Uploading FAQ

Frequently asked questions about uploading.


Q: I've uploaded the video but it does not show in Backlot. What should I do?

A: Make sure you have uploaded any associated manifest files along with your videos (see Manifest File Formats for details). After upload, there should be no delay in a file appearing in Backlot's MANAGE page. If the file doesn't appear, something might have gone wrong:
  • (OIS v1 only): If you use FTP or Aspera, check your logs for errors. See Ingestion Log and Error Messages for more information.
  • You should attempt to upload the file again.
  • You should also check the validity of your metadata file to ensure that it is correctly tagged.
If the problem persists, contact Technical Support.

Q: Do you store my videos if they do not go through into Backlot?

A: No, if a problem prevents a file from being saved to the Backlot database, the file might have been deleted. Attempt to upload the file again.

UTF-8 Characters

Q: Why am I getting "Internal Server Error" in the Details tab of my FTP + CSV ingested content?

A:Backlot accepts only UTF-8 characters. When ingesting via FTP + CSV, you might have included non UTF-8 characters that, although similar to UTF-8 characters, are not valid UTF-8. For example, there are many characters that look like quotation marks. The following are used most frequently:
U+0022 is valid UTF-8. If you specify either of the other two, Backlot will return an error. Therefore, remember to verify that all of your CSV characters are valid UTF-8.

Uploading Logs and Records

Q: Where can I see all the videos that I uploaded during this month?

A: By default, in Backlot's MANAGE page, files are listed by most recent creation date. (You can reverse the sort order.) Thus, files uploaded in any particular month are always grouped together.

Q: In Backlot, can I see just those videos that have not finished uploading?

A: Yes, you can. See the topic in Managing Video Details. Set the status to Processing to see videos still being transcoded.

Q: Are there any logs of my FTP activity?

A: Your own FTP client software might keep a record of all of your FTP sessions in log files or elsewhere on your own computer. Become familiar with where this information is stored on your system so that you an examine these logs for possible problems. If you are uploading over an extended period, you might consider retaining these logs for future reference, keeping them from being archived or overwritten, in case of a possible future need to debug any issues that might arise.


Q: How many GB can I upload at a time?

A: A per-customer quota of 100GB applies. When using FTP or Aspera to upload content, the maximum amount of data that should be in the upload process at any given time is 100 GB. To avoid exceeding this quota, keep track of how much data you upload at a time, and wait for files to be fully ingested and processed before starting additional upload operations. Once a file has finished uploading, it is no longer counted against the quota.

Q: What's the API upload limit?

A: None. There is no quota (as there is with FTP and Aspera). However, Ooyala highly recommends that you chunk your files into smaller portions (as detailed in Uploading a Video or Audio Asset) to prevent problems that can occur in transferring a large file over any network.

Uploader V2

Q: What do I need to change to support HTTPS uploads?

A: First, contact Brightcove Technical Support to enable HTTPS uploading for your account. Next, you need to change your programs to use https:// on the PUT upload requests, instead of http://.

Encoding and Processing Profiles

Q: What is encoding?

A: The process of converting a video stream into several formats optimized for various playback devices. The set of values used to create the optimized formats is the video's encode.

Q: What is a processing profile?

A: A processing profile is a set of encodes you can use as a template when encoding your videos. For more information, see Encoding Recommendations for Player V4

Browser Capabilities

Q: Which is the best browser to use when uploading via Backlot UI?

A: Google Chrome, latest version.

Q: What are the limitations of Google Chrome, if any?

A: Chrome has an internal "sandbox" that allows uploading multiple file chunks in parallel. When one of the chunks has a problem, Chrome attempts to re-upload the problem chunk, not all chunks. However, this internal sandbox can become full and need to be cleared. If you are having many upload failures, use the steps below to clear the browser cache and clean up the browser's sandbox:
  1. Clear the browser cache by following the instructions at https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/95582?hl=en.
  2. Bring up Chrome's console by following the instructions at https://developers.google.com/chrome-developer-tools/docs/console#opening_the_console
  3. In the console window, type the following and hit enter:

Q: What are the limitations of Firefox, if any?

A: Although Backlot runs over the HTTPS (secure) protocol, the file chunks themselves are uploaded over the HTTP protocol. With Firefox v22 and later, the browser does not allow running HTTP from an HTTPS page (so-called "mixed content"). Thus Firefox's default setting prevents file uploading to backlot. You need to configure your browser to allow "mixed content", as described below:
Note: This configuration allows mixed content from any site, not just Backlot.
  1. In the Firefox location bar, type the following and hit enter: about:config
  2. Scroll down to find the following key: security.mixed_content.block_active_content
  3. Right-click the word true.
  4. From the popup menu, select Toggle.
  5. Close the page.

Q: What are the limitations of Safari, if any?

A: None that Ooyala knows of at this time.

Q: What are the limitations of Internet Explorer, if any?

A: Always use the latest version of Internet Explorer. You must also use the Google Chrome Frame extension, which is being discontinued by Google. Ooyala recommends Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari over Internet Explorer for uploading.

Q: What are the ideal network settings for Backlot UI uploads?

A: The fastest, highest bandwidth connections from your machines to https://backlot.ooyala.com are the most desirable. In addition, the ideal is that your browser connects directly to the Ooyala servers without going through any proxy servers.

Content Migration

Q: Who is this service for?

A: If you have an extensive video library, and require assistance in moving your content to Ooyala, you will benefit most from Ooyala’s Content Migration Services. When self-migration (i.e. via Backlot Web upload, FTP, Aspera, APIs) is not an option, a Professional Services-assisted migration makes sense.

Some of the most common benefits of managed services include
  • Ooyala's guidance throughout the process.
  • Reduced time-to-launch.
  • Reduced network saturation problems.

Q: What is included in Ooyala Standard Packages?

A: Ooyala Standard packages include:
  • Support defining a new video metadata taxonomy that consistently maps to existing catalogues and categories.
  • Moving of video assets, with their respective metadata assignment.
  • Successful transcoding of all video assets encoded using Ooyala's supported video and audio codecs.
  • A bucket of transcoding minutes that will satisfy migration needs.
  • Regular progress updates, the frequency of which will be set based on the migration’s duration.
  • An output CSV file with Ooyala's embed codes. This file represents a completion report with a one-to-one mapping between your videos and their new identifiers (embed codes).

Q: What is expected from you?

A: You will need to help Ooyala with the following:
  • Provide access to your video library.
  • Deliver metadata mapping files in either CSV or XML format. Templates will be provided by Ooyala.
  • Approve your own Processing Profile before ingestion starts. The Processing Profile is the template used by the transcoding process to determine the characteristics of each output encode.

Please be aware that there will be a time window when new assets will need to be uploaded twice: once to the legacy system, and once to Ooyala.

When migrating content to more than one Backlot account, you will need to approve the proposed accounts' hierarchy.

Q: What are additional services that can be purchased in addition to Content Migration?

The following services are not included in the content migration packaged services. Instructions will be provided on how to self-manage each one, and additional Professional Services engagements can be purchased.
  • Swapping old players for new ones.
  • Closed captions and/or subtitle assignments.
  • Migrating playlists, Channels or Channel sets.

Q: Where can I find Ooyala's supported video and audio codecs?

A: This information can be found on Ooyala's support page, found at

Quality of and Recommendations on Source Material (Video and Audio).

Q: How can customers grant Ooyala access to their video library?

A: Library access can be granted in two ways: direct HTTP download using MRSS feeds, or hard drive delivery. HTTPS is not supported.

Q: How long do migrations take?

A: A content migration is a five phase process, so completion times comprise the sum of all phases' durations. Phases' durations are heavily dependent on the customers' conditions and requirements (e.g. library size, dedicated personnel, delivery dates, etc.).

Q: What are the five phases of migration?

A: The 5 phases comprising of your migration are:
  1. Discovery.
  2. Recommendation.
  3. Preparation & Scheduling.
  4. Execution.
  5. Acceptance.
Milestones for each phase are:
  Phase Milestones
1. Discovery Migration needs are assessed and documented.
2. Recommendation Migration plan is completed and approved by all parties.
3. Preparation & Scheduling
  • You deliver metadata file and grants Ooyala access to their library.
  • Ingestion start date is set.
4. Execution
  • Migration Starts.
  • Periodical migration reports are delivered.
  • Migration is completed.
5. Acceptance Acceptance document is signed by the customer.

Q: I would like to proceed with Ooyala's content migration service: what should I do next?

A: Let’s get started right away with the Discovery phase. Please contact your account manager for assistance.