My friend wants to stream videos and we would like to know what all is required other than the server which I can provide him. I've done some research and Flash Media Server looks good. But its licensing fee is a bit steep. Is it possible to get a license through any reseller ? Other than the license for the software, what else do we need to take note of ?
Look at making the file wmv and stream it that way free
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[quote=crystalz Is it possible to get a license through any reseller ? [/quote]
Frankly speaking I don't know for sure but I think the reseller must have a license for such kind of software. The resellers buy licenses. You may apply to the reseller and ask him directly about it.
I've been using it - although only for single cast streaming (i.e. per request).
I think it works just fine, but maybe not the best at handling large load and many users. It is very easy to setup and configure.
ok thanks, my friend doesn't have much high traffic, maybe this would suit him. Infact I have a Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard edition. Will it be enough that I install the Windows Media Component or is there anything else required too ?
I would recommend against using a WMV-based solution. It is a proprietary technology that often doesn't work well in other browsers.
Instead, convert your video files into a flash format .FLV file. One such free tool to do this is "SUPER" (Simplified Universal Player Encoder & Renderer) from: http://www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.html. Another option is to upload it to Google Video, then use a tool such as Video Downloader for Firefox to download the .FLV file directly (then you can delete the video from Google).
Either way, once you get the .FLV file, you need a Flash .SWF player to actually play it. A great free one is FlowPlayer from http://flowplayer.sourceforge.net/. It is open-source and highly skinnable/customizable.
The best part about this Flash-based solution is that you get streaming for free. The user can fast-forward to anywhere in the file, pause, etc. without you installing any custom server software. The .SWF file takes care of it all. Plus Flash is really the most cross-browser, cross-platform video streaming technology available by far. Windows, Mac, Linux, IE6, IE7, Firefox, Opera, etc... it all just works.
The FlowPlayer software will let you control whether the video is cached, whether it loops or plays once, whether it plays automatically or requires a click, etc. Flash video is quickly becoming the "de facto" standard for streaming video (since it's used by YouTube, Google Video, etc.) and I would strongly encourage it over any proprietary solution.
The FlowPlayer.swf file and your movie .flv file must both be available on the server somewhere, but there's no installation. Just like if you wanted an image available, you would put a .jpg file or whatever on your server and then add an <img> tag which points to that file. Only in this case, you will use an <object> tag instead.
Here is the source code from one of my pages that uses FlowPlayer, which is a good example of how to use it. The .js file included in the download has more examples; most of the settings can be either in the <param> tags of the <object>, or in an external .js file.