Letís share our ideas and experiences about starting, running and keep running streaming servers. Correct me if I am wrong at any point.
Streaming in real audio format is what most of the clients want. But real system professional server is too expensive to buy. Itís around $22,000. This supports around 250 simultaneous connections. Real system server PLUS supports around 80 connections at a time and is relatively cheap. So, what would be an easy way to stream real audio and video format?
Windows Media Format
Another format for streaming is windows media format. Called, Windows Audio also. Most of the web sites offering good streaming supports automatic selection of the client media and stream accordingly. A good example is http://audio.cnn.com though selection is not difficult and based on server side coding but how to manage such formats?
MP3 and QuickTime Format
MP3 can be easily streamed with Icecast streaming server as well as Darwin Streaming server. Quick time is streamed very well with Darwin Streaming server.
Now my question based on all the above is that how to manage all the formats at a time. Do I have to set up different dedicated servers for each format. What would be an easy way to administrator all the stuff both technically and economically as well. Is it possible to stream all the above formats using some open source available streaming server? What is the difference between a fully working streaming server and a simple server. Like I just put down a file on my Apache and when I try to access that file, ( http://foo.org/foo.ra ) Clients real player will open and start streaming the file. If that can be done, why I need a streaming server ? Is it only to control connection class or something else?
Another important issue is the selection of dedicated servers. What sort of servers should be used? I am looking ahead to fdcservers.net for some nice bandwidth deal and they do seem to be good. 250 Users connected all the time (though it wonít be possible at the beginning but letís assume ) and each getting around 20 Kbps bandwidth will burn around 12 TB of bandwidth each month ( 5 MBps continues through) .. Uuhhmm .. So, a good solution will be? Service providers, contact me with good offers.
Sorry for my bad communication skills but I think I have explained what I need. Do let me know about your ideas and it will result in a good server we will be able to provide.
1.) if you upload soem streaming format file to web space and offer it direct download via http:// IT'S NOT STREAMING! Using http you lose the streaming technology most advanced features (e.g. bandwidth saving etc)
2.) I suggest you offer windows media streaming services - good solution that is capable of high-bandwidth streaming...
3.) why not real media? I guess a bit too expensive...... (it also runs on Windows platform, so if you have a powerful server you may combine realmedia server and windows streaming service on one box..)
4.)quicktime is also getting popular (also some free and opensource audio/video streaming formats), but they don't come close to user base that has Windows Media player already installed (this is a big plus, trust me!!)
Streaming is always expensive from bandwidth view. Please note that the link should be good (you don't want to watch video or audio when it stops every 10 seconds to buffer data etc).
Real streaming tends to be very good and there is a free version (although I think it can only support 5 simultanous streams).
Windows Media tends to have good quality video (in my opinion). I believe the server technology is free which is a great bonus but is only supported by Windows (I only have linux servers so I can only http 'stream' windows media).