iOS Streaming Overview

We provide various solutions through which you can stream live and on-demand content to iOS devices. Each streaming solution supports a different feature set. A brief description is provided below for each streaming solution.

Solution Description

Dynamic Cloud Packaging (CDN - HLS)

Leverage our Dynamic Cloud Packaging solution to transmuxRefers to the process of changing the multimedia container while retaining its content (i.e., audio/video). encoded audio/video to a HLS-compatible package.

Dynamic Cloud Packaging allows live streams to be ingested over RTMP.

HLS (Wowza)

A third-party server software that supports HTTP Live Streaming.

This option requires the purchase of third-party server software (i.e., Wowza Media Server). Learn more.

HLS (CDN – Segmented Content)

A file segmenter can be used to pre-package on-demand content for iOS consumption. Once this package is hosted on an origin server, iOS devices can stream it dynamically via a link to the M3U8 index file.

HTTP Progressive Download

Stream on-demand content to iOS devices using a standard CDN or edge CNAME URL. The iOS device will stream content using sequential byte-range requests.

The following table describes the iOS streaming capabilities of each solution.

Streaming Solution CDN Only? Technology Live Streaming On-Demand Streaming Dynamic Streaming

Dynamic Cloud Packaging



Wowza Media Server


Requires a Wowza Media Server


File Segmenter


Requires a File Segmenter


HTTP Progressive Download



Additional Information

Live and on-demand audio and/or video can be streamed to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch over HTTP for playback on its built-in media player application. This built-in media player application natively supports several video formats, which allows the iOS device to play on-demand content by performing a simple HTTP request. Live events, on the other hand, require additional processing (i.e., stream segmentation). Apple identifies the process through which the built-in media player interprets and plays segmented video as HTTP Live Streaming (HLS). In addition to streaming media, it provides support for media encryption, user authentication over HTTPS, and intelligent dynamic stream selection according to the detected network bandwidth. Intelligent dynamic stream selection allows an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to automatically switch between different bit rate streams according to the current speed of your client's connection. Dynamically switching between streams can enhance the user experience while switching or connecting through EDGE, 3G, WiFi, and cellular networks.