Auto-Record to Amazon S3 - Amazon Interactive Video Service

Auto-Record to Amazon S3

This section provides information about the auto-record-to-S3 feature of Amazon IVS. We discuss data storage for recorded Amazon IVS streams. We explain the storage contents and metadata file schema. We also discuss playback of your recorded content.

For details on ... See ...

Setting up and stopping video recording

Create a Channel with Optional Recording in Getting Started with Amazon IVS


IVS API Reference

Costs Amazon IVS Costs

S3 Prefix

The S3 prefix is a unique directory structure for each live stream that is recorded. All media and metadata files for the live stream are written within this directory. For channels with recording enabled, the S3 prefix is generated when a live session starts and will be provided in the CloudWatch event at the start and end of a recording.

The S3 prefix has the following format:



  • aws_account_id is the ID of your AWS account (generated when you created an AWS account), from which the channel is created.

  • channel_id is the resource ID part of the channel ARN (the last part of the Amazon Resource Name). See ARN in the Glossary.

  • <year>/<month>/<day>/<hours>/<minutes> is a UTC timestamp when recording starts.

  • recording_id is a unique ID generated for each recording session.

For example:


Recording Contents

When recording starts, video segments and metadata files are written to the S3 bucket that is configured for the channel. These contents are available for post-processing or playback as on-demand video.

Note that after a live stream starts and the Recording Start EventBridge event is emitted, it takes a little time before the manifest files and video segments are written. We recommend that you play back or process recorded streams only after the Recording End event is sent. (See Using Amazon EventBridge with Amazon IVS.)

The following is a sample directory structure and contents of a recording of a live Amazon IVS session:

ivs/v1/123456789012/AsXego4U6tnj/2020/6/23/20/12/j8Z9O91ndcVs/ events recording-started.json recording-ended.json media hls thumbnails

The events folder contains the metadata files corresponding to the recording event. JSON metadata files are generated when recording starts, ends successfully, or ends with failures:

  • events/recording-started.json

  • events/recording-ended.json

  • events/recording-failed.json

A given events folder will contain recording-started.json and either recording-ended.json or recording-failed.json.

These contain metadata related to the recorded session and its output formats. JSON details are given below.

The media folder contains all supported media contents, in two subfolders:

  • hls contains all media and manifest files generated during the live session and is playable with the Amazon IVS player. There are two types of HLS manifests in this folder, the standard master manifest master.m3u8 and the byte-range enabled manifest byte-range-multivariant.m3u8. Therefore, each rendition folder has both playlist.m3u8 and a byte-range-variant.m3u8 files. (See Byte-Range Playlists below.)

  • thumbnails contains thumbnail images generated during the live session. Thumbnails are generated and written to the bucket every minute. (To change this behavior, override the thumbnailConfiguration property on a recording configuration.)

Important: The contents within the media folder are dynamically generated and determined by the characteristics of the first received video segments; the folder contents may not represent the ultimate characteristics (e.g., rendition quality). Do not make any assumptions about the static path. To discover the HLS renditions available and its path, use the JSON metadata files described below.

Byte-Range Playlists

The auto-record-to-S3 feature supports byte-range playlist generation, in addition to standard HLS playlists. Byte-range playlists conform to version 4 of the HLS specification. This allows for more fine-grained content clipping: in a byte-range playlist, each segment in a rendition index file references a subrange of bytes of a video chunk, providing more granularity than the standard 10-second media file size. With a byte-range playlist, each segment references a duration of approximately 2 seconds.


The thumbnailConfiguration property on a recording configuration allows you to enable or disable the recording of thumbnails for a live session and modify the interval at which thumbnails are generated for the live session. By default, thumbnail recording is enabled, at an interval of 60 seconds. For details, see the Amazon IVS API Reference.

Merge Fragmented Streams

The recordingReconnectWindowSeconds property on a recording configuration allows you to specify a window of time (in seconds) during which, if your stream is interrupted and a new stream is started, Amazon IVS tries to record to the same S3 prefix as the previous stream. In other words, if a broadcast disconnects and then reconnects within the specified interval, the multiple streams are considered a single broadcast and merged together.

IVS Recording State Change events in Amazon EventBridge: Recording End events and recording-ended JSON metadata files are delayed by at least recordingReconnectWindowSeconds, as Amazon IVS waits to ensure a new stream is not started.

For instructions on setting up the merge-streams functionality, see Step 4: Create a Channel with Optional Recording in Getting Started with Amazon IVS.


For multiple streams to record to the same S3 prefix, certain conditions must be met for all the streams:

  • Video width and height must be the same.

  • Frame rate must be the same.

  • The bitrate difference of subsequent streams must be less than or equal to 50% of the bitrate of the original stream.

  • Video and audio codecs must be the same.


  • At most 20 streams are merged, after which a new S3 prefix is created.

  • After 48 hours, a new S3 prefix is created. For example, if the first broadcast lasts for 48 hours and another broadcast is started within the recordingReconnectWindowSeconds interval, the next broadcast is not merged into the first S3 prefix.

Known Issue

If recordingReconnectWindowSeconds is enabled and the Web Broadcast SDK is used, recording to the same S3 prefix may not work, as the Web Broadcast SDK dynamically changes bitrates and qualities.

JSON Metadata Files

When a recording state-change event occurs, a corresponding Amazon CloudWatch metric is generated and a metadata file is written within the S3 prefix. (See Monitoring Amazon IVS with Amazon CloudWatch.)

This metadata is in JSON format. It comprises the following information.

Field Type Required Description


string Yes ARN of the channel broadcasting the live stream.


object Yes

Object that contains the enumerated objects of media content available for this recording. Valid values: "hls", "thumbnails".

  • hls

object Yes Enumerated field that describes the Apple HLS format output.
    • duration_ms

integer Conditional

Duration of the recorded HLS content in milliseconds. This is available only when recording_status is "RECORDING_ENDED" or "RECORDING_ENDED_WITH_FAILURE". If a failure occurred before any recording was done, this is 0.

    • path

string Yes Relative path from the S3 prefix where HLS content is stored.
    • playlist

string Yes

Name of the HLS master playlist file.

    • byte_range_playlist

string Yes

Name of the HLS byte-range multivariant playlist.

    • renditions

object Yes Array of renditions (HLS variant) of metadata objects. There always is at least one rendition.
      • path

string Yes Relative path from the S3 prefix where HLS content is stored for this rendition.
      • playlist

string Yes Name of the media playlist file for this rendition.
      • byte_range_playlist

string Yes Name of the byte-range playlist for this rendition.
      • resolution_height

int Conditional Pixel resolution height of the encoded video. This is available only when the rendition contains a video track.
      • resolution_width

int Conditional Pixel resolution width of the encoded video. This is available only when the rendition contains a video track.
  • thumbnails

object Conditional Enumerated field that describes thumbnails output. This is available only when the thumbnail configuration’s recordingMode is INTERVAL.
    • path

string Conditional Relative path from the S3 prefix where thumbnail content is stored. This is available only when the thumbnail configuration’s recordingMode is INTERVAL.


string Conditional

RFC 3339 UTC timestamp when the recording ended. This is available only when recording_status is "RECORDING_ENDED" or "RECORDING_ENDED_WITH_FAILURE".

recording_started_at and recording_ended_at are timestamps when these events are generated and may not exactly match the HLS video-segment timestamps. To accurately determine the duration of a recording, use the duration_ms field.


string Yes

RFC 3339 UTC timestamp when the recording started.

See the note above for recording_ended_at.


string Yes



string Conditional

Descriptive information on the status. This is available only when recording_status is "RECORDING_ENDED" or "RECORDING_ENDED_WITH_FAILURE".


string Yes The version of the metadata schema.

Example: recording_started.json

{ "version" : "v1", "channel_arn" : "arn:aws:ivs:us-west-2:123456789012:channel/AsXego4U6tnj", "recording_started_at" : "2020-06-12T12:53:26Z", "recording_status : "RECORDING_STARTED", "media" : { "hls" : { "path" : "media/hls", "playlist" : "master.m3u8", "byte_range_playlist": "byte-range-multivariant.m3u8", "renditions" : [ { "path" : "480p30", "playlist" : "playlist.m3u8", "byte_range_playlist": "byte-range-variant.m3u8", "resolution_height" : 480, "resolution_width" : 852 }, { "path" : "360p30", "playlist" : "playlist.m3u8", "byte_range_playlist": "byte-range-variant.m3u8", "resolution_height" : 360, "resolution_width" : 640 }, { "path" : "160p30", "playlist" : "playlist.m3u8", "byte_range_playlist": "byte-range-variant.m3u8", "resolution_height" : 160, "resolution_width" : 284 }, { "path" : "720p60", "playlist" : "playlist.m3u8", "byte_range_playlist": "byte-range-variant.m3u8", "resolution_height" : 720, "resolution_width" : 1280 } ] }, "thumbnails" : { "path" : "media/thumbnails" } } }

Example: recording_ended.json

{ "version" : "v1", "channel_arn" : "arn:aws:ivs:us-west-2:123456789012:channel/AsXego4U6tnj", "recording_ended_at" : "2020-06-14T12:53:20Z", "recording_started_at" : "2020-06-12T12:53:26Z", "recording_status" : "RECORDING_ENDED", "media" : { "hls" : { "duration_ms" : 172794489, "path" : "media/hls", "playlist" : "master.m3u8", "byte_range_playlist": "byte-range-multivariant.m3u8", "renditions" : [ { "path" : "480p30", "playlist" : "playlist.m3u8", "byte_range_playlist": "byte-range-multivariant.m3u8", "resolution_height" : 480, "resolution_width" : 852 }, { "path" : "360p30", "playlist" : "playlist.m3u8", "byte_range_playlist": "byte-range-multivariant.m3u8", "resolution_height" : 360, "resolution_width" : 640 }, { "path" : "160p30", "playlist" : "playlist.m3u8", "byte_range_playlist": "byte-range-multivariant.m3u8", "resolution_height" : 160, "resolution_width" : 284 }, { "path" : "720p60", "playlist" : "playlist.m3u8", "byte_range_playlist": "byte-range-multivariant.m3u8", "resolution_height" : 720, "resolution_width" : 1280 } ] }, "thumbnails" : { "path" : "media/thumbnails" } } }

Example: recording_failed.json

{ "version" : "v1", "channel_arn" : "arn:aws:ivs:us-west-2:123456789012:channel/AsXego4U6tnj", "recording_ended_at" : "2020-06-14T12:53:20Z", "recording_started_at" : "2020-06-12T12:53:26Z", "recording_status" : "RECORDING_ENDED_WITH_FAILURE", "recording_status_message": "InternalServerException", "media" : { "hls" : { "duration_ms" : 172794489, "path" : "media/hls", "playlist" : "master.m3u8", "renditions" : [ { "path" : "480p30", "playlist" : "playlist.m3u8", "resolution_height" : 480, "resolution_width" : 852 }, { "path" : "720p60", "playlist" : "playlist.m3u8", "resolution_height" : 720, "resolution_width" : 1280 } ] }, "thumbnails" : { "path" : "media/thumbnails" } } }

Discovering the Renditions of a Recording

When you stream content to an Amazon IVS channel, auto-record-to-s3 uses the source video to generate multiple renditions. Using Adaptive Bitrate Streaming (ABR), the Amazon IVS Player automatically switches the renditions (bitrates) as needed to optimize playback for varying network conditions.

Each rendition generated during live streaming is recorded in a unique path within the S3 recording prefix. The resolution detail, path, and playlist file names are stored in a JSON metadata file during the start and stop of the recording.

Important: Do not make any assumptions about the static rendition path or the list of generated renditions, as these are subject to change. Do not assume that a specific rendition will always be available for an Amazon IVS recording. To determine the available renditions, resolutions, and paths, refer to the metadata files.

The event/recording_started.json or event/recording_ended.json file within the recording prefix contains the paths and names of media files within the recording prefix. All path elements are relative to the previous path in the hierarchy. Elements under media > hls describe HLS assets, with master playlist name and path defined at this level.

Here is a Python code snippet that shows how to generate a master playlist path using the S3 recording prefix and metadata file:

def get_master_playlist(metadata_json, s3_recording_prefix): return s3_recording_prefix + '/' + metadata_json['media']['hls']['path'] + '/' + metadata_json['media']['hls']['playlist']

Elements under media > hls > renditions describe the list of renditions recorded. The resolution_height and resolution_width properties can be used to identify the video resolution. The path and playlist elements can be used to derive the rendition playlist path. Use these fields to determine which rendition to use for any post processing.

To discover the highest available rendition playlist for a recording, you can subscribe to "IVS Recording State Change" EventBridge events. (See Using Amazon EventBridge with Amazon IVS. Below is a sample Python script that illustrates using a lambda function subscribed to those events.

import json import boto3 s3 = boto3.resource('s3') def get_highest_rendition_playlist(bucket_name, prefix_name): object_path = "{}/events/recording-started.json".format(prefix_name) object = s3.Object(bucket_name, object_path) body = str(object.get()['Body'].read().decode('utf-8')) metadata = json.loads(body) media_path = metadata["media"]["hls"]["path"] renditions = metadata["media"]["hls"]["renditions"] highest_rendition = None highest_rendition_size = 0 for rendition in renditions: current_rendition_size = rendition["resolution_height"] if (current_rendition_size > highest_rendition_size): highest_rendition_size = current_rendition_size highest_rendition = rendition highest_rendition_playlist = media_path + '/' + highest_rendition['path'] + '/' + highest_rendition['playlist'] return highest_rendition_playlist def lambda_handler(event, context): prefix_name = event["detail"]["recording_s3_key_prefix"] bucket_name = event["detail"]["recording_s3_bucket_name"] rendition_playlist = get_highest_rendition_playlist(bucket_name, prefix_name) print("Highest rendition playlist: {}/{}".format(prefix_name, rendition_playlist)) return { 'statusCode': 200, 'body': rendition_playlist }

Playback of Recorded Content from Private Buckets

Objects recorded with the Auto-Record to Amazon S3 feature are private by default; hence, these objects are inaccessible for playback using the direct S3 URL. If you try to open the HLS master manifest (m3u8 file) for playback using the Amazon IVS player or another player, you will get an error (e.g., "You do not have permission to access the requested resource"). Instead, you can play back these files with the Amazon CloudFront CDN (Content Delivery Network).

Amazon CloudFront Distribution

CloudFront distributions can be configured to serve content from private buckets. Typically this is preferable to having openly accessible buckets where reads bypass the controls offered by CloudFront. Your distribution can be set up to service from a private bucket by creating an origin access identity (OAI), which is a special CloudFront user that has read permissions on the private origin bucket. You can create the OAI when you create your distribution or you can add one afterwards, through the CloudFront console or API. See Creating a CloudFront OAI and Adding it to Your Distribution.

Playback from Amazon CloudFront

Once you have set up your distribution using an OAI to gain access to your private bucket, your video files should be available for consumption through the CloudFront URL. Your CloudFront URL is visible on the General tab for that distribution on the AWS console for CloudFront; it will look something like this:

                    Your CloudFront URL is visible on the General tab for that distribution
                        on the AWS console for CloudFront.

To stream your recorded video through your distribution, find the object key for your master.m3u8 file. It should be something like this:


Append the object key to the end of your CloudFront URL. Your final URL will be something like this:

Now you can play back your recorded video as if you were playing directly from a bucket.

For more information, see CloudFront documentation on OAIs.