Coffeehouse Thread

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Excuse Me, Media Nerds

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  • User profile image
    SaraJoRedux

    I have never worked with streaming media before. I am hardly an expert, however I have to find a solution and I kind of feel
    like I am groping in the dark.

    I will have many many videos that need to be hosted and interchanged onto my webpages. My priority is speed, and a customizable player.

    That's it. That's all I know.

    I don't know what I should be looking for. I don't know what I should be careful for.

    Also, I have found a couple good sites, however, my boss has mentioned some little blips in their feed as major problems. There will always be
    those little blips correct? No service is perfect?

    I would really appreciate it if someone could help me with this. Like I said I feel like I'm groping blindly in the dark and my boss is looking for answers I don't
    have.

    Thank you!

  • User profile image
    Minh

    I think the simplest solution is Amazon S3. It requires the least commitment.

    S3 is just a HTTP server that is very inexpensive for the little guys. It's $0.10 / gig / month for storage. And $0.10 / gig / month for transfer.

    It's got the scalability & power & reputation of an Amazon behind it (even though, it was down a bit yesterday -- who's perfect, right?)

    Since it's HTTP, you don't have the functionality of a true streaming server like that of MS or Flash media servers, but players deal very well with skipping ahead even with HTTP servers.

    What media are you thinking of hosting? WMV? FLV? MP3?

    It's very easy to try to see if it fits your needs. Just sign up for an account (they'll required a credit card). They will give you a credentials that you can use to create "buckets" (their terms for simple folders).

    Then start moving your stuff into there & test you your players.

    You can't used the generic FTP client however, but I really like the FireFox plugin for S3. It works over port 80, which means they can't block me at work!

    I know MS also offer streaming space, too -- but they're in beta right now & who knows when they'll be out.

  • User profile image
    PerfectPhase

    Minh said:
    I think the simplest solution is Amazon S3. It requires the least commitment.

    S3 is just a HTTP server that is very inexpensive for the little guys. It's $0.10 / gig / month for storage. And $0.10 / gig / month for transfer.

    It's got the scalability & power & reputation of an Amazon behind it (even though, it was down a bit yesterday -- who's perfect, right?)

    Since it's HTTP, you don't have the functionality of a true streaming server like that of MS or Flash media servers, but players deal very well with skipping ahead even with HTTP servers.

    What media are you thinking of hosting? WMV? FLV? MP3?

    It's very easy to try to see if it fits your needs. Just sign up for an account (they'll required a credit card). They will give you a credentials that you can use to create "buckets" (their terms for simple folders).

    Then start moving your stuff into there & test you your players.

    You can't used the generic FTP client however, but I really like the FireFox plugin for S3. It works over port 80, which means they can't block me at work!

    I know MS also offer streaming space, too -- but they're in beta right now & who knows when they'll be out.

    Depends on the volume of people that will be watching these videos and the patterns, HTTP is very good if every visitor is going to sit and watch the entire video as it will generally start downloading the whole video as fast as it can.  if people are likley to watch only the first few minutes of a long video before skipping else where, then the streaming approach is better as it will limit the wasted bandwith allowing you to serve more people in less bandwith.

    What sort of volume of videos at what bandwith, what's the expected client load in watches per hour, where is this to be hosted, do you have full control of the servers or is this going to sit at a hosting company where you have limited control of the server?  

    If your videos total less than 10Gb and you can use Sliverlight http://silverlight.live.com/

  • User profile image
    wisemx

    PerfectPhase said:
    Minh said:
    *snip*

    Depends on the volume of people that will be watching these videos and the patterns, HTTP is very good if every visitor is going to sit and watch the entire video as it will generally start downloading the whole video as fast as it can.  if people are likley to watch only the first few minutes of a long video before skipping else where, then the streaming approach is better as it will limit the wasted bandwith allowing you to serve more people in less bandwith.

    What sort of volume of videos at what bandwith, what's the expected client load in watches per hour, where is this to be hosted, do you have full control of the servers or is this going to sit at a hosting company where you have limited control of the server?  

    If your videos total less than 10Gb and you can use Sliverlight http://silverlight.live.com/
    I agree with the Silverlight Live sight.

    If you want I can create a sample with Expression Media or Silverlight in IIS7 for ya.

  • User profile image
    Minh

    PerfectPhase said:
    Minh said:
    *snip*

    Depends on the volume of people that will be watching these videos and the patterns, HTTP is very good if every visitor is going to sit and watch the entire video as it will generally start downloading the whole video as fast as it can.  if people are likley to watch only the first few minutes of a long video before skipping else where, then the streaming approach is better as it will limit the wasted bandwith allowing you to serve more people in less bandwith.

    What sort of volume of videos at what bandwith, what's the expected client load in watches per hour, where is this to be hosted, do you have full control of the servers or is this going to sit at a hosting company where you have limited control of the server?  

    If your videos total less than 10Gb and you can use Sliverlight http://silverlight.live.com/
    PerfectPhase said:

    If your videos total less than 10Gb and you can use Sliverlight http://silverlight.live.com/

    I thought I give Silverlight streaming a spin tonight.

    I can confirm that it does streaming, as opposed to Amazon S3. Meaning, you can skip to any part of the video on Silverlight Streaming. On S3, you can only skip, once that portion of the video has been downloaded to your desktop. So, for short video (megabyte-wise), it's a wash.

    But, I have the strangest problem w/ Silverlight Streaming. First, there's an error w/ MS's own preview page:



    This happens both with FireFox & IE. I don't know if me having Silverlight 2 Beta 2 SDK has anything to do with it.

    But then when I try to enter the URL directly into WMP, I get this prompt:



    Cancelling out of the prompt, I can still play the video, but not until I dismiss the prompt.

    Methinks Silverlight Streaming is still in early beta. Real early.

    Can someone test the video out? See if you get the same weirdness?

    http://silverlight.services.live.com/73368/Kim/video.wmv

    PS.
    Clicking on the above link, I get this:



    Which means the server isn't sending back the correct MIME type, right?

  • User profile image
    Cannot​Resolve​Symbol

    Minh said:
    PerfectPhase said:
    *snip*

    I thought I give Silverlight streaming a spin tonight.

    I can confirm that it does streaming, as opposed to Amazon S3. Meaning, you can skip to any part of the video on Silverlight Streaming. On S3, you can only skip, once that portion of the video has been downloaded to your desktop. So, for short video (megabyte-wise), it's a wash.

    But, I have the strangest problem w/ Silverlight Streaming. First, there's an error w/ MS's own preview page:



    This happens both with FireFox & IE. I don't know if me having Silverlight 2 Beta 2 SDK has anything to do with it.

    But then when I try to enter the URL directly into WMP, I get this prompt:



    Cancelling out of the prompt, I can still play the video, but not until I dismiss the prompt.

    Methinks Silverlight Streaming is still in early beta. Real early.

    Can someone test the video out? See if you get the same weirdness?

    http://silverlight.services.live.com/73368/Kim/video.wmv

    PS.
    Clicking on the above link, I get this:



    Which means the server isn't sending back the correct MIME type, right?
    I'd also like to plug Silverlight Streaming, but with an example that actually works:

    Example Video (can't embed here)

    Silverlight Streaming, along with Microsoft Expression Encoder 2 and the Silverlight Streaming plugin for Encoder, is really easy to get up and running.  Highly recommended.  Encoder not only compresses the video, but allows you to add lead-in and lead-out sections to your video, add an overlay image (like the one I have here), and creates the Silverlight player for you (it also allows you to add your own player templates created in a program like Blend).

    Setup, encoding, and uploading took around 20 minutes total, and this is only my second time trying this (first time was before the plugin for Encoder was released and I failed miserably).  10 minutes of that was encoding--  I'm not on a fast machine right now.

    (my apologies for the crappy video...  it's the only one I've got on my computer right now.)

    [edit:  fixed Silverlight.js to allow Firefox 3...  apparently Silverlight.js is user-supplied on Silverlight Streaming, so I could just give it the new file and it worked Smiley]

  • User profile image
    Minh

    CannotResolveSymbol said:
    Minh said:
    *snip*
    I'd also like to plug Silverlight Streaming, but with an example that actually works:

    Example Video (can't embed here)

    Silverlight Streaming, along with Microsoft Expression Encoder 2 and the Silverlight Streaming plugin for Encoder, is really easy to get up and running.  Highly recommended.  Encoder not only compresses the video, but allows you to add lead-in and lead-out sections to your video, add an overlay image (like the one I have here), and creates the Silverlight player for you (it also allows you to add your own player templates created in a program like Blend).

    Setup, encoding, and uploading took around 20 minutes total, and this is only my second time trying this (first time was before the plugin for Encoder was released and I failed miserably).  10 minutes of that was encoding--  I'm not on a fast machine right now.

    (my apologies for the crappy video...  it's the only one I've got on my computer right now.)

    [edit:  fixed Silverlight.js to allow Firefox 3...  apparently Silverlight.js is user-supplied on Silverlight Streaming, so I could just give it the new file and it worked Smiley]
    CannotResolveSymbol said:

    [edit:  fixed Silverlight.js to allow Firefox 3...  apparently Silverlight.js is user-supplied on Silverlight Streaming, so I could just give it the new file and it worked Smiley]

    So.... you got to be able to know how to tweak Silverlight Streaming's JS file to be able to use their service? Wink

  • User profile image
    Cannot​Resolve​Symbol

    Minh said:
    CannotResolveSymbol said:
    *snip*

    So.... you got to be able to know how to tweak Silverlight Streaming's JS file to be able to use their service? Wink
    No, just to get Firefox 3 support.  It works fine out-of-the box on Internet Explorer and Firefox 2.  And it's just a matter of copying the new version of the file (supplied by Microsoft) over the old version; it's not like it's a complicated procedure or anything.

    Plus, it's not Silverlight Streaming's JS file, it's Expression Encoder's (which was released before Silverlight.js was modified to work with Firefox 3, and therefore includes a copy that doesn't work.  This is the same issue that C9 had with Firefox 3 and Silverlight.)

  • User profile image
    wisemx

    CannotResolveSymbol said:
    Minh said:
    *snip*
    I'd also like to plug Silverlight Streaming, but with an example that actually works:

    Example Video (can't embed here)

    Silverlight Streaming, along with Microsoft Expression Encoder 2 and the Silverlight Streaming plugin for Encoder, is really easy to get up and running.  Highly recommended.  Encoder not only compresses the video, but allows you to add lead-in and lead-out sections to your video, add an overlay image (like the one I have here), and creates the Silverlight player for you (it also allows you to add your own player templates created in a program like Blend).

    Setup, encoding, and uploading took around 20 minutes total, and this is only my second time trying this (first time was before the plugin for Encoder was released and I failed miserably).  10 minutes of that was encoding--  I'm not on a fast machine right now.

    (my apologies for the crappy video...  it's the only one I've got on my computer right now.)

    [edit:  fixed Silverlight.js to allow Firefox 3...  apparently Silverlight.js is user-supplied on Silverlight Streaming, so I could just give it the new file and it worked Smiley]
    Thanks for pointing out that encoder. Big Smile

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