Drazen Pantic on Sun, 12 Mar 2000 23:29:35 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Open Source Streaming Alliance - Now!

Hi to all

Thanks for useful comments. The discussion on Open Source Streaming and
related standards, copy right issues and business strategies of major
companies is highly educational, offering clues for development of a new
initiative, even if the new initiative aims towards not-for-profit,
activistic goals.

I will highlight few quotes and offer some comments, classification and few

* RM servers and RBN

From: "Eric Miller" <eric@OAKTREE.com>

> Plus the underlying transport technology requires an incredible amount of
> implementational sophistication to scale to large audiences effectively.
> This is why RBN charges so much, eh?  And it may be an oversimplification
> say that Real uses proprietary technology.  They use the open RTSP
> a la Quicktime, and it's an RFC-approved standard.

From: "Matthew Smith" <matt@fl.aec.at>

> RBN charges so much because they can. If development time and performance
> were a factor in the pricing, how could they have offered the RN 5.0
> server at 500$ about 3 years ago? The comparable server now costs 2000$.

From: "Amy Alexander" <plagiari@plagiarist.org>

> I agree that Real Media leaves much to be desired with
> its proprietary standard, but they *do* make free versions
> of their servers available. They don't make 'em easy to
> find on their website, and they have limited streams, etc.,
> but for an independent site as opposed to a large ISP, you
> really can get decent functionality from what they make
> available for free.

Those three quotes quite transparently show business strategy of RN. They
offer basic functionality for free (players and small scale server); they
charge a lot for the full scale functionality of the server and they just
overkill in price for access to their network of distributed servers. On top
of that they offer additional products like RealText atc; plus commercial
clips on their site.

Also, it is very interesting how do RN relate to other streaming standards.
They kind of like MP3, incorporating it in the player immediately; they try
to ignore QT efforts - but they just hate MS streaming standard. On the page
[1} there is an "objective" comparison of RealAudio, MP3 and MS audio. Worth
of a click.

* Open Source Servers

From: "Eric Miller" <eric@OAKTREE.com>

> >And how can apple offer the QT server for free?

From: "Amy Alexander" <plagiari@plagiarist.org>

> ... with the open source development efforts, MP3 is
> holding out a great deal of promise, at least on the audio
> end of things. My big concern, though, as with most open
> source efforts, is that enough attention be paid to
> user-friendliness, or at least avoiding user-antagonism. I've
> set up plenty of servers and server software, and I still
> find Icecast and Liveice tedious to deal with.... so I'm
> very concerned that an independent broadcaster trying to
> set up his/her first server, without necessarily having a
> systems administrator handy,
> is going to be frustrated trying to work with the current
> state of most open source software.

Apple's effort ir a really interesting experiment: mixing AppleX, BSD and
XML in an OpenSource project, [2]. Seems like an obvious candidate for
implementation in the Open Source Streaming Alliance. Darwin Streaming
Server [3] promises a lot. As mentioned above it is not the the most
straightforward meter in the world to set it up, especially on an i386

Also, one might take a look at TeraCAST Server, a RTSP/RTP streaming server
that runs on Windows 98/NT4, Solaris/sparc, Solaris/x86, FreeBSD/x86 and
Linux/x86, [4].

[1] http://www.real.com/msaudio/
[2] http://www.publicsource.apple.com
[3] http://www.publicsource.apple.com/projects/streaming/
[4] http://streaming.entera.com

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