HTTP Streaming with Encryption under Linux

For a customer of ours, we need to mass encode thousands of video files and also segment and encrypt them for use with Apple’s HTTP Streaming.

For a customer of ours, we need to mass encode thousands of video files and also segment and encrypt them for use with Apple’s HTTP Streaming. (using Amazon EC2 instances for the leg work).

On his blog, Carson McDonald, has put together a good over view of how HTTP Streaming can work under Linux a long with a segmenter.

The one piece of the jigsaw we were missing was encryption and after some work ourselves and with the help of a stackoverflow question, we have a working sequence of commands to successfully and compatibly encrypt segments for playback on Safari and other supported HTTP streaming clients:

  1. Create a key file:
  2. Convert the key into hex:
  3. At this point, let’s assume we have segmented a file of 30 seconds called video_low.ts into ten 3 second segments called video_low_X.ts where X is an integer from 1 to 10. We can then encrypt these as follows:

With a matching m3u8 file such as the following, the above worked fine:

What caught us out was the initialisation vector with is described in the draft IETF document as follows:

128-bit AES requires the same 16-octet Initialization Vector (IV) to
be supplied when encrypting and decrypting. Varying this IV
increases the strength of the cipher.

If the EXT-X-KEY tag has the IV attribute, implementations MUST
use the attribute value as the IV when encrypting or decrypting
with that key. The value MUST be interpreted as a 128-bit
hexadecimal number and MUST be prefixed with 0x or 0X.

If the EXT-X-KEY tag does not have the IV attribute,
implementations MUST use the sequence number of the media
file as the IV when encrypting or decrypting that media file.
The big-endian binary representation of the sequence number
SHALL be placed in a 16-octet buffer and padded (on the left)
with zeros.

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