FAQ| More answers.
These FAQs are designed to provide a better understanding of Zencoder, video encoding and our simple API Builder.
What is Zencoder?
Zencoder is an API-based online video encoding service. Zencoder converts videos from your website, application, or video library into formats that are compatible with web playback, mobile phone, or any other device you need to support.
Why should I use Zencoder?
Zencoder provides enterprise class video encoding for your application, service or website at a fraction of the cost of maintaining your own transcoding engine.
- How do I get started?
Can I test Zencoder before signing up for a paid account?
Absolutely. Our Test account does not require credit card information and you can upgrade at any time. All accounts start in integration mode which allows you to test jobs at no cost as you integrate (outputs are shortened to 5 seconds). We also offer credits if you would like to test some full-length jobs.
How do I upload a video to be encoded?
Zencoder allows you to seamlessly integrate your encoding jobs through the Zencoder API. Your videos need to be accessible via the web on a file server or cloud hosting service such as Amazon S3. Using out API Builder, create an encoding job request which directs Zencoder where to find your video, how to encode it, and where to put the resulting output video. See the API builder in your account for more details.
Is Zencoder just for video? Can I encode just audio files?
While Zencoder primarily focuses on video, we also provide audio encoding. It is 1/4 the cost of video encoding. View our full audio codec list.
- Which input video/audio formats does Zencoder support?
Can you add support for a different codec?
We are constantly adding support for new codecs. Feel free to contact us regarding adding support for a specific codec or format.
How about output formats? How will my video be encoded?
Zencoder encodes to six formats, six video codecs, and four audio codecs including MP4, FLV, WebM, Ogg, 3GP, and WMV. If you would like to learn more about which codec to use for your video, read more here.
Do I have to worry about codec licensing issues?
Zencoder is fully compliant for all codecs that we use, however we advise that you consult a lawyer regarding licensing issues for your particular application. Vorbis, Theora, VP8, WebM, AAC are free and not patent encumbered. For MP3 content, there are regulations regarding licensing. If you charge for H.264 content, you may be required to pay royalties and should consult the MPEG LA royalties guide.
Where do I store my files after they are encoded? Can I store them on Zencoder?
Zencoder does not currently offer a storage solution. We recommend a cloud based storage system such as Amazon S3 if you do not already have a storage solution.
How much does Zencoder cost?
Zencoder Plans range from $0.02 to $0.05 per minute of output based on volume. Visit our pricing page for more details.
Why charge by the minute? Why not charge by the GB?
We charge by the minute because it makes costs predictable for our customers especially those who rely on user-generated content.
How do you calculate minutes?
Minutes are calculated by total number of output minutes of video. Each individual output is rounded up to 10 second increments. For example, one video 2:21 video encoded into two output formats would equal 5 encoding minutes (2:30 + 2:30).
What if I exceed my number of minutes?
All minutes above your plan are charged at the exact same rate as your plan. On our 100,000 minute plan, each additional minute would be charged $.02 per minute.
Does audio cost the same as video encoding?
Audio minutes are calculated at 1/4 of the cost of video minutes.
Do you charge extra for two-pass encoding? HD?
Two-pass encoding is free. HD minutes are calculated 2x the cost of regular encoding minutes.
Why is HD video more expensive?
HD quality video is significantly slower and more server-intensive to encode. On average, HD video require 8 times the resources of a standard definition video (Yes, 8x).
Are there any long term contracts?
There are no long term contracts and you can cancel or change your pricing plan at any time.
Do you have custom plans?
Generally speaking, we only offer custom plans for our Enterprise Level customers (above 100,000 minutes per month). Contact us if you’d like more information about our high-volume plans.