In April Microsoft announced Azure Media Services at NAB in Las Vegas.  This enables encoding, encrypting, and hosting in the cloud.  No longer do you have to rely on the processing power of a single (or small number) of encoding machines to convert your media assets.

Yesterday the preview for this went live on Windows Azure.

The setup doc is at http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/MediaServices/thread/a9d3d1b4-09eb-4a28-ad1d-a1f4cf3123cb.

The next few blog posts here will be about developing for Azure Media Services.