You build your course, and have it online in a membership site. Your users can go in and see the course, but what is stopping them from sharing the links to the videos?

Option #1 You can use just Vimeo for the Video

From the Vimeo site:

  • Basic and Plus members can only offer download options on Vimeo.com. The download links generated on Vimeo expire after a few minutes for security purposes.
  • Vimeo PRO members have the ability to offer downloads on external websites in two ways:
  • Through the API. PRO members can build API apps that retrieve download links for any of their videos. This is the safest way to offer downloads, because the download links expire a few minutes after they are retrieved. In addition, using the
  • API allows you to retrieve your links programmatically rather than obtaining them manually. Visit developer.vimeo.com to review our API documentation.
  • Through direct video file links. PRO members can also grab non-expiring download links for each of their videos from the
  • Video Files tab of each video’s Settings. In the “Access your video files” section, choose “Download your video” and grab any of the URLs provided. If you create a hyperlink using one of these URLs, most major browsers will then download the file onto your viewer’s computers. Caution: These links never expire and don’t respect privacy settings. Once they’re out there, anyone who knows the link will be able to access your videos. The only way to stop this is to delete your video from Vimeo.

CON: You can upload and share only video files.

It is my understanding that Amazon S3 should fulfill all of your needs.

Amazon S3 has a special service that you pay for the same way you do your S3 service, called Amazon Cloudfront. It should not increase your cost more than $1 or $4 per month. You are charged only for the actual stream used (so if I jump ahead or watch only a few seconds that’s all you pay for).

Basically, you put your video/audio on the S3 service. You attach Cloudfront to your buckets (buckets are what S3 calls their folders). Cloudfront then redistributes your video to a strategical set of servers around the world, making access to your content faster for international audiences. Cloudfront also offers the ability to protect your files.

The amazon S3 interface is highly technical, as is their support documentation and instructions. Companies like Fly Plugins have created WordPress Plugins (S3 Media Maestro) to make the whole things easier. There are several plugins out there that I’ll be looking at for future posts.

Encryption and Protection Features
Amazon S3 Secure Video – Encrypt & Protect video to prevent internet sharing
Amazon S3 Secure Audio – Encrypt & Protect audio to prevent internet sharing
Amazon S3 Secure Documents – Encrypt documents (PDF, Word, etc.), to prevent internet sharing
Protect all content hosted on Amazon S3
Customize link expiration time

Media Player Features
Built-in media player with HTML5 support for iDevices
Flash “fall-forward” support for non-HTML5 compatible browsers
Customize player dimensions
Responsive player
Customize player skin
Pre-load and auto-play media files
Loop audio and video media

Usability Features
Easily place media with [shortcode]
Built-in [shortcode] generator to easily set all parameters
Display custom anchor text for document links
Set default Amazon S3 bucket to quickly grab file links

So, if you want to take full advantage of Amazon S3; you can upload all of your assets, PDF, audio, video, etc. and use a WordPress plugin to access all the protection features for all of the files.

There are several plugins for managing S3 and cloudfront directly from WordPress. Basically – you upload your stuff to the Media Library and the plugin moves it all to S3 automatically, with the option to delete from the media library when done. Several plugins offer access to your files with shortcodes and buttons. (WP Offload S3 for free or $59-$400 packages)

There are also plugins for WP that allow you to backup your WordPress site to S3. And standalone applications that help you manage your S3 account with a better GUI that what Amazon has to offer. Although I see potential in the WordPress Plugins to do just that.

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