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HTTP live streaming, or HLS is a popular video streaming format supported by Akamai’s Adaptive Bitrate Delivery service. For media companies and other enterprises that engage audiences through online video, Akamai’s service [media platform] makes HTTP live streaming simple, scalable, and secure, while ensuring the best possible viewing experience from any device, anytime, anywhere.
HLS, is a streaming protocol developed by Apple for online streaming of video or audio to iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads, from a regular HTTP web server rather than a specialized media streaming server. Originally used only for Apple devices, HLS is now supported by additional devices such as Android-based smartphones.
HTTP live streaming works by breaking the stream into a sequence of small HTTP-based video files, each file being a short chunk of an overall potentially unbounded transport stream. As the stream is played, the playback device may select from a number of different alternate streams containing the same material encoded at a variety of data rates, allowing the streaming session to adapt to any available bandwidth.
HLS supports live video streaming as well as video on demand (VOD). For a live video broadcast, the stream segment files are created continuously and the manifests are regularly refreshed.
For media content providers, HTTP live streaming (Apple HLS) is an essential technology for engaging with millions of Apple device users. Akamai's Media Delivery Solutions support HLS transcoding, packaging and delivery of live and on-demand streams: