Apple Fairplay Streaming Overview

Apple's FairPlay Streaming (FPS) is a DRM (Digital Right Management) technology used to securely deliver streaming media content to devices. It works with the HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol. Here are some key points about FPS:

  • FPS allows content providers to encrypt content, securely exchange keys, and protect playback on iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and macOS.
  • It securely delivers keys to Apple mobile devices, Apple TV, and Safari on macOS, enabling playback of encrypted video content.
  • FPS allows mobile devices and Apple TV to stop playback based on expiration information sent with the content key.
  • FPS supports content key expiration for movie rental on iOS devices and Apple TV.
  • A constant FPS device identifier is sent to the server in a server playback context (SPC) message, allowing the server to anonymously identify the device.
  • The content provider encrypts the H.264 video content on a per frame basis using AES-CBC mode with the content key and the initialization vector.
  • FPS supports the H.264 video codec and AAC-LC, HE-AACV1-2, AC-3, and EC-3 audio codecs.
  • The key handling and the content decryption occur on the kernel of the Apple device.
  • FPS supports persistence of the security material for offline playback.
  • FPS supports AirPlay streaming to Apple TV.

The following image provides a high-level overview of how DRM works:

You can read more about FPS here.


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