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Live Streaming Video?

Cliff posted more than 13 years ago | from the searching-for-better-options dept.

The Internet 300

emmons asks: "I've recently been put in charge of creating a live streaming audio/video solution for a website. I've looked around and it appears that there are two popular options: Real and Windows Media. I haven't found anything else. I don't really like either of those because Real is expensive and Windows Media is, well, Microsoft. Are there any other options?"

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There is an alternative (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 13 years ago | (#486313)

Sun do one, I don't know much about it.
The company I work for does streaming media, and we use Real for it. It's not that expensive, you can download free versions of their tools for evaluation purposes, and it seems to be OK for Linux and BeOS support.

Quicktime? (2)

petej (36394) | more than 13 years ago | (#486314)

Run Sorenson Broadcaster on a Mac to capture and encode the stream, and then stream it using the Darwin Streaming Server (from Apple) on Linux, Solaris or Mac OS X, and maybe others.

Apple has one (2)

rjreb (30733) | more than 13 years ago | (#486315)

I've been playing with their Darwin Streaming Server on a Linux box and it performs alright and it's free.

http://publicsource.apple.com/projects/streaming /

MBone (3)

wfaulk (135736) | more than 13 years ago | (#486316)

Whatever happened to the MBone? I was never technically associated with it, but I did play with it while I was working at a major ISP/Internet backbone, and it was a great idea. But any web sites you find on it [yahoo.com] these days are either gone or terribly outdated.

Microsoft != bad software (3)

xnerd00x (92166) | more than 13 years ago | (#486317)

I don't really like either of those because Real is expensive and Windows Media is, well, Microsoft

Not using a piece of software just because it is from Microsoft just shows ignorance. Use what works. Evaluate windows media before you bust on it. I use it, and it does streaming pretty well.

What about IEEE 1394? (1)

Ruis (21357) | more than 13 years ago | (#486318)

I have a nice sony camcorder with a IEEE 1394 port and I also have the IEEE 1394 pci card. How can I stream (any format) from that video source? I can't even use it with netmeeting(ick).

QT4 (1)

chown (62159) | more than 13 years ago | (#486319)

Apple's QT4 is free(beer) and open-source, and works fairly well from what I remember, and that was about a year ago. I remember having a few problems with it under FreeBSD, but it worked like a charm under Solaris.

I'm not sure about encoding for it however, I think that might be where they slap you with the fees, but it's still a pittance compared to what Real wants.

Quicktime Streaming Server is slashdot friendly (5)

gsfprez (27403) | more than 13 years ago | (#486320)

Not only does it run on NT, Linux, Solaris, Free BSD and anything else you decide to compile it for....

its open source.

Oh, and did i mention that its free?

I mean - what else could you want (other than Linux clients with Sorenson)

Click here to go to the website [apple.com]

(i'm not biased, i just know 3 guys that work in QTSS)

MPEG4 should be the best solution... (2)

Epitaph (13745) | more than 13 years ago | (#486321)

...unfortunately it isn't yet. :)

The problem is that it doesn't have its own streamable file format. AVI files are the standard MPEG4 transport format, but you can't stream them because AVI files have headers at the very end of the stream.

Quicktime MOV files can have MPEG4 embedded in them, and can be streamed, but I don't know of the legal issues involved in that. I'd imagine that if you used a free codec, and a free .MOV creator, it shouldn't cost anything! And the Quicktime player can stream very well. So, maybe that's the best way?

Re:Microsoft != bad software (1)

CptnHarlock (136449) | more than 13 years ago | (#486323)

Doesn't matter if it streams well if not everyone can watch the stream...
"No se rinde el gallo rojo, sólo cuando ya está muerto."

Don't be close minded... (1)

boinger (4618) | more than 13 years ago | (#486325)

You shouldn't use MS Streaming Server because it's Micro$oft - that's just being childish.

Rather, you should not run Micro$oft Streaming Server because it has to run on the POS Operating System by Micro$oft.

Semantics make a difference.

Windows Media Player (1)

rattid (214610) | more than 13 years ago | (#486326)

I agree you should check out the alternatives; dont dismiss Windows Media player just because its MS. Check it out and make your decision based on its quality, not who makes it.

Quicktime / Darwin Streaming Server (5)

kossico (1798) | more than 13 years ago | (#486327)

The Darwin Streaming Server is in my opinion, the best possible solution. Quicktime has the best quality and is the nicest looking. DSS is opensource, and "is based on the same code as Apple's QuickTime Streaming Server. It is available at http://www.opensource.apple.com/projects/streaming [apple.com] for FreeBSD, Linux, Solaris, Windows NT and of course Darwin/Mac OS X. The source can also be downloaded from the above URL.

Re:Microsoft != bad software (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 13 years ago | (#486328)

You problem is, you do not know what his target audience is. If it is going to be OSS people say, then Microsoft Media formats are no good, most people would probably be using a BSD, Linux etc. OS, and not have WMP.

Real Player is very crossplatform, but yes, expensive. I'm sure there is a way to stream MPEG streams, but thats probably expensive && || poor quality.

Does the OSS community even have an option here?

Don't block users out! (3)

Antipop (180137) | more than 13 years ago | (#486329)

Remember if you go with Windows Media you'll block all the Linux users (not sure about Mac) out! The only alternative I can see, that everyone's already pointed out, is Quicktime, but again it'll lose all us Linux users. This is one of the lacking things I miss about Windows. Oh well.


how broad of an audience do you want? (1)

JungleBoy (7578) | more than 13 years ago | (#486330)

There might be opensource solutions (possible out of Heroine Virtual [sourceforge.net] ), but not many people will be able to view your content. Real reaches the broadest audience, and it works well, I've used it with Video For Linux 2 [thedirks.org] and a Winnov Videum board for capture.

I do get frustrated by not being able to view Windows media sites such as this Penguin Cam [montereybayaquarium.org] . You could also do it with quicktime, but then you loose linux viewers due to the lack of a sorenson codec. We need something opensource, ubiquitous, and cross-platform, but as they say about NASA: Pick Two.

"You never know when some crazed rodent with cold feet
might be running loose in your pants."

hmm (1)

gerstens1 (308481) | more than 13 years ago | (#486331)

Of course you could always try being unbiased and actually give Media Player a shot, but I guess that would be too hard for the average Slahdot user.

Free version of RealServer (2)

phutureboy (70690) | more than 13 years ago | (#486332)

You can download a free 'evaluation' version of RealServer that can serve up to 20 simultaneous streams of live or pre-recorded audio or video, and AFAICT is not feature-limited. I'm using it to serve record and CD clips on this site [interzonemusic.com] and it has worked really well.

If you grow beyond that, the next step up costs $2495, which handles up to 60 concurrent streams, IIRC.


Here's a QT Example (1)

etceteral (113669) | more than 13 years ago | (#486333)

One of the first companies out there to use live QT streaming is here --> http://www.hardradio.com/tune.php3 [hardradio.com] . Take a look....

"We just started streaming MP3 audio under QuickTime using the rtsp protocol. This may be the first MP3 stream on the net that doesn't use http (i.e. a hacked web server like Shoutcast/Icecast). Sounds great so far and is experimental, more neat features to come.

www.hardradio.com/quicktime/hardradio.mov is the url to use to go direct with the QuickTime 4.1 or newer player. (This http-delivered movie delivers our player interface and auto links into the stream) If you are set at the player default of rtsp on port 554 it will come right through to you."

2 words (1)

3-State Bit (225583) | more than 13 years ago | (#486334)

Clients. Lusers. I mean software clients of course--and if you're not using real or media player, your customer's browser is NOT going to have it. Sure you can reasonably ask a luser to spend half an hour installing flash/real/an adobe pdf viewer, but the same does NOT hold for no-name asiaware. If it's not really, really (and exclusively) cool/important, your customers will not bother with it. Period.

Re:Microsoft != bad software except... (2)

ddent (166525) | more than 13 years ago | (#486335)

its not linux compatible. Its yet another attempt to lock competitors out with proprietary formats, and then either immediately or eventually stop supporting their platform...

Re:Microsoft != bad software (2)

Epitaph (13745) | more than 13 years ago | (#486336)

Not using a piece of software just because it is from Microsoft just shows ignorance. Use what works. Evaluate windows media before you bust on it. I use it, and it does streaming pretty well.

Microsoft has this problem where they refuse to support other operating systems due to their anti-competative nature. Since this person obviously cares about Linux/Mac users, WMP is not the best choice.

Maximum audience reach (1)

TheBracket (307388) | more than 13 years ago | (#486337)

If you are creating a website aimed at a large audience, you should consider offering more than one form of stream - and at least one of the offerings should be as mainstream as possible. The reason for this is simple: if you want people to use the service, you want to use a format they already support. (That said, if your site were targeting non-Windows users, this rule could work the other way around)

I recently had to evaluate some streaming video (over LAN) solutions, and we ended up with the Microsoft solution because its inexpensive (effectively bundled with 2k Server) and offers pretty good quality. A major factor in deciding, though, was platform: 99% of the likely userbase used Windows, and weren't techies - meaning that they didn't want to bother with difficult plugin installations!

Re:Microsoft != bad software (2)

jfdawes (254678) | more than 13 years ago | (#486338)

Not using a piece of software just because it is from Microsoft just shows ignorance

Accusing someone of ignorance without understanding their motivation may be a mistake. Have you considered that there may be very good reasons why a person might want to avoid products created by a company that have nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of the product itself?

Re:What about IEEE 1394? (2)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 13 years ago | (#486339)

You'll need to re-compress that video into a smaller format (unless you have one heck of a network). I don't know why NetMeeting doesn't support it; do you have a VfW capture driver for it? If so, any stream broadcasting app should work.

Real (1)

Craig Davison (37723) | more than 13 years ago | (#486340)

Jamie Zawinski [jwz.org] looked at three options for his webcam page [dnalounge.com] (Real, Windows Media, Quicktime). He ended up choosing Real because it was the only player with broad platform support.

It really depends on who your audience is. If you can't afford Real and you're aiming for a Joe Sixpack crowd, forget Linux users and use Quicktime or WIndows Media. That sounds like flamebait, but if you're opposed to Windows because Microsoft is "icky" or because you'd rather spend X thousand dollars to support 5% of your audience, you're a bad businessman.

Buy January's Linux Journal (1)

barnaclebarnes (85340) | more than 13 years ago | (#486341)

This has a large article on Open Source alternatives for Multimedia, including streaming audio and Video. It also looks at what is on the horizon in the next little while. Well worth the £4.25 ($5.00USD).

Re:Don't block users out! (1)

phutureboy (70690) | more than 13 years ago | (#486342)

Real is the most cross-platform solution out there, AFAICT. Clients available for Mac/Linux/Windows, plus a few others as well I believe.


Re:Free version of RealServer (1)

M-G (44998) | more than 13 years ago | (#486343)

Their free version is unfortunately now limited to a 1 year period (which is still pretty nice as far as evals go).

The RealSystem Server Plus is now $1995.

Sorenson Broadcaster + Darwin Streaming Server (2)

znu (31198) | more than 13 years ago | (#486344)

Darwin Streaming Server [apple.com] is the free and open source version of QuickTime Streaming Server. It runs on FreeBSD, WinNT, Solaris, RedHat and Mac OS X Server. To do real-time encoding, add Sorenson Broadcaster [sorenson.com] . It's not free, but it's only $199 no matter how many streams you want to serve. You'll need a fast Mac to run it.


Re:Microsoft != bad software (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#486345)

All these people posting about how Microsoft WMP formats are not supported in Linux should check out the AVIfile library [divx.euro.ru] . This library uses bits of Wine so that it can load Windows-native en-/de-coder DLLs to play/encode ASF/AVI files under Linux (or any other platform Wine supports). I don't know if it supports streaming yet, but since it's a library, you should be able to write an app around it that handles the stream connection.

Re:MPEG4 should be the best solution... (3)

inferis (84322) | more than 13 years ago | (#486346)

..., but you can't stream them because AVI files have headers at the very end of the stream.

Shouldn't those be footers then?

What about Mpeg2 ? (1)

Vapula (14703) | more than 13 years ago | (#486347)

I think that the mpeg2 library/utils under Linux allows you to encode and stream in mpeg2 format...

It's free (search on Freshmeat)... There is just a small drawback... Those Mpeg streams can't be understood by any Windows Codec (perhaps there are people doing it).

For the rest, it's up to you to decide if you plan to limit your audience to MS Windows users only. Don't forget there are more and more Linux/FreeBSD/Mac/... users and that RealPlayer work on all platforms...

Quicktime is FreeBeer and FreeSpeech. Sorta. (2)

SoupIsGood Food (1179) | more than 13 years ago | (#486348)

Well, the Quicktime Streaming Server is, at anyrate. It's part of the Darwin project: get the skinny here. [apple.com] Runs just spiffy on Linux, or so I'm told.

The QT client has a freebie version that runs on MacOS and Windows, but, alack, no younicks client yet.

SoupIsGood Food

Just because it's Microsoft ... (1)

dudle (93939) | more than 13 years ago | (#486349)

you are not going to use this piece of software. That is plain stupid. Allow me to make 2 points

  • You have been put in charge of creating a live streaming audio/video solution for a website. The important thing here that you are in charge. I am making the assumption that someone pays you to deliver a solution, puts this project in your hands and expects the best. Under those condition, you should not reject a product just because the company who makes it has a certain conduct. Just like you shouldn't refuse to hire someone just because he is French, black, jewish or whatever.

  • Next, allow me to make another assumption : that you are a Geek or at least have some interests in technology (I mean come on ... you ask /.) As a technology enthusiast, geek, computer specialist, etc, you should look beyond the fact that a software is made by someone you don't like or trust. Look at the software before you talk. I have never used Windows Media Server, because I never had the chance to look at that technology. There are a lot of technologies out there that I have never seen but guess what :I would like to see them all! I don't give a shit if it's MS, IBM, Java, Black, Jewish or even French.

Don't be closed minded. Yes Microsoft makes crappy ass shit from time to time, but not ALL THE TIME. Now let's start the flame ...


Icecast is an option (3)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 13 years ago | (#486351)

Icecast [icecast.org] streams MP3 and almost streams Ogg Vorbis, and they are working on video. If you are a coder or otherwise inclined (aka you can hire programmers) you might look into that project.

Otherwise, for MP3 straming, it works great.


Re:Quicktime? (1)

robla (4860) | more than 13 years ago | (#486352)

And which client for Linux or Solaris will you use to hook up to this? (full disclosure: I work for RealNetworks, but I'm not an official spokesman)

Quicktime streaming server (1)

rangek (16645) | more than 13 years ago | (#486353)

Everyone seems to be saying QTSS. It is free. It works on Linux.


Can't watch them on Linux though. Or anything else, 'cept MacOS and Win. That is where things really suck.

Now, i'm not saying it isn't great that all of this server stuff works on Linux and all, but we need both sides of the equation to keep content free, server and client.

So what do you use to watch streaming video on Linux? And what types of streams can you watch? How do they compare to the available Windows or Mac software?

How is this offtopic? (1)

wfaulk (135736) | more than 13 years ago | (#486356)

Ummm, how is a question regarding an Internet-based IP multicast backbone that was used to send streaming media (amongst other things, but that was a primary feature) offtopic to a post about streaming media?

Re:crapple (1)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#486357)

Just because you can't figure out how to properly install Quicktime, doesn't mean it isn't a viable alternative for others.

A new system called qVIX is what you want. (2)

amr42 (140403) | more than 13 years ago | (#486358)

There is a project being run out of Cornell University called the qVIX project. Its aim is to provide real-time, high quality video/audio to users. The algorithim is something very new called CU30 which is a full-frame rate, high quality, real-time video codec. The qVIX application and CU30 codec are GPL'ed and can be found at http://cu30.sourceforge.net [sourceforge.net] .

What about Java? (3)

cr0sh (43134) | more than 13 years ago | (#486359)

Couldn't some form of an applet on the client side handle this? Sure, it couldn't be very big images, but I would think it would be possible. You might have to come up with some custom streaming format, or use one currently available. I would imagine it depends on what you are trying to stream (a talking head, or an advertisement, or something else), to determine what kind of quality you want in the end. I think it would be possible though to write some server code and a java applet that could handle it all (though only at a low to medium quality).

I thought I remember seeing this done a long while back, when applets were everywhere, Real was just starting out, and streaming video was still an "idea" for later...

Worldcom [worldcom.com] - Generation Duh!

Re:Quicktime Streaming Server is slashdot friendly (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 13 years ago | (#486361)

Give me a link to a Linux client untill then uh no. Sorry but it was a good try.

Which to choose? (1)

malachid69 (306291) | more than 13 years ago | (#486362)

I read the posts telling you to use Windows -- but I figure, why purposely be NON-compatable....

I haven't used it, but Sun has the JMF [sun.com] .
Quote: Developed by Sun and IBM, Java Media Framework 2.0 (JMF) technology is the unified architecture for the playback, synchronization, capture, and transmission and transcode of media - including streaming audio and video - across most major operating systems.

Re:you seem very unexperienced !!! (1)

zcat_NZ (267672) | more than 13 years ago | (#486364)

www.truetech.com / www.camarades.com, It's video only but it's free and requires no plugin to play. The server sends a string of jpegs. I'm still screwing with it. As a side effect, you get listed on camarades website for free, and can easily clock up 20-50 hits per minute to your page with 'sufficiently interesting' content. Or you can get a feature-reduced realproducer for free, and a version of the server that supports 20 (perhaps 25, have to check) streams. I have stuff about hacking the truetech software, and clips from realproducer on my web page, 'cos it's what I'm working on at the moment :)

Re:Free version of RealServer (1)

chown (62159) | more than 13 years ago | (#486365)

You can download a free 'evaluation' version of RealServer that can serve up to 20 simultaneous streams of live or pre-recorded audio or video, and AFAICT is not feature-limited. I'm using it to serve record and CD clips on this site and it has worked really well.

I'm aware of their eval product - and I'm not sure about the person who originally posed the question, but my guess was they probably wanted the capability to do more than 20 simultaneous streams... And probably more than 60 would be a fair guess. I know we were paying somewhere around ~$100k/server for RealServer licenses, and I think that got us 500... maybe it was 1000, but it still wasn't _THAT_ many. And even for $100k, you don't get ALL the features. Acting as a pull splitting source (if my terminoligy is correct) is still disabled unless you buy something like the "Unlimited Internet Gold License", which costs an ungodly amount of money as to discourage anybody from actually trying to compete with RBN.

Re:Free version of RealServer (1)

IronChef (164482) | more than 13 years ago | (#486366)

I was under the impression that Real bills you monthly for every stream, in addition to the license fee for the server. I don't know if this is true, but the people I was talking to made it sound like they nickel and dime you to death.

Re:Just because it's Microsoft ... (1)

Wildfire Darkstar (208356) | more than 13 years ago | (#486367)

You have been put in charge of creating a live streaming audio/video solution for a website. The important thing here that you are in charge . I am making the assumption that someone pays you to deliver a solution, puts this project in your hands and expects the best. Under those condition, you should not reject a product just because the company who makes it has a certain conduct. Just like you shouldn't refuse to hire someone just because he is French, black, jewish or whatever.
One major flaw here: that's not how capitalism is supposed to work. If you have a major problem with a company's business practices, you don't use their products. If the best fashion designer out there got 90% of their labor from overseas sweat shops, I wouldn't purchase their clothes, even if they were the best out there.

Microsoft has made many questionable business decisions, and even when they haven't broken, or at least bent, the law, their practices hardly make them out to be the victim in this transaction.

Furthermore, Microsoft's refusal to port to other operating systems limits the usefulness of their formats, and by caving in and using their stuff regardless, they hardly have any impetus to change their practices.

Re:MBone (1)

jmilne (121521) | more than 13 years ago | (#486369)

The MBone is still out there. Sorta. It's not really the same MBone that most of those web pages talk about, created with DVMRP tunnels and all. A lot of the major ISPs are starting to natively enable their networks for multicast with new protocols like PIM-SM, MSDP, and MBGP. With PIM-SSM coming up, it looks like we might finally have a really workable protocol to get multicast out there to the masses. Here's some sites for multicast information regarding ISPs.

Most people who are doing video streaming via multicast end up going with Windows Media Server or Real Server. I think QuickTime is also multicast-enabled, but I haven't seen it used much. Another option is to go with Cisco IP/TV [cisco.com] . Although most of their stuff says to use it in an enterprise network, I've seen it used for multicast video streaming on the MBone/Internet. Pretty good quality stuff... I've seen demos of DVDs streamed using it, and the quality was at least that of VHS.

Free RealServer (1)

robla (4860) | more than 13 years ago | (#486370)

To say that RealServer is expensive is to assume that you need to buy the top-of-the-line product for a small task. The free RealServer Basic serves 25 simultaneous streams, which can pretty quickly fill a T1 depending on the target bitrates.

Ogg Tarkin (1)

BLarg! (129425) | more than 13 years ago | (#486371)

Perhaps you have heard of the Ogg project, and its audio codec Vorbis which is currently gaining popularity. Its been feature on here before, but here is a quick summary. The Ogg project is an attempt to create a patent free streaming audio and video specification along with an LGPL'ed implementation. Vorbis has been under heavy development recently and now beta 4 is available (or should be, I've only kept up with cvs). Tarkin is the recently named video codec that is now part of the Ogg project. Supposedly it will incorporate wavelets (the new techno buzz word that seems to be going around), however other technology such as curvelets are being looked into also. Granted, Tarkin isn't available now and wouldn't prove a quick solution but it might very well be a viable open source alternative in the future.

-- BLarg!

Target audience (1)

Boomer3000 (147681) | more than 13 years ago | (#486373)

A vast majority (about 70%) of users use either RealPlayer or Windows Media Player. The latter is gaining market share every month. If you want a broad range of users to enjoy your content, you better choose one of the two formats.

Re:Quicktime streaming server (1)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 13 years ago | (#486374)

Well, choose your codec then. Quicktime isnt a codec - you don't have to stream .mov . The issue seems to be that there is no _Sorenson_ client for n*x. Correct me if i'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure you could find a codec that darwin SS does support that has a n*x client.

don't use MS!! (2)

small_dick (127697) | more than 13 years ago | (#486375)

some people are slamming you for preferring not to use MS, but as others have posted it looks like either the 1 yr/20 stream realplayer eval or the QT/Darwin solution will do what you need.

What a shame those people are slamming you for wanting a choice...maybe all microsoft people should be forced to drive a yugo and live in a tent until they sign a statement that they now understand the meaning of the word "choice".

Just for audio, not video (1)

spherex (251880) | more than 13 years ago | (#486376)

Shoutcast is, in my opinion, by far the best audio streamer. I have little to no experience with video except on the client side, from which perspective real has the most god-awful quality, quicktime is high-quality and relatively well integrated, windows media player is robust and effective but seems to be slightly lower quality.

Related... (2)

cr0sh (43134) | more than 13 years ago | (#486377)

While I doubt it is free, you might look at ClipStream [clipstream.com] , which is a Java based streaming system (so it can be done - now, is there an open source solution, and better yet, GPL'd?)...

Worldcom [worldcom.com] - Generation Duh!

Re:other ideas.. (1)

zachdms (265636) | more than 13 years ago | (#486378)

DivX ;-) isn't a 'variant of MPEG-4', it's a hack of the Microsoft MPEG4 video codec, usually found within the AVI file format which isn't really suitable for streaming. You'd need to convert the file to ASF, and then why not just use the superior Windows Media Video codecs...

Re:Real (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 13 years ago | (#486379)

That sounds like flamebait, but if you're opposed to Windows because Microsoft is "icky" or because you'd rather spend X thousand dollars to support 5% of your audience, you're a bad businessman.

Call me a bad businessman if you like, but I'd much rather spend my $2500 on a truly universal cross-platform streaming media solution, than on a PoS server operating system that would cost me hundreds of thousands in staff and support (been there, done that, attended the Microsoft seminars and ate the stale bagels).

Windows ain't free, you know. The up-front numbers work out roughly the same whether I use W2K+WMP or *x+RA. The real advantage of the latter comes down the road.

Re:Who needs video (1)

ResQuad (243184) | more than 13 years ago | (#486380)

Do you have a problem or something? That is sick disgusting, and perverted. It is also illigale to have pornography with out a notice to let you know first. Since the server is bassed in the US.

We are techy's here. Take yourself and all your perverted friends away from /. on to some site that wants you (if there is such a thing).

QT streaming. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#486381)

I've been running Quicktime Streaming both across my LAN and out over the wider net as well for almost two years now and I have to say it's great. You can pick up a used beige G3 box for less than $500 now, Sorenson Broadcaster is $199 and you can bounce your stream off almost any platform. I've been using the QT streamer built into OSX and it works perfectly. I just installed it on LinuxPPC and it works perfectly too. Give it a shot!

Re:evil wizards (1)

DaPimp (180387) | more than 13 years ago | (#486382)

obviously you have something conflicting with the software. I've installed QuickTime on more systems than I could possibly remember, Windows, and Mac, and have never had a single problem on any of them.

Re:Microsoft != bad software (1)

zachdms (265636) | more than 13 years ago | (#486383)

Somebody else already mentioned the ability to play back ASF on Linux, and WMP7 for Mac is also pretty good.

Re:Microsoft != bad software (1)

spinkham (56603) | more than 13 years ago | (#486384)

You can watch WMP streams in Linux... Just not streaming ;-)
ASF recorder (http://www.geocities.com/asfrecorder/index.html) allows you to save WMP streams, which you can them watch with avifile, xmps, lamp, etc...
Sorenson is not avalible to unix users in any way.. I prefer to find sites that use wmp....

Re:M$ (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 13 years ago | (#486386)

I don't see why people hate MS products so much. Your precious linux would probably not exist without it!

The delicious tomatoes in my salad probably wouldn't exist without the horse manure they were fertilized with, but you won't see me scooping the brown stuff on top of my arugula. I will, however, defend to the death your right to eat as much of it as you like.

Re:Microsoft != bad software (1)

PHoliday (149543) | more than 13 years ago | (#486387)

Since this person obviously cares about Linux/Mac users, WMP is not the best choice.

I've not seen anything that makes it very "obvious" that this person cares about Linux/Mac users. Being ignorant and caring about Linux or Mac are not synonimous or interchangable. (Thank goodness) The only rationale given (in the article) for not using WMP is because it's Microsoft. Ideologically, this might be a noble action. If you're worried about your pocketbook, however, ideologies can be dangerous.

Video Charger (1)

Angreallabeau (263172) | more than 13 years ago | (#486388)

Check out IBM's video charger. It is fantastic and we have used it in multiple installs. Good luck! -Ryan

You might also try these links... (2)

cr0sh (43134) | more than 13 years ago | (#486389)

http://rnvs.inform atik.tu-chemnitz.de/~jan/MPEG/MP EG_Play.html
http://www.dcc.uchile.cl/~chasan/ (this guy supposedly had a Java player, but it isn't there anymore)

And of course:


Worldcom [worldcom.com] - Generation Duh!

Re:Here's a QT Example (1)

zachdms (265636) | more than 13 years ago | (#486391)

I'm pretty sure MS was first to have streaming MP3 audio over a non-HTTP protocol - you can stick an MP3 on a Windows Media Server and then suck it down on the client via the mms protocol. Of course Windows Media has supported MP3 audio within ASF for years, but as far as actual MP3 files - that works too, it's just not really documetned.

Re:You might also try these links... (2)

cr0sh (43134) | more than 13 years ago | (#486392)

F...ing slashcode! There is supposed to be no blank space between the P and E on that second link...

Worldcom [worldcom.com] - Generation Duh!

Been there, done that, MS rocks (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#486393)

I worked for a company that made a fairly serious investment in streaming video and live encoding - the musticast-enabled their network (v.useful for live netcasting), we distributed a number of server around the country and placed them in the ISP's dial-up POPs. And we opted for Windows media for a number of reasons - - Something like 98% of our users were on the windows platform. - the server is 'free' with win NT/ win2000 You need to pay for the server OS license, but you don't pay per stream like you do with real. It is effectively an unlimited licence. - The quality is great - media player supports a bunch of codecs, and if you use something exotic, the client's player will go fetch the codec and plug it in, transparently. It is possible to pick your codecs independantly for audio and video, and really tweak them for performance. For example, you would pick one setup for fast-paced, live sports footage, and a different one for an interview where the audio is more important. - The encoding tools are free and good. Really free - you can download them without purchasing anything. - Fully multi-threaded, and supports multiple processors and multiple capture boards in one machine. Go for a beefy dual-proc machine with 4 Osprey 1000's in it, and you have a live encoding dream machine. - dead easy to set up ISDN lines, and bonded dialup channels etc for your upstream path in a live encoding setup. We usually used a cisco 1600 with an isdn dialup to allow multiple machines to connect and encode, but you can also just use a connection directly from the machine. I could probably go on - in short, Windows media player and encoder tools are just about the best things I've seen MS build apart from their keyboards and joysticks. The only drawback I found was that to start and stop the services and do other general admin you would have to use something like PC anywhere to get onto the servers. And I hate using a gui over a dial-up. Tim

Ahem, RealNetworks is sleazier than Microsoft (2)

Broccolist (52333) | more than 13 years ago | (#486394)

I find the whole concept of refusing to use superior software because of hate for the company that produced it is rather silly, but if you're going to detest one of those two companies, it should probably be RealNetworks.

A search of RealNetworks on slashdot [slashdot.org] turns up a lot [slashdot.org] of [slashdot.org] articles [slashdot.org] on RealNetworks' violations of privacy. They also sued Streambox [slashdot.org] under the DMCA, for reverse engineering their file formats and circumventing their "protection against piracy".

And their player bombards you with ads and annoying popups (e.g. please register your personal information with us so we can send you Exciting Product Offerings). It feels like they care more about their corporate associates than the consumer.

Microsoft has also had bad business practices, but then again, they've had a lot more opportunity to. Real, OTOH, doesn't have as much influence, but has been as sleazy as it could. I shudder to think of what RealNetworks would do if it were in MS's position.

Windows Media Rocks (1)

trawg (308495) | more than 13 years ago | (#486395)

We use Windows Media on our hosting network, and it is great - in fact, I'd go so far as to say its one of the best products Microsoft has made. Using a combination of Media Encoder and the actual streaming software, we've got thousands of streams churning away happily all the time. The uptime of these boxes are incredible: we recently found out that one of our encoder boxes (Windows NT 4) has an uptime of over 500 days (!). Windows 2000, out of the box, has excellent support for streaming media services. My only compaint would be that the interface to manage streams is a little icky - it would be great if it had a command line or script interface to it. Afaik, for NT4 its available for free, so its pretty hard to beat on price. Real (from memory) is fairly expensive - and just about everyone that has Windows has Media Player. If your target audience for your streaming is primarily Windows based, your best bet is Windows Media services.

MS Media is a really good product. (1)

gallir (171727) | more than 13 years ago | (#486396)

Several months ago, just before MS Media 7 was released (which has a better MPEG4 encoder), I evaluated in depth Real Video and MS Video for a video streaming start-up in South America.

We evaluated compression and required bandwidth for different lighting conditions and compression methods.

The idea was to allow best video quality for 28.8, 56 and 64 kbps connections for the southamerican audience (which means automatic support for different bandwidths). The test was done with a cheap Osprey 101 (videocard+NTSC camera).

The clear winner was MS Video, and it was a suprise, the "smoothing" (sorry, I don't remember the precise name) filter aplied in the player allowed us to put the windows at a 200% size of the original and the image quality looked pretty the same.

I give you the parameters we found as the best for our requirements:

Bandwidth: Multiple. 22Kbps, 29Kbps, 34Kbps.
Audio codec: ACELP.net, 5Kbps, 8000Hz, Mono.
Video codec: MPEG-4 Video Codec V3, 15Fps, 176x144, 8 Sec/lFrame.

Hope this helps.


Don't stream (1)

vanyel (28049) | more than 13 years ago | (#486397)

If you care at all about quality, don't stream. Even over a 384K DSL line, I can't watch 300K streams without freeze frames and drops. If you just post quicktime fast start .mov's then it acts like its streaming by starting when it can, and if it has to stop and wait, the user can still watch it later, after the download is complete. I've completely given up on streaming because I have yet to see one that was watchable --- it was either too small and crappy or it wouldn't keep streaming (and even the best streaming is crappy compared to most downloads).

Re:There is an alternative (3)

austad (22163) | more than 13 years ago | (#486398)

A license for Real is around $20,000 for 400 connections. It's expensive. Real works very well on Linux though. There is a free RTSP server for linux, do a search on freshmeat for it. I don't know how you would create the video though, I'm sure it's in their FAQ.

Window Media server is free with win2k advanced server, but it's windows, and it won't handle nearly the traffic that the linux box with realserver will handle (8000 connections per processor).

The DivX code was just opensourced (not the shitty Circuit City DivX, the MPEG-4 like codec). I think this will eventually support streaming.

Re:Quicktime! (1)

c0sm0 (190847) | more than 13 years ago | (#486399)

FUCK THIS REDUNDANT SHIT.... how am I supposed to know someone is posting at the same time as me? FUCK ALL MODERATORS

Live Video Solutions (4)

mo (2873) | more than 13 years ago | (#486400)

I've done a lot of work in this area. Here's what I think:

Rule 1: don't use real. They have very good audio codecs, but the video stuff isn't worth it because you have to pay for everything.

If you are looking for quality, go with Windows Media. Get a Quad processor beast with an Osprey 500 and serve live MPEG 4. All the software is free if you don't count the operating systam costs.

If you want an Open Source solution use Vic [ucl.ac.uk] with Darwin Streaming Server [apple.com] I think an Osprey 200 is your best bet for a capture card, but I haven't actually tried this out yet. Note that this uses the H263 codec which isn't much to talk about. If you want to use sorenson codec to stream live to quicktime, well good luck. There's something called LiveIce but it costs 6 grand and it only runs on NT, but you might want to look into that.

Here's some good links to get you going:
Choosing a Streaming Video Technology [dv.com]
previous slashdot article [slashdot.org]
technical primer on rt*p protocols [ohio-state.edu]

Re:Open-Source philosophy (1)

jtdubs (61885) | more than 13 years ago | (#486401)

Apparently this manor of societal comment through exageration is over the slashdot crowds collective heads. I was hoping the veiled truth and general wording of this statement would make it funny, not offense. Ah, well... I'll make a note of that...

Justin Dubs

Re:Okay people... (1)

zcat_NZ (267672) | more than 13 years ago | (#486402)

http://www.pcsuperstore.it/smenu.htm Three porno streams totally free, video only, no player or plugins needed. Well, you asked..!

Live audio and video using Java - no plugins! (1)

assmunch (308497) | more than 13 years ago | (#486403)

Check out helloNetwork: http://www.hellonetwork.com They can do live streaming audio and video at up to 30fps across 28k to broadband with no plugins!

QuickTime How-To URL. (2)

gig (78408) | more than 13 years ago | (#486404)

QuickTime is easily the best quality, and there's no price-per-stream. You can run the QuickTime Streaming Server on Mac OS X, Darwin, or Linux. QuickTime 5 also has some new buffering features that make so much sense, you won't believe that Real and MS don't have them.

Live Delivery [apple.com]

Choices choices (1)

DamageBoy (28870) | more than 13 years ago | (#486405)

There's nothing wrong with wanting to have more options to choose from.
The real question is are you ready to face the fact that Microsoft IS the best solution?
The only consideration is: Which is the best format for my end-users to use? Which format will give the most pleasing viewable results?

The fact is the Microsoft makes the best codecs today. Theirs is the only commercially available (not to mention deployed) MPEG-4 video format.
Nobody cares about Linux in this context. You need Windows & Mac support at the client level, and guess who has Media player for both of those OSes? Right: Microsoft.

Quicktime/Real are no option because their codecs/formats suck when compared to WMA/WMV (has anyone seen WMA/WMV version 8? It's AMAZING!)

As for the streaming server, in here there is some room for flexability. All you REALLY need is HTTP streaming of WMV files. This basically means that Apache could to it for you. There are some advantages to installing Microsoft's streaming media server, as it can adapt to the client's connection speed and send different streams according to bandwidth.

Re:Apple has one (1)

hammock (247755) | more than 13 years ago | (#486406)

When I go to the streaming website, it requires that I accept the APSL (the non-free opensource license that Apple has).

I chose to not accept the APSL, I get this:

Improper Access Attempt
It appears you attempted to link into this registration script from page "" which is not allowed access to this script.

Please follow the instructions at /apsl/.

So what it is doing is trying to force me to accept the APSL, under duress, by using a bad link, instead of actually doing something when I reject the terms of thier license.

Re:QuickTime How-To URL. (1)

hammock (247755) | more than 13 years ago | (#486407)

Except that Apple refuses to beleive that anybody uses a GUI (XFree86) in Linux, and that even if they did, they certainly don't ever want to watch a movie in Quicktime format.

Thanks Apple.

Re:Quicktime Streaming Server is slashdot friendly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#486408)

Have you READ the message?

Obviously not! He's talking about the QT streaming server, which is a streaming option the original question asked.

He never mentioned the client.

"People can't f*cking read, either that or they don't know the language they're reading" - usenet c.s.a.p

Re:MPEG4 should be the best solution... (1)

Jester998 (156179) | more than 13 years ago | (#486409)

No. If I'm not mistaken, M$ made the original (or at least most-widely-used) AVI file format (? Please correct me if I'm wrong...) and why would THEY follow conventions? ;)

Re:Open-Source philosophy (1)

jtdubs (61885) | more than 13 years ago | (#486410)

Oh, wait, I get it now. You have to include HTML sarcasm tags or litter your comments with ;-)'s so people KNOW your kidding. Ah, silly me.

Justin Dubs

Re:Quicktime streaming server (1)

rangek (16645) | more than 13 years ago | (#486413)

Correct me if i'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure you could find a codec that darwin SS does support that has a n*x client.

You're probably not. But my point is that video playback common under Win and Mac are practically unheard of on other platforms. So when we (us OS/FS type people) are thinking about this kind of stuff (what kind of streaming video server or what ever) to use, we should try to find something that is cross platform all around.

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