About Ingesting Content

Ooyala allows you to upload your videos into Backlot using any of the following options:
  • Backlot directly using the Backlot UI or the Backlot API
  • Ooyala Ingestion Services (OIS) using FTP, Aspera, or MRSS
Ingested content can include the video file, thumbnail files, closed caption files, and metadata that makes it easier to find the video in Backlot. Once ingested, your video becomes an asset in Backlot that you can manage, publish, and monetize.
Note: This topic applies to both OIS v2.5 and OIS v1. Certain sections, where indicated, apply to just one version. OIS v1 has been disabled. Customers using OIS v1 should switch to OIS v2.5.

Ingest Run-time Workflow

The following figure shows what occurs how a video asset is ingested into Backlot.
After someone (external to Ooyala) has captured a video and saved it it as a video file encoded in a raw format, you can upload or ingest the video file into your Backlot account, along with other related files (thumbnails, closed caption files, and metadata). Once stored in Backlot as an asset, your video can be transcoded to multiple stream formats and managed as an asset. For an overview of these processes, see Introducing the Online Video Platform.

What's Different in OIS v2.5

Note: Ooyala is migrating customers from OIS v1 to OIS v2.5. Once complete, OIS v1 will be deprecated and eventually disabled. If you have any questions, contact your Ooyala representative.
The Ooyala Ingestion Service (OIS) v2.5 represents a major step forward for uploading videos and metadata into Backlot. OIS v2.5 makes it easier for users to ingest files into Backlot using FTP, Aspera, or MRSS. This section summarizes the differences between OIS v2.5 and OIS v1.
Note: Changes are with FTP, Aspera, and MRSS ingest. Ingesting with the Backlot UI and Backlot API has not changed in this version.

New Ingestion Endpoints for OIS v2.5

Log in using your Backlot upload-only user account credentials (email and password). You can use these endpoints for either FTP or Aspera clients.
Region Endpoint
All transfer.ooyala.com
US transfer-us.ooyala.com
EU transfer-eu.ooyala.com
APAC transfer-apac.ooyala.com
The main endpoint automatically redirects to the region closest to you. You can also access the region-specific endpoints directly.

Enablement for Manifest-based Ingestion

For OIS v2.5, the process of enabling manifest-based ingestion has been streamlined, resulting in a faster turnaround for enablement requests. Your request automatically includes support for both XML and CSV manifests (you no longer request just one or the other). Basic ingestion is already enabled by default.

Upload-only user accounts

To access the OIS v2.5 endpoints, you use upload-only users associated with your Ooyala account. In the Backlot GUI (ACCOUNT > User Management), you can add a user with Upload Only permissions to your account (see Managing Users). You can then use the email and password associated with this user to log into the new ingestion endpoint at transfer.ooyala.com when using either an FTP or Aspera client. By creating upload-only users, you no longer need to submit a request to Ooyala Support to obtain special credentials for FTP or Aspera.

Ingesting via FTP or Aspera

For OIS v2.5, files are deleted right after they are processed. Submitted files that do not go through the entire ingestion workflow (for example, awaiting the upload of a manifest file) are deleted from the server after 7 days.

OIS v2.5 Uses FTPS (FTP Over SS)

You need to use an FTPS client when ingesting with FTP.

Updating Remote Assets Using MRSS

OIS v2.5 adds the ability to update remote assets in Backlot (using MRSS feeds) with new metadata, thumbnails, and closed caption files.

Creating Mobile Assets using CSV

With OIS v2.5, you can create remote assets using CSV ingestion. This adds a third option to existing support for remote asset creation using XML and MRSS.

What You Can Ingest

You can ingest the following types of files.
File Type Description Requirements
video files Any video files with a supported format. Includes audio-only files (video files with only an audio soundtrack) and VR 360 videos. Supported Ingest Formats
thumbnail files Low resolution images that are generated at consistent intervals during playback as users scrub through a video. Used for the Preview image. Supported Ingest Formats
closed captions files A subtitle or closed caption file contains both the text of what is said in the video and time codes for when each line of text should be displayed. Ingesting Closed Caption Files
manifest files In addition to uploading video files, you can specify extra metadata (including the video title, description, flight times, labels, and custom metadata), as well as thumbnail and closed caption files. You specify these options in a manifest file (in CSV or XML format) that you also upload. Manifest File Formats
remote assets Video that is stored remotely outside of Backlot but managed within Ooyala and delivered through an Ooyala player. Remote Assets

Ways to Ingest

Ooyala provides you with the following ingest options.

Backlot Direct Uploads

Ingestion Mechanism For more information
Backlot UI Ingesting with the Backlot UI
Backlot API Specifically the /v2/assets routes. See Ingesting with the Backlot API.

Ooyala Ingest Services (OIS)

Use OIS (with or without manifests) to ingest content via the following transport mechanisms:
Transport Mechanism For more information
FTP Ingesting with FTP / FTPS
Aspera Ingesting with Aspera
MRSS Ingesting from a Remotely Hosted MRSS Feed

Basic and Manifest-based Ingest

If you are using FTP or Aspera to ingest videos, there are two approaches: basic and manifest-based ingest. MRSS requires a manifest-based ingest.
Note: For OIS v2.5, if you want to use both basic and manifest-based ingestion, you need to create separate, uniquely-named, upload-only user accounts for each (for example, user1_basic@example.com and user1_manifest@example.com).

Basic Ingest (Videos Files Only)

With basic ingest, you upload only video, thumbnail, and closed caption files. Basic ingest is automatically enabled for all accounts. The only requirement is that you add an upload-only user to your account in Backlot, configure the user password, and then use the upload-only user's email address and password to log into the ingest endpoint.
Once ingested, you can use Backlot to configure asset settings and manage the asset, including:
Content Backlot UI For more information
video title and description Manage > Details subtab > Title, Description Managing Video Details
thumbnails Manage > Details subtab > Preview Image Managing the Preview Image
flight times Manage > Publishing Rules subtab > Flight Times Managing Publishing Rules for Channel Sets (Deprecated)
closed captions Manage > Details subtab Uploading a Closed Caption File in Backlot
custom metadata Manage > Custom Metadata subtab Managing Custom Metadata
MRSS Publish -> External Publishing Syndication with Source MRSS

Manifest-based Ingest

With manifest-based ingest, in addition to uploading video files, you can specify extra metadata (including the video title, description, flight times, labels, and custom metadata), as well as thumbnail and closed caption files. You specify these options in a manifest file (in CSV or XML format) that you also upload. See Manifest File Formats.

Manifest-based ingestion is disabled by default. To enable this feature, you must:

  1. Create an upload-only user in Backlot and configure the user password (see Managing Users).
  2. Create a support request to Ooyala to enable manifest-based ingestion. Include the email address associated with the upload-only user for your account.

Upon approval, your account will be enabled for both XML and CSV manifest formats.

Dynamic Manifests

In addition to the static CSV and XML manifest file formats, you can use filters to apply dynamic manifest criteria to assets. See Dynamic Manifests.

Deciding the Best Ingest Option

The figure below shows your Ooyala ingest options, plotted by required development time and by features/performance.

Refer to the following table to help you decide which option is best for you.
If... then use...
you have just a few few files to upload and have no programming resources available Backlot UI. After uploading a video, you can use the Backlot UI to manually associate it with ad sets, specify metadata and configure other features.
you have many files to upload (bulk ingestion) FTP or Aspera, with or without a manifest file.
you have many files to upload (bulk ingestion) and want to:
  • include thumbnails (preview images) with them, or
  • associate custom metadata with them
FTP or Aspera with a manifest file in CSV format.
you want Ooyala to pull files from your content management system (CMS) (that is, to use MRSS) MRSS with a manifest file in XML format.
you have programming resources Backlot API directly.
Note: If you intend to use manifest files with FTP or Aspera, or you intend to use MRSS, contact your Customer Success Manager or Technical Support.

OIS Ingest Log

In the Backlot UI, upload-only users can view a read-only report of ingest jobs that they have submitted via OIS (see Viewing the Ingest Log in Backlot). For programmatic access to the OIS ingest log, see the Ingest Log REST API.

In-Region Ingestion and Transcoding

Leveraging Azure’s Media Service, Ooyala Ingestion Service and Ooyala Transcoding Service support ingestion and transcoding of video assets performed in your local region. This reduces transcoding time and keeps content geographically contained. In-region ingestion is supported for files uploaded using the Backlot API, FTP, or Aspera.

To see whether your account is eligible for in-region ingestion and transcoding, contact your Ooyala account representative.


  • Not supported for processing profiles that include asset files in Flash format
  • Not supported for processing profiles that mix clear and DRM assets
  • Does not support multi-DRM configuration for the same muxing format
  • Does not support thumbnail
  • Does not support closed captions

Content Replacement

You cannot use content replacement with the FTP, Aspera, or MRSS mechanisms. Attempting to do so will result in duplicate assets.

Instead, use the /v2/assets API request, with the /replacement qualifier for each asset. See the Ingesting with the Backlot API.