About file streams in the Wowza Video REST API

You can stream files in a live broadcast using the Wowza Video REST API. The file you stream has to be hosted on a web server, Google Storage, or Amazon S3 bucket.

After you start the live stream or transcoder, Wowza Video downloads the file from the specified storage URL, and then starts the stream. Because the transcoder has to start, which can take a few minutes, and the file has to download to the transcoder before playback can begin, there will be a delay between when the stream starts and when the file actually begins to play. Factors that also affect the delay include the location of the file, the file size, and network conditions.

See Stream a file with the Wowza video REST API for information about creating file streams.


File streams have the following requirements:

  • Available in v1.5 of the REST API and later.
  • File must be hosted on a web server, Google Storage, or Amazon S3 bucket.
  • For best results, consider adding a buffer of 10 to 15 seconds to the end of the video. This ensures that the stream doesn't cut off prematurely.
  • 4k video files with a video bitrate greater than 6000 Kbps may cause performance issues when streaming.
  • Supported file types:
    • .mp3 — Passthrough transcoding isn’t supported for HLS playback of .mp3 files.
    • H.264-encoded .mp4 and .flv

Configure the file stream

After you've created a live stream or a transcoder that streams a file, you can further configure the file stream using advanced transcoder properties:

  • Play the file on a loop — By default, files play once and then stop.
  • Schedule the start of the file — Break the start-up process into two discrete steps: 1) start the transcoder and download the file and 2) start streaming the file. This allows you to front load start-up time and stream the file at specific time.

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