University of Vermont

Information Technology

Streaming Media: RealAudio, RealVideo, Windows Media, and QuickTime

This isn't the future: this is now.

You got content? We can make it available. It costs you nothing.

Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) supports two "streaming Media" servers and three streaming technologies on campus: RealNetwork's RealAudio/RealVideo server – which also supports Windows Media and QuickTime files – and Apple Computer's QuickTime Streaming Server.

Why stream? In many cases, it is easier just to treat your video files like HTML files, stick them in the same folders as your HTML files, and link to them just like HTML files. Depending upon the media type (QuickTime, RealMedia, or Windows Media) the content will begin to play before the entire file has downloaded (sometimes called Progressive Download) – perhaps even immediately, and the user experience is quite satisfactory. However, if you need any of the following:

  • ability to jump forward and backwards in the video with little delay
  • broadcast Live audio or video
  • enforce some (limited) copy protection (audience cannot easily or obviously store your content on their computer or iPod)

then streaming may be right for you.

The RealNetworks RealAudio/RealVideo videos and Windows Media files are "served" using the RealNetworks Helix Universal Server product. This product allows multimedia content — audio or video, live or prerecorded — to be simultaneously sent (or streamed) across the internet and viewed by a remote user. Just like TV, you click on a channel and begin watching, no messy downloads.

QuickTime content is streamed via the Apple Darwin Streaming Server. This, too, allows multimedia content — audio or video, live or prerecorded — to be simultaneously sent (or streamed) across the internet and viewed by a remote user.

To get started, talk to Wesley Wright in Academic Computing Services, and request to be "added to the video group," which will authorize you to upload your content to the proper servers.

Last modified May 28 2008 01:01 PM

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