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Webcasting, Windows Media or Quicktime?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the throw-your-apple-through-the-window dept.

Media 76

schlarbo asks: "I need to help produce a live webcast and was hoping to get some insight on the process from people with experience. We are a media house in Western Australia that uses Apple computers. We have the cameras, computers and a digital converter for the cameras. However, the big question is: should we use Quicktime Broadcaster, or rent a Windows XP laptop and use Windows Media Player to do the webcast?"

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76 comments

to face the facts (1)

chalkoutline (854917) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884499)

Most computer (Windows) users will have WMP installed already, so that widens your target audience for that program. I'd say go with that, just because pretty much everyone has it installed (presuming you're appealing to the average Joe).

Re:to face the facts (1)

jessecurry (820286) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885057)

I almost refuse to use Windows Media broadcasts, although it is installed on the widest user base I dislike the quality and the resource usage of windows media. Unless there is something that I am very, very interested in that has no other method of viewing I will just pass.
I would go with QuickTime, if you have something that people like to watch then maybe it will make more people download it; and I believe that when installing iTunes on a PC that QuickTime is automatically downloaded so there may be more users than one would initially think.

VLC (1)

stienman (51024) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884510)


I have never broadcast video, but with the proper codecs VLC should be able to do what you're asking.

-Adam

Re:VLC (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885489)

I worked for a company where vlc was used to very good effect for a number of (departmental) meetings.

Missing Link - Re:VLC (2, Informative)

pjay_dml (710053) | more than 8 years ago | (#13888722)

Video Lan Client - VLC [videolan.org]

Also worth mentioning:
  • Open Source !!!
  • During installation you can select to install Mozilla/Firefox plugin
  • Has been implemented with a variety of successful profesional projects

If you already have the hardware/software (3, Informative)

Utopia (149375) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884549)

I would say go with Quicktime. Just provide a link to the player download.
Honestly I am not sure you can create a broadcast using just Windows Media Player. You need Windows Media Encoder + Windows Server.

On a related note. I briefly provided some support to a India-based site.
Which provides video in Real, Quciktime & Windows Media.
75% choose to view in Windows Media.

Re:If you already have the hardware/software (1)

fryke (265814) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884596)

Don't forget that anyone who has iTunes installed also has QuickTime installed. And since the iPod's quite a success, I think that many people actually have QT installed. Also: We all know that Microsoft is "da evil", so I'd choose either MPEG-4 or H.264 and QuickTime. The results are better than WMP, too.

Re:If you already have the hardware/software (2, Insightful)

agraupe (769778) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885093)

I'd go with MPEG-4, because it is fairly common, and is well-supported by open source compared to H.264 or other alternatives.

Re:If you already have the hardware/software (1)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884670)

75% choose to view in Windows Media... Because Microsoft brain-washes their customers!
Really, if WMP was not pre-installed with windows, that figure would be around 30-50%.

Re:If you already have the hardware/software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13884775)

I don't use Windows Media Player however I would use it over Quicktime garbage any day. The interface to Quicktime is hideous and it eats up about three times more RAM than any other player I've seen.

Re:If you already have the hardware/software (1)

Domini (103836) | more than 8 years ago | (#13887652)

WMP is not too bad, and it's interface may be better than Quicktime's, but locking to WMV is a sin. I use Media Player Classic on Windows to do all my video, but I hardly ever do streaming. On Mac and Linux however, your statement isn't true... WMP is crappy and Quicktime rocks.

But then for a novice user, for the most part that I have seen, they have less trouble using Quicktime (It's real-time searching in video is a lot better and faster than WMP).

Also the memory problem is mostly due to half of WMP actually embedded in the windows kernel, making it seem fast and small. (Only joking... but then again, I'm not)

Truly, with the video iPod pushing MP4 and Quicktime being at the core I think with Apple's steady and inexorable increase [yahoo.com] it would be wise to choose the right choice.

Re:If you already have the hardware/software (2, Insightful)

greenlead (841089) | more than 8 years ago | (#13894000)

"... but locking to WMV is a sin." Exactly; try to find a universal format for your files. I use Darwin Streaming Server (the free version of Quicktime Server). It does its job well. For formats that Darwin does not support, I use good old fashioned HTTP streaming via Apache. I use these because of cost, security, and simplicity; they run on Linux. Another thing to consider is transcoding. You may be able to keep everyone happy by keeping your original files in a high-resolution format and transcoding them to the requested format (file type, size) that your users need. Keep the transcoded files in a cache on your media servers, and leave the original on your file server.

Re:If you already have the hardware/software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885492)

People choosing Windows Media doesn't surprise me - I bet that there's a significant number of Windows users (and most users ARE Windows users) who've never installed Quicktime (probably a majority) and a significant majority who haven't installed a version of Realplayer.

On Linux, given the choice of those three, it's not such a daft suggestion either. Players there can handle .wmv files quite happily.

Quicktime Broadcaster (1)

munboy (732717) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884562)

We use Quicktime Broadcaster at our company for exactly what you describe, and it works perfectly. Had a problem with the camera at first, so make sure you have a camera that... works.

If you can play WM, it's much more convenient. (2, Interesting)

Elad Alon (835764) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884581)

Hell, I can't even go into fullscreen on Quicktime. Even when I had some version that could installed, I had to get out of fullscreen to take advantage of the navigation bar.

Then again, if you want to rewind etc. before the file is fully downloaded, QT is better at that than WM (unless the connection is fast enough, on both sides, or some specific media format is used, I don't know which, but I VERY rarely encounter it, and, mind you, I watch a lot of porn).

Players vs Formats (2, Insightful)

@madeus (24818) | more than 8 years ago | (#13888000)

The poster should definitely go with QuickTime Broadcaster IMO, and encode the movies with QuickTime Pro (for the ~30 USD it will cost). It's far better quality (by a long way) and it's a more efficient in delivering good quality video (so streams are ultimately more reliable for end users).

With QuickTime Pro, you can even encode files for streaming that will work well on a regular web server, by pre-encoding them in a number of different sizes/quality, all hinted appropriately is ideal. QuickTime Broadcaster is great for encoding on the fly though - and it won't cost you anything (though requires a Mac).

However, I'd strongly suggest encoding in straight MPEG4 (rather than as a .MOV) which, as a standard that has wide industry support, doesn't require the QuickTime Player and will merrily play in whatever suitable software the user has available - including Windows Media Player.

I can understand why someone might want to encode in way that requires the QuickTime Player if they were are trying to improve the quality and efficiency of the stream, but really the only sensible reason to use the .WMV format is if you want to distribute DRM'd video.

Qucktime 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890884)

Quicktime 7 provides navigation of its features while in full screen mode. Holding the command (mac) or control (win) also brought up the navigation in previous versions.

Re:If you can play WM, it's much more convenient. (1)

The Rizz (1319) | more than 8 years ago | (#13894423)

I can't even go into fullscreen on Quicktime

That's just 'cause the quicktime player is crap. The codec, however, is just fine.
Just use some other player to play the quicktime files, and you'll have no problem. (My suggestion: Media Player Classic [sourceforge.net])

Who are your audience? (2, Informative)

metamatic (202216) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884599)

If you want Mac and Linux users to be able to watch it, use MPEG-4 via QTSS.

If you want to give Mac and Linux users the finger, go ahead and use Microsoft's tools.

Re:Who are your audience? (1)

ip_fired (730445) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884657)

Windows Media Player is available for the Mac (version 9 I think still?) However, it doesn't support any of the fancy DRM, so if you do use Windows Media, make sure it isn't adding a layer of DRM to it as well.

I've used Darwin Streaming Server, and it worked great. I highly recommend it.

Re:Who are your audience? (3, Insightful)

ForumTroll (900233) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884710)

I use Linux primarily and I don't consider using WMV the equivalent of "giving us the finger". WMV is by far the most convenient for the majority of people and I can get WMV working very easily under Linux and MacOS X (Xine, MPlayer etc.). Quicktime is a poor choice because many Windows and Linux users won't have the codec installed and unless your videos are very important many people will not bother to install it to watch them. WMV also produces similar quality in smaller file sizes.

Since Windows has such dominance in the OS marketplace, WMV would give you the widest demographic by far.

Re:Who are your audience? (1)

bigalsenior (869954) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884983)

i agree with the parent wmp would be the way to go because it is installed by defualt and it works perfectly on all my systems. but you could put the video's on google video and link to them. it is cross platform and is free to use. it would involve no layout at all.

Re:Who are your audience? (3, Informative)

jdclucidly (520630) | more than 8 years ago | (#13886186)

This couldn't be any more patently false. The only way to play WMV9 and 10 in Linux is to have an ILLEGAL copy of the codecs installed in /usr/lib/win32. On the other hand, Quicktime generates standards-compliant MPEG4 + AAC streams in an MP4/MOV container. These are decoded using the free and open source ffmpeg libraries.

Who is your legal audience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13886255)

"The only way to play WMV9 and 10 in Linux is to have an ILLEGAL copy of the codecs installed in /usr/lib/win32."

Since when has this forum cared about legality (unless it's a GPL violation)?

Re:Who is your legal audience? (1)

jdclucidly (520630) | more than 8 years ago | (#13886436)

The point is that _every_ copy of Linux has ffmpeg and therefore is compatible with Quicktime's streaming server ... and compatible with VLC for that matter. Only those users with the knowledge of how to go find these codecs and install them are going to be able to view WMV.... and now, WMV is not better than MPEG4 Part 10.

Re:Who is your legal audience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13886530)

It makes no difference at all. The number of Linux users is marginal and they're far more likely to be able to install a program to watch the video than their Windows counterparts. About 90% of the people watching will most likely be Windows users, it's just good business to pick the format that you know all of that margin can watch effortlessly.

Re:Who is your legal audience? (1)

jdclucidly (520630) | more than 8 years ago | (#13887085)

Or you can pick the 100% one which is MPEG4 Part 3. Works in Windows, OS X and Linux guaranteed. Sure, not as great as Part 10 or WMP or even XviD ... but if it works, it works.

Quicktime avoids EUCD/DMCA problems (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 8 years ago | (#13888876)

... The only way to play WMV9 and 10 in Linux is to have an ILLEGAL copy of the codecs installed in /usr/lib/win32. On the other hand, Quicktime generates standards-compliant MPEG4 + AAC streams in an MP4/MOV container. These are decoded using the free and open source ffmpeg libraries.
And the EUCD bans even talking about how to do that [theregister.co.uk]. That's circumvention and talking about it is illegal too, not just doing it., though that may also violate the license for the codecs.

Re:Who are your audience? (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 8 years ago | (#13888618)

I can't get WMV3 files to play on OS X.

Re:Who are your audience? (1)

Not The Real Me (538784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13917873)

And I occasionally have trouble getting WMV videos to play on my Win2k machine.
M$'s WMV codecs are absolutely atrocious. Seeking in WMV encoded videos is problematic at best. I have been forced to re-encode some WMV encoded videos into MPG1/2 or DIVX formats in order to make them playable. Playing back a WMV file burned onto a CD or DVD is like playing Russian Roulette.

Re:Who are your audience? (1)

Apreche (239272) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884899)

It doesn't matter. If someone is using Windows they will be able to see it either way. If they are using a mac they will be able to see it either way. And if they are running Linux they will be able to see it only if they setup codecs properly. Most distros like Ubuntu come with a crap codec setup, but a little extra work fixes that. The thing is that if you use Windows, very few Windows users will be inconvenienced by having to download extra software. If you use QuickTime very few apple uses will be inconvenienced. The quality doesn't really matter so much these days. You get a comparable bitrate to quality ratio with either format. Just gotta keep the bitrate in a good spot, that's what matters most.

Of course, the best would be to use an open streaming video format. But then you're going to inconvenience all the non-Linux users.

Re:Who are your audience? (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 8 years ago | (#13888669)

But an open streaming format DOESN'T inconvenience people, that's my whole point. MPEG-4 with Darwin Streaming Server/QTSS. Open format, open protocol, works on all three platforms. Does Microsoft's media player not handle MPEG-4 over RTSP? If so, how many Windows users don't have QuickTime or iTunes and don't know where to get them?

Neither.... (2, Informative)

Trelane (16124) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884646)

You should be using Fluendo's [fluendo.com] Flumotion [fluendo.com]. From the site:
The basic server product is free software, distributed under the GPL. If you want to stream content to your customers using unemcumbered royalty-free media formats (for example, Ogg/Vorbis and Ogg/Theora), you can easily do so without having to take out any license or support contract with us.

On the other hand, if you do license the Advanced Streaming Server, you get the additional features of our commercial server version. This includes professional GUI administration tools, access to proprietary formats for streaming such as MPEG, and access to our support engineers.

So you can stream in Ogg/Theora for free (free plugins for the end users, too), or you can pay them money and stream in MPEG and friends [no plugin needed].

Great solution, but... (1)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884724)

...I assume he's putting on the show because he wants people to, you know, actually watch it. ;)

Re:Great solution, but... (1)

p80 (771195) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885583)

you didn't read the parent, the parent says that you pay a license to stream using MPEG4 and co or get a free license to stream in Ogg/theora.

Note that if you opt for Ogg/theora, there exist plugin for WindowsMedia player here
http://www.illiminable.com/ogg/ [illiminable.com]

Mplayer and vlc played them too.

If you don't want your user to download any player, they can use that java applet:
http://www.fluendo.com/products.php?product=applet [fluendo.com]

Re:Great solution, but... (1)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885775)

...or get a free license to stream in Ogg/theora

Which virtually nobody has installed on the client side, and which most people will not bother to install simply to watch this thing. Really, you want to do this with a minimum of fuss to the end user, or they'll simply move on and do something else instead - "minimum fuss" meaning "no new codecs/players". Stick with what your audience already has available to them, trust me, and since it sounds like they're already set up for WMV/QT, why pay for something else?

Re:Great solution, but... (1)

jdclucidly (520630) | more than 8 years ago | (#13887103)

Apparently you're not reading the posts you're replying to. Both of the posts you replied to clearly stated that there is a JAVA APPLET which is used to view these streams -- no software installation required. It takes less than 5 seconds to load up on my system....

So the only client software is a web browser...

Re:Great solution, but... (1)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13888027)

Both of the posts you replied to clearly stated that there is a JAVA APPLET

False. Perhaps you should read the posts yourself.

Re:Great solution, but... (1)

schon (31600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890056)

Both of the posts you replied to clearly stated that there is a JAVA APPLET
False. Perhaps you should read the posts yourself.

Umm, I don't know what you're smoking, but both posts you replied to do indeed state that there is a java applet, and provide a link.

Message: 13885583
If you don't want your user to download any player, they can use that java applet:
http://www.fluendo.com/products.php?product=applet [fluendo.com]


Message: 13885959
Additionally, you can just use the free free Java applet [fluendo.com]

Perhaps you need to work on your reading comprehension skills?

Re:Great solution, but... (1)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890321)

Try the very first post I replied to [slashdot.org] when you have a moment.

Re:Great solution, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13891294)

Try the very first post I replied to when you have a moment.

So because one post *didn't* include that information, that means that *THE OTHER TWO POSTS* didn't either?

Wonderful logic you have there.

Re:Great solution, but... (1)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13891939)

So because one post *didn't* include that information, that means that *THE OTHER TWO POSTS* didn't either?

Did I say that? Read for content, my friend.

Re:Great solution, but... (2, Informative)

Trelane (16124) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885959)

..I assume he's putting on the show because he wants people to, you know, actually watch it. ;)
Nice slam on Ogg/Vorbis+Ogg/Theora, but them's the facts. It depends on the budget. You can do it for free, if you have little/no budget, or you can pay them for it and use something that people have installed already [which, notably, you have to do for the other solutions already]. Quicktime, you will remember, requires a [free] download for Windows users (no love for anybody else) and Windows Media only works on Windows (though, depending on how you do it, you can make it less annoying for other users). With MPEG or Ogg/Theora, you reach all users (and it's potentially free!)

Additionally, you can just use the free free Java applet [fluendo.com] and the end-users need not download anything [it does Vorbis+Theora already!]. (well, honestly, I don't know if they need to download Sun's Java; if it works with MS-Java (i.e. JRE 1.1), then nobody on the mainstream platforms needs to download anything.)

So you have several different ways you can do it for free and reach everybody (possibly with a free download, like QuickTime), and several different ways you can do it for not-free with no downloads necessary, reaching all users both ways. Sounds like a good deal to me.

Re:Great solution, but... (1)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13886791)

It depends on a lot of things, of which budget is one. I think we can assume that the submitter is better aware of his own needs than either you or I, and he's narrowed it down to these two readily available solutions. However, there's always a few in the crowd who, when asked whether the Toyota is better than the Honda or what, can't resist the urge to chime in "Buy a unicycle!" He asked about QT and WMV - presumably, if he was interested in a survey of everyone's pet faves, the question would have been a bit more open-ended.

Re:Great solution, but... (2, Insightful)

Trelane (16124) | more than 8 years ago | (#13888256)

It depends on a lot of things, of which budget is one.
The reason I said this was because budget is a constraint, and the Fluendo software lets you choose--free or not free. It has flexibility that the others do. I'm well aware of the fact that there are other considerations, as you can tell by the rest of my posts.
I think we can assume that the submitter is better aware of his own needs than either you or I, and he's narrowed it down to these two readily available solutions.
Problem is that it's the Big Two, so it's quite possible that the poster is entirely unaware of some other solutions out there [Flumotion, in this case]. None of us is omniscient, and the little guys (some of whom have kickass product, but lack a big enough marketing budget) don't get nearly the mindshare of larger companies, and I was trying to make the poster aware of Flumotion's offering in this space, with the potential to work better with his budget than the others.
However, there's always a few in the crowd who, when asked whether the Toyota is better than the Honda or what, can't resist the urge to chime in "Buy a unicycle!" He asked about QT and WMV - presumably, if he was interested in a survey of everyone's pet faves, the question would have been a bit more open-ended.
Nice slam on me personally, but I'm not recommending he buy a unicycle. More along the lines of "Look at the MG; it has offerings on par of the other two, but has better fuel economy, but on the other hand costs more since it's a much smaller vendor and must be imported." [NOTE: I don't know if any of these are true of the MG.] Your claim that I'm effectivly recommending a "unicycle" would be true if I told him to use, say, cat to get the image to the website, and use server push to get it to the clients. I'm only recommending a product that may well do the same or better job than the products about which the poster spoke, and do so potentially at a lower price and reach a larger audience!

If recommending to someone a product which may well turn out to be the superior offering than what they're cosidering is wrong, then I don't want to be right. Thank the Lord that it's not wrong. It takes the poster maybe a minute to read my post and maybe another couple of minutes to look at Fluendo. At that point he/she may choose to look at it closer or decide I'm a quack and drop it. But at least I've (helpfully/helpfully) pointed out a product that could do a better job than the two products of which he/she is already aware, and it cost him/her little to no effort to evaluate the new information of which he/she is probably unaware, and make a decision as to go investigate further or move on. Not out of line at all.

Re:Great solution, but... (1)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13888983)

You seem to have this idea that it's all about "slamming" someone or something - really, it's about answering the question that's been asked. It appears to me that the submitter may already have the resources in place to use QT, but wants to know if there is some advantage to WMV. Or maybe not - perhaps no resources are in place, but the submitter would like to weigh the pros and cons of each solution.

In any case, your suggestion that Flumotion is somehow "free" assumes facts not in evidence. Does Flumotion even run on OS X? Doesn't look like it to me. Or did you intend for the submitter to go out, buy a box, install Linux, and then run Flumotion? And that would be "free" how? Does anyone in their office even have experience with Linux, or is it your intent to have them learn a whole new OS in addition to a whole new streaming media server? Isn't it possible that the submitter has better things to do - e.g., creating the media that puts food on the table - than satisfy your desire for political purity?

Re:Great solution, but... (1)

Trelane (16124) | more than 8 years ago | (#13889394)

You seem to have this idea that it's all about "slamming" someone or something - really, it's about answering the question that's been asked.
Your assertions to date are that:
  • Flumotion is useless (first post)
  • My post is useless (second post)

Both were stated as what I'd categorize as "slams": the first a sarcastic comment masquerading as a quasi-joke that the submitter wants for people to actually use the streams (incorrectly implying that nobody uses the formats that Flumotion provides); the second an incorrect assertion that I uselessly brought up a candidate that was vastly inferior to the other candidates (the "unicycle" in a comparison of two cars).

To make them less of a slam, I'd recommend, respectively, that you state that few are willing to install the codecs required (or use the Java applet) to use the free flumotion server, and that the price makes it the same as the other two candidates (both are fair assertions), and secondly (going with your analogy, that it's like I was bringing up a Buick when discussing whether one should buy a Honda or a Toyota, and that it's not what the poster wanted (again a fair asssertion).

It appears to me that the submitter may already have the resources in place to use QT, but wants to know if there is some advantage to WMV. Or maybe not - perhaps no resources are in place, but the submitter would like to weigh the pros and cons of each solution.

Precisely. We don't know exactly what's going on; not enough information has been provided. I was bringing up a rather unknown third option that the submitter probably didn't know about and he/she can take or leave at his or her discretion. The offer is no better or worse than the other candidates; each have their plusses and minuses. But if I didn't say anything, the submitter probably doesn't have the information; this may well be the worst or best solution for him/her. We simply don't know, and now at least the submitter has a little bit more information than when he/she started out. Or exactly the same information, if he/she was already aware of Flumotion. But reading the post and information only takes a few minutes of their time and I'm hurting nobody by presenting additoinal choices.

Does Flumotion even run on OS X? Doesn't look like it to me.
According to Freshmeat [freshmeat.net], it does. Googling for "flumotion osx" will give you even more information. Unfortunately, the project page doesn't say.
Or did you intend for the submitter to go out, buy a box, install Linux, and then run Flumotion?
You ignore the fact that they may well have a Linux (or maybe BSD box too) laying around, or that they could install it on an existing box. Notably, it appears that they have to install Win2k3 Server for the Windows Media option anyway, so this isn't a huge deal. Yeesh.
And that would be "free" how?
Because they don't necessarily have to pay for either a box, nor the OS, nor the server. Time is potentially the same in similar scenarios (e.g. already-installed-os, got to install a server with the OS, etc.), so it's potentially a wash, depending on the unknown factors that only the submitter knows. I gave him/her the information; he/she can decide with a few minutes of research what he/she wants to do (or not) with Flumotion.
Does anyone in their office even have experience with Linux, or is it your intent to have them learn a whole new OS in addition to a whole new streaming media server?
Quite possibly. Or they could install it with common MacOS X utilities. We don't know; I gave him/her the information and they can decide.

As to my intent , it is merely to give the poster what is probably to him or her new information regarding a third solution which may well meet their needs or not, depending on variables that only they know. Nothing more, nothing less. I've been a viewer-end user of the Flumotion server (when they streamed GUADEC), and I though it was rather nice, particularly as a Linux user, since the QuickTime and Windows Media streams are for us spotty at best. The solution seems quite elegant and doesn't unnecessarily shut out any viewers, and I think it's overall a nice solution. They may disagree, and that's their right, but at least they probably have more information than when they started out.

Isn't it possible that the submitter has better things to do - e.g., creating the media that puts food on the table - than satisfy your desire for political purity?
Yes, it's possible that it would require a lot of work for them to set up Flumotion. It's also possible that it's easier and more effective than the two solutions they've already found. It's also possible that it's a wash. We don't know; I just gave them some more information, and they can do what they want with it.

And again with the slams! Where did I say anything about "political purity"?! I've been defending myself against your attempts to shut me up . Or what was the point of telling me that they have already got all the information they need, if not to say "shut up"?

Take a position now on this question: is it OK for someone to bring up a third alternative? Yes or No? I'm rapidly losing my patience with your twisting maze of passages, all the same.

Re:Great solution, but... (1)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13889689)

Your assertions to date are that:

* Flumotion is useless (first post)
* My post is useless (second post)

My assertions to date were firstly, that the penetration of the Ogg codec is rather limited. Secondly, that your post did not answer the question as asked. Now, I understand your burning need to turn a relatively simple question into a roundtable discussion, but the fact is that your post did not answer the question as asked. If you prefer not to have people point that out, I recommend you not do it.

Googling for "flumotion osx" will give you even more information.

Actually I did that, and no, actually, it doesn't return more information. Running through the first fifty hits does not reveal anything to indicate how well it might run on OS X, nor anything to indicate that it runs on OS X at all.

You ignore the fact that they may well have a Linux (or maybe BSD box too) laying around, or that they could install it on an existing box.

I am also ignoring the "fact" that the submitter may have a magic wishing fairy who can instantly implement the preferred solution with a bit of pixie dust and a wave of the magic wand, for the very simple reason that I do not know either of those two propositions to be anything remotely like a "fact", and neither, I suspect, do you. What we do know as a matter of actual fact, however, is that the submitter has Apple machines available and ready to go. That's it - that's all you know. Anything else is purely a product of wishful thinking on your part. Well, that's fine, but it doesn't solve the problem in anything other than an imaginary fashion.

I've been defending myself against your attempts to shut me up . Or what was the point of telling me that they have already got all the information they need, if not to say "shut up"?

If I wanted to tell you to shut up, I'd simply say so. Instead, I am informing you that you are not answering the question as asked. Perhaps, in the future, you should address the actual question presented by the submitter, and then provide additional information as you see fit. You're welcome.

Re:Great solution, but... (1)

Trelane (16124) | more than 8 years ago | (#13892392)

My assertions to date were firstly, that the penetration of the Ogg codec is rather limited.
I wholeheartedly agree with this assertion.
Secondly, that your post did not answer the question as asked.
I would also agree with this assertion. I did not weigh in on the relative merits and problems with QuickTime streaming server versus Windows Media streaming server.
Now, I understand your burning need to turn a relatively simple question into a roundtable discussion
Again with the mischaracterizations of my position! And the words "burning need" which, especially coupled with the Great Contrast ("relatively simple question" and "roundtable discussion") again flavour toward the slam!
your post did not answer the question as asked.
No, it most certainly did not make him or her any more wise about the merits and problems with QuickTime streming server versus Windows Media Streaming Server. I do, however, hope that the submitter (and those who are also looking at this article wondering about streaming servers) found the information I provided useful, if not in the imeediate, then in the long-term.. If not, no problems; it took me (aside from defending my right to post such information) little to no time, and probably took them even less.
Actually I did that, and no, actually, it doesn't return more information. Running through the first fifty hits does not reveal anything to indicate how well it might run on OS X, nor anything to indicate that it runs on OS X at all.
Hmm. You're wrong that the search does not reveal "anything to indicate that it runs on OS X at all"; the Freshmeat site clearly does. However, you're quite right in that the search (and the fluendo page itself) isn't terribly helpful about it. It notably doesn't really explicitly mention support for any platform; it just doesn't mention platforms at all. From the looks of things (I downloaded a copy real quick), it looks like it will build on any system that can meet its dependencies. Unfortunately, I don't see binaries, so that may well remove the free option for many people. A deficiency in the product as currently offered, most assuredly. I hope this will be rectified in the future, as it would greatly enhance their software's immediate impact.
am also ignoring the "fact" that the submitter may have a magic wishing fairy who can instantly implement the preferred solution with a bit of pixie dust and a wave of the magic wand, for the very simple reason that I do not know either of those two propositions to be anything remotely like a "fact", and neither, I suspect, do you.
And again, in lieu of a rational discussion, you again grasping the superlative and shaking it with all your might! No, I admit that I've not considered the possibility of magic wishing fairies, though I find the probability of having a box to install Linux or BSD on (or that Flumotion works on just about any relatively common Unix-like system) to be much, much, much more probable, and not at all improbable, and on the order of the probability that they have a Windows or MacOS box (about 1). It's really not that uncommon, especially amongst technically-coordinated folks.
Anything else is purely a product of wishful thinking on your part.
Not necessarily. You seem to completely disregard the possibility of Flumotion-compatible boxes being around, or at least the knowledge to make such boxes. I believe this is incorrect, and I've given them the information, and again, if they don't have such resources, then they need not act on the information provided.
Instead, I am informing you that you are not answering the question as asked.
So what you're saying is that I'm not answering the question as asked. Yes, I readily admit to not answering the question as asked. I did, however, hold the possibility of the information I provided being useful to them to not be extreme, so I spoke up. Apparently you have a problem with that, but instead of merely ignoring the (to you irrelevant) answer, you decided to tell me that it was irrelevant.
Perhaps, in the future, you should address the actual question presented by the submitter, and then provide additional information as you see fit.
How is this any more useful than just saying my additional information? I mean, others will likely chime in with more information on QuickTime and Windows Media than I can provide; I, on the other hand, have information which they likely cannot and which could quite probably be useful to the submitter.

I guess, after all this, my core question to you remains (as you've not answered it): is it OK for someone to bring up a third alternative? Yes or No? I contend that the answer is yes. If your answer is no, why not? I will not answer any replies but to your answer to the question I just posed.

Re:Great solution, but... (1)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13893285)

I will not answer any replies but to your answer to the question I just posed.

Precious little point in continuing then. The last word is yours if you want it.

Re:Great solution, but... (1)

Trelane (16124) | more than 8 years ago | (#13893420)

Precious little point in continuing then. The last word is yours if you want it.
Indeed. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. We can continue the conversation where it truly belongs, over beers sometime. :)

EOT

Re:Great solution, but... (1)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13894533)

Now that I can heartily endorse. Whoops, I did say you could have the last word, didn't I? :)

Re:Neither.... (1)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 8 years ago | (#13894718)

Great, now all 8 people who have streaming Ogg plugins installed on their BeBoxes running Amegia OS can watch your video! Ogg is great and all, but the guy wants average people to be able to watch this without installing a new plugin, browser, and operating system.

Re:Neither.... (1)

Trelane (16124) | more than 8 years ago | (#13895588)

Did you actually read the posting, or just see the word "Ogg" and decide to ignorantly deride other people's hard work?

Synopsis of the stuff you seem to have "missed" (though you posted a couple of days late!):

  1. Other, common formats are readily available (though patented, so you have to pay)
  2. Plugins (notably required by QuickTime and WindowsMedia on Windows and Mac platforms respectively) are a free download just like for QT and WM
  3. Java applet which users probably don't need any software for is also freely available.

I won't waste any more time on your sarcastic troll; I've already had a lengthy talk with someone else on this and other subjects.

EOT

Re:Neither.... (1)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909556)

I'm not replying to the top post, but the parent above mine. The actual question itself is quite interesting, but Ogg guys always think everyone else uses ogg too, which is frustrating and false.

Re:Neither.... (1)

GO-OGG (927063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13909295)

I agree Theora is the way to go, all platforms can view it. Besides the lazybasterds- but they do not give a crap and will not watch anyway.

Laptop? (1)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884719)

A laptop would hardly do, now that /. knows about it. Just go with what you all ready have.

I hear that you can also stream video with Flash, that could be a very good solution, too.
http://www.macromedia.com/devnet/flash/articles/fl v_download_04.html [macromedia.com]
It wouldn't require an investment anything more than Windows Server (required for streaming video to Windows Media Player).

Google Video uses Flash streams. (1)

WoTG (610710) | more than 8 years ago | (#13887429)

I stumbled on my first Flash stream a few weeks ago - it was in the thumbnail previews of Google's Video service! My uneducated guess is that a larger % of web users have Flash these days than either WM or QT, plus the integration with the browser is flawless (it is Flash Player afterall).

Re: QT, I find the app. tremendously annoying in Windows. Also, a lot of people do not have it installed. Personally, I'd like to see QT die and go away for web streams.

Why is this an either/or question? (3, Informative)

Myself (57572) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885049)

Do both! There's no reason you can't split the signal and encode to every popular format at once. If someone has trouble getting their favorite client working, they can try another one.

My favorite radio station [wdetfm.org] webcasts in Real, WMA, and two bitrates of MP3 simultaneously. You'd do well to follow that lead.

Go with what you're familiar with (1)

Curmudgeonlyoldbloke (850482) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885193)

If you're a "media house" (whatever that is) then you've probably got a larger portion of Macs in the audience (dirty or otherwise) than would be usual.

If you're familar with Quicktime Broadcaster there's less chance of you looking like idiots in front of potential customers using that than on a rental XP box (no pressure if that breaks in the middle of a webcast...).

One thing though - make sure that you use an actual URL so that people don't have to rely on a poxy browser plugin that probably won't be there or work properly.

That said, from a customer's point of view I will personally on any link that is an alternative to a Quicktime one. There are several reasons:

o I dislike being hassled about Quicktime Pro. Even my Windows XP version "will expire and 5 days". No doubt I'll be inflicted with shovelware and it'll steal all the file associateions if I need to reinstall it after that time.

o The user interface of the standalone player is horrible. I want a media player, not a link to some movie trailers.

Don't assume that everyone will who does not already have a Quicktime player installed will be able to navigate Apple's download screen successfully. I've just tried it on a couple of machines - from Firefox on Windows XP I get a blank screen with a search box (Noscript is installed; but the web site should at least detect that Javascript is disabled and say something), whereas from Firefox on an old Linux box it "can't tell what OS I'm running because I have Javascript disabled" (I haven't) and offers me a choice of Windows XP or Mac.

Re:Go with what you're familiar with (1)

neillewis (137544) | more than 8 years ago | (#13886042)

That QuickTime is so lame (and even more that outside the US Quicktime Pro costs twice as much) is the biggest problem I have with OS X. You pay over a grand for an over-engineered powerbook and don't even get FSV. Thank the lord for VLC.

If your video is that important, give me DiVx/xViD avis and I'll be happy.

First, answer some questions (4, Informative)

RobTerrell (139316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13886007)

There are some incredibly ignorant answers above.

First of all, you can't stream live Flash video without a Flash Communication Server license, and it's one of the most expensive prospects in the entire streaming world right now, plus most of the world still only has the Flash 7 live codecs, which are a shitty subset of H.264, so skip that. Secondly, everyone who saying crap like VLC and ogg theora... please. Shut the fuck up. He's specifically asking about Windows Media and Quicktime.

Refreshingly, the post that asks about your audience is dead on. The choice of streaming format will be entirely driven by your audience (and also by your budget).

Some questions to consider:

  • Do you have streaming servers? What formats do they handle? If not, you need to start learning their care and feeding right now.

  • How many users do you expect? Do your streaming servers have adequate bandwidth? Do you know how to calculate adequate bandwidth? Are your end users all in australia, or are they international? Have you considered a CDN like Akamai, Playstream, VitalStream, etc.?

  • Are you archiving on the server or on the encoder? Are you backing to tape, for the inevitable "I forgot to hit record" issues?

If this is your first webcast, you might do well to call a streaming expert (I recommend www.incitedmedia.com [incitedmedia.com], ask for Joe -- they did Live8 so they know what they're doing) and ask some questions.

Keep in mind: Windows Media looks like crap on Macs. Quicktime is on lots more Windows machines nowadays thanks to iTunes. Quicktime Broadcaster isn't as rock-solid as Windows Media Encoder (and certainly isn't nearly as fully-featured) but will run on the machines you already have.

Re:First, answer some questions (1)

Thrakkerzog (7580) | more than 8 years ago | (#13888249)

I don't know if this matters or not, but quicktime 7 will not install on windows 98, while windows media player will.

That rules out H.264 for people with windows 98. Since we don't know their target audience, I don't know if that is an issue. My grandma still has 98, and I'm sure a lot of older people have it as well.

Re:First, answer some questions (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#13888874)

"That rules out H.264 for people with windows 98. Since we don't know their target audience, I don't know if that is an issue. My grandma still has 98, and I'm sure a lot of older people have it as well."
It will also not work on my Amiga, or Atari ST!
Really Windows98 is seven years old. I guess if you want to make sure just about everyone can watch it it may be a concern but unless you know that it is required I wouldn't worry too much about it.
Frankly I are really interested in the streaming Ogg with a java applet idea. I may have to set up at test server to try that out.

No QT7 on 98? For good reason. (1)

The Rizz (1319) | more than 8 years ago | (#13894447)

Odds are, any computer that is still running Windows 98 couldn't even come close to handling the decoding of a QT7 stream.
Granted, there are a few (insane) people who buy 3GHz machines and install 98 ... but if they're that much of a nut about 98, then they probably know where to go and get standalone QT7-compatible codecs to install.

Quicktime all the way. (2, Informative)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 8 years ago | (#13886324)

I'd personally use Quicktime Broadcaster and the Darwin Streaming Server all the way. You already have the hardware for it, both are completely free (as in beer, although DSS is also free as in speech), and you have a wide selection of compressors and packetizers.

Yes, I've heard the Windows users cry "but we don't want to use Quicktime!". My suggestion would be not to force them to by using a standard packetizer and compressor. If quality is your goal, use H.264 for both -- Mac and Linux users can view such streams easily, and Windows users only need either Quicktime or VLC. Or, if you want to sacrifice some quality, use standard MPEG-4 for both. Quicktime Broadcaster will happily handle such formats, and everyone should be able to play them with whatever player they want.

So broadcast using the free Quicktime solutions, but use a standard format, and everyone can be made happy.

Yaz.

If you don't own it, don't rely on it. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13887173)

I realize that what you are asking after is either utilizing the Windows Media versus Quicktime, but I would suggest going with Quicktime as it is in house. Our high school broadcast every single concert we had in real time using a Real encoder. Every time you set up for a concert, something had the ability to go wrong rather easily, granted we were high school students at the time. If you are having to rent a Windows XP box that you haven't tested or have experience with extensively, you are more likely to have less problems. Also, I'm not completely sure how easy it is going to be to rent an XP box that has an internal card to send the BNC (or whatever cabling you are actually using) through, though that could be mitigated if you are using an external card.

You are probably much better going with Quicktime.

darwin streaming server + quicktime broadcaster (1)

mah! (121197) | more than 8 years ago | (#13887407)

I've often used this combination for MPEG-4 compliant streaming: If you choose h.264 over MPEG-4, encoding & decoding HW requirements will be higher. For playback, any system can play it back well:

Consider how many Windows users have iTunes installed nowadays, which means Quicktime 6 or 7 and MPEG-4 playback capabilities already installed.
Realplayer (newer versions) play back MPEG-4 streams fine, VLC likewise.
All in all, the average Windows user will have no problem in playing back your streams.

Mac users will have it even easier with Quicktime always preinstalled,
and Linux &c. will be able to use either VLC or Realplayer anyway.

Use cross-platform solutions which work well on all client platforms, unlike WMV: even the latest - nowadays quite obsolete - Windows Media Player on Mac OS X rates very poorly in terms of performance, and at the same bitrate (e.g. 300k) its drop rate and quality are much worse compared to any competitor product.

Re:darwin streaming server + quicktime broadcaster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13909512)

This is wishfull thinking. Yes, VLC and mplayer, which I prefer, can stream rtsp://bla/bla.mp4s, see also Ciscos open source MPEG4IP mp4player, which beats all (QT included), but in reality, you need something, that can understand Apples very vendor and platform dependent "One Click Streaming" solutions. Embeded reference movies etc, a can of worms...

The solution is simple, but the only player that supports it, there are clever peoples that do the obvious, is Ciscos mp4player, well, it is supported in Apache and by IANA as well..and see also Fraunhofers IIS MPEG-4 player: Special MPEG Video Playlists (bla.m4u).

H.

mpegurl.blog.de

Windows Media? Over Corp LAN (0, Redundant)

Fruples (926397) | more than 8 years ago | (#13891288)

Not to steal the limelight but I have a similar question and could ues all the help I can get. I am interested in Deploying video over a corp LAN. There will be 3000 or so computers on site that will get a 2 min presentation. Many of these will hit the site at similar times. Say 8:00 in the morning when everyone starts work. Lunch time, when they have a break to check email. It is a pretaped presentation so I do not need to worry about streaming it live, but I need to understand what kind of traffic implications there are on the network infrastructure. What's the right way to do this? What resources will be required? We use all Win computers. Thanks

Re:Windows Media? Over Corp LAN (1)

Utopia (149375) | more than 8 years ago | (#13894865)

To stream video you will need Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition.
If you are streaming live you save tremendous bandwidth by multicasting.
For non-streaming scenarios you can control the bandwidth by selecting the appropriate bitrate.

Windows Media Encoder will let you select the peak bitrate when encoding video.
If your clients are regular computers (no mobile devices),
you can dramatically improve quality of you streams by selecting 'Best Quality' under Tools->Options->Performance and using the 'Advanced Profile' codec.
Also set the decoder complexity to 'Complex' when using 'Bit Rate VBR' mode.

For server setup, checkout the help documentation on Window Enterprise Server its the best resource for information.

Re:Windows Media? Over Corp LAN (1)

Fruples (926397) | more than 8 years ago | (#13894943)

Thanks, my concern is that we need to offer the monthly video to such a large group. I think that the IT department is going to freak. I want to know the best solution for this distribution challenge. I don't want to offer such a low bit rate that it makes the video unwatchable but I don't have huge resources to fund this project. What is the poor man's solution to delivering video to a large group individually?

Re:Windows Media? Over Corp LAN (1)

Utopia (149375) | more than 8 years ago | (#13899698)

Your primary costs will be the hardware to host the media server and the time of atleast one person who will manage this infrastructure. The server is simple enough to not require a dedicated team.

If you have all Win computers, chances are you already have a licences for Window 2003 Enterprise server for domain management etc.
Window Media Encoder itself is free.

You can get great quality even with low bit rate if you choose the right encoder options. The defaults in Windows Media Encoder give less than satisfying results -- make sure you don't use defaults settings.

Re:Windows Media? Over Corp LAN (1)

MySchizoBuddy (904332) | more than 8 years ago | (#13917072)

yes i agree. I'm writting a codec benchmark as of now, and i'm having the same problem. the quality of WMV9 at low bitrate is crappy here are my specs. rez 776X400 no resizing 2 pass VBR 250kbps decoder complexity - complex codec Windows Media v9 standard even though i say 250kbps ,the statistics show that it is at 198kbps after the encoding finishes. Why can't it just use 250kbps as I'm entering it. I want to know the setting i should use. because this isn't working out to well.

Re:Windows Media? Over Corp LAN (1)

figleaf (672550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13920347)

I am waiting for the new encoder from Microsoft that will be releasing in Jan 2006 -- according to the one of the Microsoft chats.
The new encoder will suposedly will have more accurate bitrate calculations and will introduce two pass encoding to Advanced codec profile.
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