Video Cloud Glossary

A guide to important terminology for Video Cloud and internet video.

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Access Token
A temporary OAuth2 token that allows access to the REST APIs such as the CMS API, Analytics API, and Dynamic Ingest API.
Active Media
The number of active videos in the account. Note that this data is not real-time - it is synced from your video library once a day. Also note that this data may not be accurate if you are looking at "real-time" analytics data (less than 3 days old).
Ad Request
A request (call) made from a Video Cloud player to an ad server. The ad request is an HTTP call and includes key/value pairs that pass information that helps the ad server target an appropriate ad for the context. Not every ad request will return an ad.
Web publishers who syndicate Video Cloud players.
Analytics API
REST-based application programming interface that allows developers to retrieve analytics metrics for Video Cloud accounts and videos in JSON or CSV format. The Analytics API also provides the data displayed in the Analytics UI in Video Cloud Studio.
Apple HLS
Apple HTTP Live Streaming, a protocol implemented by Apple for delivering video on demand. Apple HLS breaks the video into a sequence of small file downloads, each download loading one short chunk of the video using HTTP. Note that Apple HTTP Live Streaming has nothing to do with live streaming video.
Aspect Ratio
The ratio of width to height for the frame of a video. 4:3 for standard systems and 16:9 for HDTV.


The range of signal frequencies that a piece of audio or video equipment can encode or decode. Video uses higher frequency than audio, thus requires a wider bandwidth.
A web-based publication consisting of periodic contributions, often in reverse chronological order.
Brightcove Player
The Brightcove Player is a high-performance, cross-platform HTML5-first video player that loads quickly, delivers high-quality adaptive bitrate HLS video across desktop and mobile platforms, and integrates with your favorite advertising and analytics systems.
Brightcove Player API
The Brightcove Player API can be use to programmtically control the appearance and behavior of the Brightcove Player.
Broadband video channel
A collection of related videos distributed through the Internet.
A short video clip that can appear before a full-length video or when a player loads.


The CMS API provides uncached read and write access to the video metadata.
The algorithm used to capture analog video or audio in digital form. Compare with container.
A video container is a format that defines how the video's metadata is stored along with the video and audio data. It does not define the coding or compression of the data. For example, MP4 can be a container for H.264 files.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A service offering networked servers that transparently deliver content (especially large media content) to end users. Two prominent CDNs are Akamai and Limelight.
Content Targeting
Content target is a process used to display different content to different visitors based on information known about that visitor.
Cascading Style Sheets are a standard mechanism for controlling the design of an HTML page. CSS is used to style Brightcove Players.
Cue points
Invisible markers inserted at specific points in a video that can be used to trigger external events, such as a mid-roll ad request or a closed caption. You can set cue points using the Media module.


Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (also known as MPEG-DASH) is is an adaptive bitrate streaming technique that enables high quality streaming of media content over the Internet delivered from conventional HTTP web servers. Similar to Apple's HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) solution, MPEG-DASH works by breaking the content into a sequence of small HTTP-based file segments.
Domain Restriction
A basic form of content security that prevents a player from functioning except on specified domains.
Digital Rights Management is a way to encrypt media files and package them so that they can only be decrypted based on a policy key.
Dynamic Delivery
See Multi-bitrate streaming.
Dynamic Ingest API
The Dynamic Ingest (DI) API is used to instruct Video Cloud to retrieve a video asset and create renditions for it. The Dynamic Ingest API can also be used to ingest thumbnail and poster images or WebVTT files for captions, chapters, or subtitles.


Converting video and audio data into a stream that can be played in a player.
The process of encoding video in such a way that only authorized parties can view it.


Frame Rate
The number of frames per second at which a video clip is displayed.


Putting geographic restrictions on of videos, often for reasons of rights ownership.


H.264 Format
Also known as MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding). A file format used to deliver video over the Internet. The H.264 format is recommended for online video delivery. H.264 files typically use the MP4 container and have a .mp4 file extension. It offers significantly greater compression than previous formats.
HTTP Live Streaming - a video format created by Apple that makes a video available in short segments that are stream on the client side.
(HyperText Markup Language) A markup language designed for the creation of web pages with hypertext and other information to be displayed in a web browser.
HTML5 is a core technology markup language of the Internet used for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web. HTML5 is the fifth revision of the HTML standard of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).


Ingest Profile
Ingest profiles contain the transcode settings that will be used when videos are uploaded using the Upload module or the Dynamic Ingest API.
Ingest Profiles API
The Ingest Profiles API allows you to create, retrieve, update, and delete ingest profiles for your Video Cloud account. Ingest Profiles define the renditions that are created when you add a video to Video Cloud.


A scripting language best known for its use in web sites, although it is also used to enable scripting access to objects embedded in other applications.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
A commonly used standard method of lossy compression used for digital images. JPEG is the standard image format used in the Brightcove service for thumbnails, video stills, and background images.


Key/Value Pairs
When a player sends ad requests, it includes one or more key/value pairs (like category=sports) that give the ad server information about the context of the ad and improve ad targeting.


A method of displaying widescreen video on a screen with a different aspect ratio by leaving a space, usually black bars, above and below the image.
A proprietary graphic that symbolically represents a company's brand.
Logo Overlay
A small transparent image that is displayed in the video playback window. Also sometimes called a digital on-screen graphic (DOG), bug, or watermark.
When the videos in a playlist are completed and the playlist starts playing at the beginning.
Live Streaming Video
A protocol for streaming video of an event as it happens, by pushing captured and encoded streams directly as opposed to distributing encoded files for streaming as for VOD.


Media Library
The collection of videos, playlists, and other assets in your Video Cloud account.
Metadata refers to the descriptions, tags, genre, and other related information that you provide in the definition of a video.
MPAA film rating system
A system, instituted by the Motion Picture Association of America, to rate a movie based on its content. The MPAA rating system (G, PG, R, etc.) is the most recognized system for classifying potentially offensive content, but is usually restricted to use in the film industry because the MPAA has trademarks on each individual rating.
Multi-bitrate streaming
A feature that supports multiple versions, or renditions, for a single video and enables delivering a rendition that best matches the viewer's browser size and bandwidth. We formerly referred to this as "dynamic delivery."
Muxing and demuxing
Writing and reading of audio and video streams into and from various container formats.


Native Player SDKs
The Brightcove Native Player SDKs provide the tools needed for building video-enabled apps for iOS and Android.


OAuth is an open standard for authorization. OAuth provides client applications a 'secure delegated access' to server resources on behalf of a resource owner.
The OAuth API is a RESTful API that allows you to get authorization tokens to access Brightcove's other REST APIs.


The playing of video media in a Video Cloud player.
Playback API
The Playback API can be used at runtime to access video and playlist data for mobile apps or video portals.
Player Management API

The Player Management API can be used to:

  • Create a player
  • View the settings of a player
  • Change the settings of a player
  • List all the players associated with a publisher
  • Publish a player to make it available to the consumer
Player Publishing Code
The code "snippet" used to embed a Brightcove Player in a web page.
A collection of videos that are grouped together in a particular order for playback in a Video Cloud player.
Playlist API
The Playlist API is used to programmatically control a playlist using JavaScript.
Policy API
The Policy API is used to create or get policy keys that can be used to access the Playback API. Policy keys are automatically generated for Brightcove players.
Poster image
A static image that displays in the playback area of a video player before or after video playback.
Abbreviation for pixels used in CSS.




When you use multi-bitrate streaming, you can create multiple versions of the same video, each with a different bit rate and dimensions. Each of these versions is referred to as a rendition. Video Cloud multi-bitrate streaming chooses the best rendition, based on the player's dimensions and the viewer's connection speed.
Reference ID
A unique ID assigned by a publisher to a video or playlist. The reference ID (ref id) is distinct from the video ID or playlist ID, which are unique IDs generated by Video Cloud. The reference ID enables coordination between Video Cloud and other services, such as a publisher's content management system.
RSS feed
Really Simple Syndication is a popular technology for notifying users of updates to content in a web site, blog, or Internet TV channel.


Search Engine
A program, such as Google, designed to help find information on the web.
Social Network Website
A web site, such as Facebook or Twitter, which offers its viewer members the ability to share messages, media, and other information with each other.
A low-bit-rate encoding format intended for use over networks and the Internet. Streaming delivers the video in small segments with an encoded bit rate to match the connection speed of the user, so the remote viewer can play audio or video with minimal stoppage without first downloading the entire video file.


Individual keywords or phrases for organizing content. Brightcove supports the use of tags to as a way for publishers to organize and classify videos and for creating playlists.
A small image associated with a video used in listings for the video in players, web sites, and video search engines.
Token-Based Authentication
Token-based authentication systems allow users to enter their username and password in order to obtain a token which allows them to fetch a specific resource without needing their username and password. Once their token has been obtained, the user can offer the token, which offers access to a specific resource for a given time period, to the resource.
TV Parental Guidelines
A content rating system established by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for classifying TV shows based on the age appropriateness of the content.


A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a way to identify a resource and its location on the Internet (for example


Variable Bit Rate
A compression scheme in which each unit of input material can be compressed to different sizes. For MPEG-2 video, for example, this means that “easier” sequences (that is, with no motion) can compress to very small sizes, whereas “hard” sequences (with lots of motion and scene cuts) can compress to much larger sizes.

A single video title to play in a Video Cloud player. A video is based on a video file, which can start out as one of many supported video file formats, but which is transcoded into an H.264 file or FLV file if it isn't already in one of those formats. In addition, a video can include metadata such as:

  • name
  • short description
  • long description
  • tags
  • video still image
  • poster image
  • bumper
  • logo overlay
Video Cloud Studio

An Internet application for accessing and controlling the Video Cloud service. The Studio includes a series of modules for completing different tasks:

  • Upload - Upload videos to your Video Cloud account
  • Media - Set video properties, organize videos using folders and publish videos
  • Players - Create and style players and generate publishing code for players
  • Analytics - View analytics on video and player performance
  • Live - Create and stream live events
  • Gallery - Create video portals for your video content
  • Audience - Connects video analytics from Video Cloud to marketing automation platforms
  • Social - Distribute videos to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
Video Editing Tools
A software application for editing video files on personal computer.
Video Poster Image
A static image that displays in the playback area of a video player before or after video playback.
Video on Demand. A protocol that allows for playback of distributed video files via streaming or progressive download at will—that is, on demand. As opposed to live streaming video.


Web Video Text Tracks format. WebVTT files provide captions or subtitles for video content, and also text video descriptions, chapters for content navigation, and more generally any form of metadata that is time-aligned with audio or video content. Brightcove Players use captions in WebVTT format.


Microsoft Excel file. Analytics data can be exported in this format.