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HTTP Streaming Multimedia Video & Audio

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HTTP Streaming Multimedia Video & Audio

HTTP streaming, or progressive downloading is the simplest and cheapest way to stream multimedia video and audio from your website. With HTTP streaming you don’t need any expensive, special website or hosting package, just a good web hosting provider which recognizes the multimedia file types you will be using. This, combined with the knowledge on how to upload your files to the server (FTP) and the ability to create hyperlinks on your web pages is all that you need. For those of us on a tight budget or who only have a few video files to stream, this is the best and cheapest alternative.

Limitations of HTTP Streaming

  • Bandwidth limitations will restrict the number of consecutive viewers. HTTP streaming will use lots of bandwidth so the more viewers the slower the streaming. If you’re expecting heavy traffic, you’ll need a better solution.
  • HTTP streaming only works with files stored on the server, so you cannot stream live video.
  • Everyone is equal under HTTP so you cannot stream at different speeds, relative to the users connection speed.
  • HTTP streaming will incur a heavy server load.
  • The viewer will not be able to fast-forward to the end of the clip.

To Create HTTP Streaming Video

  1. Create you multimedia file in the format you’ve chosen to support. I suggest sticking to the common formats, i.e. Windows Media Player (wmv), MPEG-4, Macomedia Flash (swf), Apple Quicktime (mov).
  2. Upload the file to your web server using (usually) FTP.
  3. Embed the multimedia file into your web page using the appropriate HTML tags or provide a standard hyperlink to the file.

Not very complicated really, is it? With the embedded multimedia file, the clip will begin playing right there on the page as soon as your web page loads on the viewers browser or when the user click on the play tab depending upon the delivery software you’ve chosen.

If you use a hyperlink, the multimedia will stream to the viewer’s default video player.

You may also be interested in the following:

Adobe. "A Streaming Media Primer." (10/5/2007)
Adobe products. is hosted on JustHost

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