Amazon adds audio to cloud-based transcoding service

Users can strip the audio tracks from video files and create audio-only streams.

Amazon Web Services has added the option to use its Elastic Transcoder for audio-only conversions.

Amazon Elastic Transcoder was developed to offer an easy and low-cost way to convert media files from their source format into versions that will play on devices like smartphones, tablets and PCs.

The new feature lets anyone use Amazon Elastic Transcoder to convert audio-only content like music or podcasts from one format to another. Users can also strip out the audio tracks from video files and create audio-only streams. An option that, for example, can be used to create podcasts from video originals that are compatible with iOS applications that require an audio-only HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) file set, Amazon said.

The output from Elastic Transcoder is two-channel AAC, MP3 or Vorbis. Metadata like track name, artist, genre and album art is included in the output file and users can also specify replacement or additional album art.

Users of the service pay for the length of their converted content. For audio-only transcoding, prices start at $0.0045 per minute. That compares to the video version, which costs from $0.015 per minute for standard definition content and $0.03 per minute for high-definition clips, according to Amazon's website.

For users who want to try out the service, the AWS Free Tier offers up to 20 minutes of free audio output per month. The service was announced for video in January and is still tagged as a beta.

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