File Transfers

This topic answers questions about transferring files to Zencoder for encoding and to your destinations for outputs.


  • What transfer protocols do you support? HTTP? FTP?

    Input: we support HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, SFTP, Rackspace Cloud Files, Google Cloud Storage, Azure, and Amazon S3.

    Output: we support FTP, SFTP, Rackspace Cloud Files, Azure, Google Cloud Storage, and Amazon S3. We do not currently support general HTTP uploads.

    Cloud Files users: You can specify the region to use (DFW, ORD or UK) by adding it to the protocol, like cf+ord://username:api_key@container/object. Currently the only Cloud Files regions supported are DFW, ORD and UK. The DFW region will be used by default.

    Need another transfer method? Let us know.

  • Where can I put my original files for transcoding?

    We can pull in files from anywhere via HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, or SFTP. We can also pull files from an Azure container, Google Cloud Storage or S3 bucket, including private buckets, and from Rackspace Cloud Files.

  • Can you transfer files securely?

    Sure. Use SFTP or HTTPS and include a username and password in the URL, like this:

  • Can you pull files from a private S3, Google Cloud Storage, or Cloud Files bucket?

    Yes. You can add access credentials to your Zencoder account, or grant read access to the bucket for Zencoder.

  • Are there any file size limits?

    No. We don't have any file size limits, and in fact, we chose not to charge extra for large input videos to encourage customers to send us their best copies. The higher the quality of videos you send us, the higher the output quality we can give you.

    There is, however, a limit of 24 hours on the duration of the source video.

  • Where do the finished videos go?

    You have a few options for where we will send the videos.

    We can send the files to a FTP or SFTP server, to a S3 or Google Cloud Storage bucket, or to Rackspace Cloud Files. See the url option in our API docs for more info.

    Don't forget to add credentials or give Zencoder access to your bucket if you use S3 or Google Cloud Storage.

    Or you can specify no output destination, and we'll hold on to the file for 24 hours. We'll provide you with a URL that you can use to download the video. We'll remove the video after 24 hours, so don't forget to download it.

    Starting with API version 2, if we are unable to upload files to your server we will instead upload them to S3 and provide you with a URL for all files.

  • How do I set the ACL permissions if I send encoded files to S3?

    Use our API. See the API docs on access_control for more info.

  • File Transfers

    Zencoder runs on Amazon EC2 instances, so there's a wide range of IP addresses that we use for File and Live transcoding. Amazon regularly adds new ranges to the list, which can be found via the AWS IP Range API.


    Notifications are currently sent from sg-77f03012, but this could change at any time. In order to account for this, we've added a X-Zencoder-Notification-Secret header to all notifications delivered. This can be found on the API dashboard, where you can see your current secret and generate a new one if necessary.

    This header is delivered with every request and can be used to guarantee that the notification was delivered from your Zencoder account. Note: In order to keep your notification secret secure, make sure to deliver notifications to HTTPS endpoints!

    Note: Servers may move to new datacenters, and IP addresses may change without notice.

  • Can I ship a hard drive with my videos on it to Zencoder?

    If you have a large number of videos to encode but don't want to transfer them over the internet you can use Amazon's AWS Import/Export. You'll ship a hard drive with your videos to Amazon, who will upload them to S3 for you.

    Amazon has simple instructions for getting your drive ready to ship, where to send it, and more.