Ingesting with Aspera

You can use Aspera file transfer software to upload videos, thumbnails, closed captions and manifest files to Backlot.

Note: This topic applies to both OIS v2.5 and OIS v1. Certain sections, where indicated, apply to just one version. OIS v1 has been disabled. Customers using OIS v1 should switch to OIS v2.5.

Overview of Aspera Ingest

About Aspera

Aspera provides a high-performance file transfer client for uploading videos to Backlot. Aspera uses encryption while transferring data.

Account Policy

Your account is limited to a maximum of 100GB on the ingestion server at any time. If you expect to upload more content, you can request a temporary increase from your Customer Success Manager or Technical Support.

Getting Ingest Credentials

You need to obtain ingest credentials in order to upload files to Ooyala via Aspera.

Setting Up an Upload-only User in Backlot (OIS v2.5)

Note: If you want to use both basic and manifest-based ingestion, you need to create separate, uniquely-named, upload-only user accounts for each (for example, and
  1. In the Backlot GUI (Account > User Management), add a user with Upload Only permissions to your account (see Managing Users).
  2. Configure the password for this account.
  3. Use the email and password associated with this user to log into the ingestion endpoint (see Ooyala Ingest Server Endpoints).
Note: If you want to use manifest-based ingest, contact Ooyala to enable this functionality for your account.

Downloading the Aspera Client

Aspera is available as a free browser plug-in or as a licensed desktop client. The Aspera browser plugin will be offered for download the first time a user connects to the ingest endpoint and logs in successfully. You can also download the software separately.

Setting VR 360 File Metadata

If you are uploading a VR 360 video file, first label the file as VR 360 and tell which type of VR 360 it is, monoscopic or stereoscopic. Use file metadata to transmit this information.

You can set VR 360 file metadata in the manifest file (see Manifest File Formats).

If you are not using a manifest file, indicate the file type by setting file metadata with the ffmpeg command-line utility. For example, suppose you are going to upload a Matroska (.mkv) file. With this type of file, you can create a custom metadata tag named vr360type and assign it one of the following values: mono or stereo_lr. For example:

ffmpeg -i inputFile.mkv -c copy -metadata "vr360type=mono" outputFile.mkv

Some file formats do not support custom metadata. For example, with MP4 files, ffmpeg allows only predefined metadata tags. As a workaround, use the general-purpose description field with predefined values to indicate the VR 360 file type. The value of description must include the text VR 360 and one of the following: mono or stereo_lr. For example:

ffmpeg -i inputFile.mp4 -c copy -metadata "description"="VR 360 Type is mono ..."  outputFile.mp4

For more information about VR 360, see VR 360 Videos.

Ingesting with the Aspera Client

You can upload a video via the Aspera client either with or without a manifest.
Note: All upload files must comply with the ingest requirements described in Supported Ingest Formats

Uploading Your File(s) via the Aspera Client (OIS v2.5)

  1. Prepare the file(s) you want to upload.
  2. In a browser, enter the endpoint This endpoint will work from all locations. You can also use a specific endpoint for your region. See Ooyala Ingest Server Endpoints.
  3. Log into the ingest endpoint using the credentials (email and password) of your Backlot user account.
  4. If prompted, open the Aspera app. (If no prompt appears, the Aspera app is already open.)
  5. Upload the file(s) you want to ingest (videos, thumbnails, closed caption files, and so on). If you are using a manifest file, be sure to upload all of the files that are referenced in the manifest file.
  6. Ooyala suggests that you upload the manifest file last.
Files are deleted immediately after they are all processed. Submitted files that do not go through the entire ingestion workflow (for example, awaiting the upload of the manifest file) are deleted from the server after 7 days.