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  1. 1. Streaming Multimedia
  2. 2. What is streaming? <ul><li>Streaming media consists of sound and video, continuously “streamed” over the Internet </li></ul>
  3. 3. Streaming media (continued) <ul><li>Streaming media may be either video or audio, or most commonly a combination of both. </li></ul><ul><li>There are two categories of streaming, pseudo and genuine streaming </li></ul><ul><li>Pseudo streaming allows for immediate playback as the file is downloaded whilst it is playing. Pseudo streaming uses pre-compressed data </li></ul><ul><li>Genuine streaming requires a specialised server and compresses the data on-the-fly, delivering content in an efficient format </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Principle of Streaming The Principle of Streaming (A snapshot in time)
  5. 5. Limitations on Streaming types <ul><li>Because video and audio data can be quite large, compression is an integral part of streaming </li></ul><ul><li>Pseudo streaming uses pre-compressed files and only allows users to view media sequentially; you cannot skip to a set point in the stream </li></ul><ul><li>Genuine streaming allows a user to navigate to any point in the stream, but requires a dedicated server to do this. Genuine streaming files must be prepared specially for delivery </li></ul>
  6. 6. What’s going on behind the scenes on the servers?
  7. 7. Formats of Streaming <ul><li>There are many formats of streaming available. Some of the more common formats are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RealPlayer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows Media Player </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quicktime </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flash </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. What do the different formats do? <ul><li>Each format uses a different algorithm for compressing and embedding the streaming data </li></ul><ul><li>Different manufacturers place emphasis on different aspects: video, sound, speed, bandwidth </li></ul><ul><li>Because of the competitiveness of the different manufacturers, each format represents a different means of achieving effective multimedia streaming </li></ul>
  9. 9. Different formats (continued) <ul><li>Common to virtually all formats is the MPEG compression algorithm </li></ul><ul><li>MPEG ( Moving Picture Experts Group) develops standards for the compression of digital video and audio </li></ul><ul><li>The actual compression is often referred to as a codec ( co der/ dec oder) </li></ul><ul><li>Common MPEG standards deliver video at up to 8Mbps and audio at up to 96kbps </li></ul>
  10. 10. Why use streaming? <ul><li>Streaming allows for the delivery of high-impact, engaging and often interactive content </li></ul><ul><li>Streaming is typically very flexible and can be distributed widely in a variety of formats </li></ul><ul><li>Standard video and audio content is too large to deliver via traditional formats. Streaming formats offer incredible compression and very effective delivery. </li></ul>
  11. 11. When to use streaming <ul><li>Multimedia content in any fashion is a two edged sword. It can quite literally make or break a website </li></ul><ul><li>Users of a website must be able to efficiently and effectively navigate a site. Use of extraneous multimedia can be detrimental. </li></ul><ul><li>Not all users have access to high-speed internet connections. Multimedia can very quickly chew up a users available bandwidth, frustrating them if they cannot see multimedia as the author intended. </li></ul>
  12. 12. When to use streaming (continued) <ul><li>With correct application, relevance and attention to issues such as performance, multimedia can be used to enhance any website. </li></ul><ul><li>For example: Multimedia streaming can be used as a self-serve sales tool. Instead of a customer waiting to receive literature of a product, they can view a video clip advertisement. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Considerations for streaming <ul><li>Bandwidth, bandwidth, bandwidth! </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia streaming in almost any format will take up a significant portion of a user’s available bandwidth. Some players will wait until a buffer of data is received before playback commences. This can result in a constant stop-start effect in the stream. This can be very annoying! </li></ul>
  14. 14. Adding streaming to your website <ul><li>Streaming can be inserted into your website using either an Anchor tag, or using an Embed tag </li></ul><ul><ul><li><object classid=&quot;clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000&quot; codebase=&quot;,0,29,0&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; height=&quot;55&quot; vspace=&quot;20&quot; align=&quot;middle&quot;> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li><param name=&quot;movie&quot; value=&quot;../images/flickerboardnosound.swf&quot;> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li><param name=&quot;quality&quot; value=&quot;high&quot;> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li><param name=&quot;LOOP&quot; value=&quot;false&quot;> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li><embed src=&quot;../images/flickerboardnosound.swf&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; height=&quot;55&quot; vspace=&quot;20&quot; loop=&quot;false&quot; align=&quot;middle&quot; quality=&quot;high&quot; pluginspage=&quot;; type=&quot;application/x-shockwave- flash&quot;></embed> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li></object> </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Decision: Pseudo or genuine streaming? <ul><li>You will need to decide on the best content delivery system. </li></ul><ul><li>Pseudo streaming will require sufficient bandwidth from the hosting server to deliver content </li></ul><ul><li>Genuine streaming will calculate the optimum bandwidth delivery to the client. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Don’t forget to test, test, test… <ul><li>Check the delivery of your content over a variety of connection speeds and conditions; remember your target audience will judge the value of the streaming on it’s performance as much as anything else! </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure that you are delivering a common format. Obscure formats won’t win you any friends. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider whether the target audience will need to download new codecs to see the stream </li></ul>
  17. 17. Other directions <ul><li>Streaming is not just limited to delivering video and audio over the Internet. New developments include multi-casting, pod-casting and live streams. </li></ul><ul><li>Streaming is constantly changing, and in an ever-competitive world, the technology is being driven to deliver more and more. </li></ul><ul><li>Always remember, that while technology changes, your multimedia must still be relevant and efficient for it to work. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Live Streaming: What’s happening behind the scenes?
  19. 19. And now… <ul><li>Vividas delivers broadcast quality video and audio real-time without the need for end-user software or players. </li></ul><ul><li>Explore some of the videos on showcase at the following site: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  20. 20. Some final considerations <ul><li>Legal issues are very important to consider when streaming </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure that you have the permission of a copyright owner before streaming someone else’s content </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t forget to protect your own work </li></ul><ul><li>See a legal professional for the best ways to protect yourself and your multimedia work </li></ul>
  21. 21. Streaming <ul><li>References </li></ul><ul><li>How Streaming Video and Audio Work </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Embedding Streaming Video Files </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledgements </li></ul><ul><li>This lecture was further developed from previous lectures by Sean Kelleher and Peter Somerville </li></ul>