pipeline can process multiple jobs at a time, and the time required to finish a job varies extensively based on the size of the file you are converting and the job specifications. Accordingly, jobs do not always complete in the order in which you create them. But you can pause the pipeline if you want to stop the processing jobs temporarily.


Presets can be considered as templates that specify most of the settings for the transcoded media file. Amazon Elastic Transcoder has pre-described presets for numerous devices that eliminate the need to search the correct settings for different devices via trial and error. You can also create Presets that are not included in the default presets. Even you can specify which preset you are willing to use when you create a job.


Notifications are optional configurations in Elastic Transcoder. It is used to eliminate the need for polling to determine when a job has been completed and may be configured at some stage in pipeline creation. It helps keep you apprised of the status of a job, whether it is started, completed, encounters a warning, or error. You can configure your notifications after successfully creating a pipeline. 

Feature of Amazon Elastic Transcoder

  1. It can be used to transform documents from different media formats into AAC/H.264/MP4 files at different resolutions, frame rates, bitrates, and set up transcoding pipelines to transcode files in parallel.
  2. It can manage users’ transcoding jobs by starting, stopping, or canceling them.
  3. It can be configured to overlay up to four graphics, known as watermarks, over a video during transcoding.
  4. AET(Amazon Elastic Transcoder) can be configured to create Thumbnails also.
  5. It can automatically receive the status of your transcoding jobs with the help of the Amazon Simple Notification Service(Amazon SNS).

Pros and Cons 


  1. Amazon Elastic transcoder can convert between media files easily.
  2. It can track all encoding jobs.
  3. It supports a good number of formats in the application.
  4. It provides good integration with AWS S3.


  1. Amazon Elastic transcoder cannot transcode videos in real-time.
  2. The quality of videos after transcoding is average.
  3. It requires a fair amount of setup, which may be costly for some users.
  4. UI/UX of Amazon Elastic transcoder is not properly user-friendly.


Where is Elastic Transcoder used?

You can use Amazon Elastic Transcoder to change audio and video documents into supported output formats optimized for playback on desktops, cell devices, tablets, and televisions.

What is the function of the transcoder?

Transcoding takes your video or audio media, decodes it into an intermediate uncompressed format, and then re-encodes the content into its target format.

Does transcoding reduce the quality of video or audio?

Yes, it reduces the video or audio quality. Compression artifacts are cumulative, so according to this, transcoding causes a progressive loss of quality with each successive generation, which is known as digital generation loss. For this reason, transcoding (in lossy formats) is discouraged unless unavoidable.


In this article, we have extensively discussed the topic of Amazon Elastic Transcoder and its components in detail. We hope that this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge regarding the topic of Amazon Elastic Transcoder and if you would like to learn more, check out our articles on Web Applications. We hope this article has helped you in understanding the Amazon Elastic Transcoder. Still, the knowledge never stops, have a look at more related articles: Amazon API GatewayAmazon PersonalizeAmazon Lex, AWS Lamda Foundation, and many more. Do upvote our blog to help other ninjas grow. 

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Topics covered
What is Amazon Elastic Transcoder?
Components of AWS Elastic Transcoder
Feature of Amazon Elastic Transcoder
Pros and Cons 
Where is Elastic Transcoder used?
What is the function of the transcoder?
Does transcoding reduce the quality of video or audio?