1. What is the Media Downloader Application (MDA) and how does it work?
The MDA is an automated delivery tool. It runs as a service and is managed via the Manage Downloader page in your account. It is a lightweight Java-based application and takes about 5 minutes to install and set up. Within several minutes, a test delivery can be completed, verifying full functionality.
Once it is up and running, the MDA performs the following:
- Checks in with Extreme Reach via HTTPS (using the token and passkey in your account), authenticates, receives a manifest of pending deliveries and supplies a status update.
- After it receives a manifest for the media, XML (if enabled) and target destinations, it then creates a temp file in the designated folder for the files being downloaded and starts pulling the files.
- The file is delivered directly from our Content Delivery Network (CDN) via HTTP or HTTPS. If one file is going to multiple destinations and each destination has a different download folder, it is downloaded once, and copied by the MDA to the other download folders.
- After the file is downloaded, it is verified and a status is sent back indicating a completed delivery. It also sends back progress status concerning in-process or pending deliveries.
2. What kind of application is the MDA? Does it run on my desktop?
The MDA runs as a service in the background on the installed computer (starts automatically when the computer boots up)—it does not run on your desktop. There is no user interface to manage the application on the installed computer and there is no program to launch. You manage the application by logging in to Extreme Reach, hovering over Account and clicking on Media Downloader, where you will find configuration options and logs where communication can be monitored.
3. What are the operating systems supported for the MDA?
The MDA can be installed on a Windows or Mac computer:
- Windows Server 2000/2003/2008/2012/2016, Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
- Mac OS, Leopard (10.5.8+) and later (Intel-based Macs)
4. What local account permissions do I need to install the MDA?
For a proper installation, the user who is logged into the machine and performing the installation needs to be a local administrator. In other words, have full rights on the computer to install and configure software.
5. Where can I find the MDA so I can install it?
Login to Extreme Reach, hover over Account in the upper right-hand corner and click on Media Downloader. If you need help installing an MDA, please contact the Video Network team at 800.958.0066 or firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be happy to add one to your account for you.
Once an MDA is added to your account, you should be able to see a page similar to the one below. Just click on the Click here to install link and follow the installation instructions specific to your operating system. Mac OS requires a reboot after the MDA is installed.
6. When and where do I specify the delivery folder location for the media and metadata files?
LIt is best to specify the download folder location(s) in your Extreme Reach account, in the Manage Downloader page, Local Download Folders section, prior to installation. But not to worry—if the folder does not exist after the install, and the service has the rights to create the folder (see below), then the folder will be created when the MDA checks-in and grabs the settings from your account.
7. Can a single MDA handle multiple destinations and drop into different folders accordingly?
Yes. The MDA can deliver HD, SD and XML files to different folders per destination. If the same file is sent to multiple destinations in the same account, only one download of the file will take place and then the files will be copied to the other download folders.
8. How can the MDA access network shares?
If you are using a network share, the path may be a little different. The syntax varies between Windows and Mac OS.
- In Windows, it needs to be specified by full IP and path name, like \\192.168.1.10\share_directory\subfolder or \\server_name\share_ directory\subfolder. Do not use mapped drives (like Z:) as they may contain cached credentials and logging specific mappings that can interrupt transfers.
- On Mac OS, network shares are treated like your hard drive or other external disks and are visible inside the /Volumes/ directory (not automatically visible in Finder). In this circumstance, the path would be formatted as /Volumes/diskg org shareg name/subfolder/. Note that Mac OS interacts with file server shares differently from Windows and they are not available until you log in to the system and connect to the network share
Second, the account that the MDA service runs as, by default, is the Local System Account that only has permissions to access shares on the local machine, not network shares.
If you are installing the MDA on a PC that needs to reach across the network and access a share elsewhere, then you will need to install the MDA with an account that has permissions to do this. During installation, you are presented with an option to use a different account for the MDA service—enter an account with permissions to access the network share. Or, after installation, you can edit the Extreme Reach Media Downloader service directly, and modify the ‘Log on as’ permissions.
9. How can I test to see if the MDA can access my network share?
Here’s a quick test to know that the account you wish to use has the right access to a network share:
- Logon to the computer where the MDA is installed (or will be installed), using the special account you wish to use.
- Using your file navigation tool, access the network share that you want the MDA to access. This should be the same path that you would enter in the Manage Downloader page.
- Verify that you can write a file to this path. If you are unable to write to the network share, then either the account you have chosen does not have the appropriate permissions, or the specified path is incorrect.
10. What ports and protocols are utilized by the MDA?
The MDA communicates on port 443 (SSL HTTPS) with app. extremereach.com, agents.extremereach.com, and updates.extremereach. com and on port 80 (HTTP) for downloading files from our CDN.
11. How does the MDA work with firewalls?
If your firewall allows outbound requests from internal servers, then you should be all set. If your firewall requires ACLs (Access Control Lists) to be set, then it is best to use the DNS names noted above. If specific IP addresses and netblocks are required, please contact the Video Network team at email@example.com or 800.958.0066.
12. Can files download only at specific times?
There is an Advanced section in the Manage Downloader page where you can set a window of time for non-priority deliveries. This can be changed at any time by you or by the Video Network team if files need to be downloaded immediately.
Important: The MDA always initiates the communication with an outbound request to Extreme Reach. We cannot reach the MDA unless it first initiates the communication with our servers.
Note: IPs may change in the future, but the URLs will remain the same.
13. Can I install multiple MDAs? Are there any high-availability options?
Yes. For most video destinations, the default setup is all that is needed. However, the MDA has a number of additional installation options which are designed for high-availability scenarios. These installation options include: Back-up MDA, Mirror MDA, Split Deliveries MDA and Dual Delivery MDA. For all four of these, an additional MDA would be installed on different computers, and must use different token and passkeys during the installation process.
Installation of a second MDA which can be used as a fail-over in the event the primary MDA is not available. The switch-over to the backup MDA is performed via the Manage Downloader page. Please note that the primary MDA and the backup MDA cannot both be active at the same time.
Installation of a second MDA which completely mirrors the deliveries of the primary MDA. Basically, if a file is downloaded via the primary MDA, the mirror MDA will also download the same file. This type of installation is meant to facilitate simultaneous delivery to different servers at the same facility or for disaster recovery.
Installation of a second MDA to process files for a portion of the total destinations in an account. This installation works well for customers who manage a large number of destinations within their account and wish to split deliveries amongst two or more MDAs based on predetermined criteria. At any point, one of the MDAs can be reconfigured to download files for all destinations. </p >
Installation of a second MDA to process files for some or all destinations in one account to be delivered to a different account. This installation works well for destinations who are moving and need to get files for some or all destinations to two separate facilities. This installation also works well when a destination is already setup with a mirror MDA and needs files delivered to another system.
14. Do you keep any logs locally?
Yes, and if you encounter a failure that requires forensics (very rare), you may be asked to collect and send the following files for analysis and resolution:
For Windows installs:
- C:\Program Files\Extreme Reach Media Downloader\etc\agent.properties
- C:\Program Files\Extreme Reach Media Downloader\log\mda.
For Mac installs:
- /Applications/Extreme Reach/Media Downloader/log
15. What happens if the MDA stops functioning? Will I be notified?
Yes. If your MDA stops communicating with Extreme Reach, its status will change to disabled and an alert will be sent to the email addresses you have setup in the Advanced section of the Manage Downloader page.
16. What happens if I turn off the computer that has the MDA?
If you turn off the computer that has the MDA, automated delivery of files will stop. However, files will still be available via your Extreme Reach account and will auto-deliver when the computer is back on. Some computers setup for “Sleep Mode” (and even some screensavers) can interrupt the internet connection and cause downloads to fail. Please be sure to turn off any screensavers, disable “Sleep Mode” or any power-saving features on the computer with the MDA installed on it.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.958.0066.