Amazon Elastic Transcoder Documentation

Amazon Elastic Transcoder allows customers to convert (or “transcode”) video and audio files from their source format into versions that will playback on devices like smartphones, tablets and PCs. Amazon Elastic Transcoder offers the following features.

Transcoding pipelines

Transcoding pipelines allow you to setup and run transcoding workflows in parallel. You can use transcoding pipelines as a means to create flexible workflows. For example, you could set up a pipeline for transcoding short content and another for transcoding long content, or you could assign different pipelines for different resolutions or storage locations.

Transcoding jobs

Transcoding jobs do the work of transcoding a media file from one format into others. You can use one job to create multiple output files of different bit rates and formats from a single input file. For example, one job could create renditions consisting of different resolutions and bit rates of the same input file. You can also create an audio-only alternate stream. Transcoding jobs run inside a transcoding pipeline, and transcoding pipelines run more than one job at a time, so you can have many jobs running at once within your AWS account.

System transcoding presets

Amazon Elastic Transcoder provides a set of transcoding presets that removes the guesswork out of figuring out the right transcoding settings for different devices. You can choose from presets that will create output that plays on a broad range of devices, or from presets that target specific devices. 

Custom transcoding presets

Our transcoding presets cater to many devices, but some customers may need to create specific presets for a particular output target. Using custom presets, you can customize an existing transcoding preset and use it across all your pipelines in your AWS account within a region.

Automatic video bit rate optimization

With the auto video bit rate setting, Amazon Elastic Transcoder can automatically adjust the bit rate in order to optimize the visual quality of your transcoded output. 

Monitoring and Management

You can view the status of your transcoding pipelines and jobs through the AWS Management Console or the Amazon Elastic Transcoder service API or SDKs. Amazon Elastic Transcoder automatically publishes operational metrics into Amazon CloudWatch, giving you more visibility into the overall health of your transcoding workflow and the ability to invoke an action if the metric you are tracking crosses a certain threshold for a defined period of time.


Amazon Elastic Transcoder uses Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) to notify you about transcoding events. You can be notified when your transcoding job starts, when it completes, if there is a warning, and if there is an error condition. Using notifications is an efficient way to monitor and manage your transcoding workload. 


Amazon Elastic Transcoder can generate thumbnails of your output video for you. You can set the size of the thumbnails, aspect ratio and other parameters including how many thumbnails you would like to have generated. Generating multiple thumbnails is useful if you want to add chapter markers, provide a visual scan function or simply choose the most representative thumbnail for your content.

Visual Watermarks

Amazon Elastic Transcoder can overlay still images on your output video. To watermark your output videos, simply provide a file containing a PNG or JPG image and use a transcoding preset to specify position, scale, sizing, and opacity information for the watermark. You can use this feature to add program or other identification logos to your output.


Amazon Elastic Transcoder supports captions. You can use Elastic Transcoder to add, remove, or preserve captions as you transcode your video from one format to another.

Encryption and protection

Amazon Elastic Transcoder enables you to generate encrypted HLS streams. You can also use encrypted mezzanine files as input to Amazon Elastic Transcoder, or protect your transcoded files by letting the service encrypt the output. You may also protect thumbnails, captions, and watermarks.

Amazon Elastic Transcoder also supports packaging for Microsoft PlayReady Digital Rights Management.

Clip Generation

You can create a clip from your source media by specifying a start time, and optionally, the desired duration of your clip. You can generate different length clips (or transcode the entire file) for each output in your transcoding job. 

Clip stitching

You can stitch together two or more input clips to create a single longer output clip in the desired output formats as part of the transcode job. To do this, you need to specify more than one input when creating a transcode job. For any of the inputs, you can choose only a sub section of the file to stitch by specifying the start time and the duration. 

Additional Information

For additional information about service controls, security features and functionalities, including, as applicable, information about storing, retrieving, modifying, restricting, and deleting data, please see This additional information does not form part of the Documentation for purposes of the AWS Customer Agreement available at, or other agreement between you and AWS governing your use of AWS’s services.