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Media Server Software Options

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In the recent past the main method which was being used in video and audio webs was basically a download and play technology. Therefore a media file could only be played after it was successfully downloaded. This technology was somehow limited because media files are normally very large therefore the media files which were available were only short clips. Despite the fact that the media files were very short it would take a long time to download. Streaming media is very different from downloaded files since it can be watched immediately as the files are being sent. Despite the length of the media its usually watched on arrival. There are two distinct methods which are used in audio and video streaming being done over the internet. This method includes web server approach; the standard web serve is employed in issuance of files to the user.

The other method is the server approach which employs media streaming. In this case a specific streaming server is usually used to deliver the packaged data to the user. In this method the initial step is the compression of the specific data into an individual media file. This media file is ready for delivery to the required network bandwidth for instance 28.8 kbps modem. The compressed media file is then put under a standardized web server. Before the data reaches the final destination a web page with the specific URL file is developed and placed under the same web server. On the activation of the web page the files are launched at the user’s player therefore the media file is automatically downloaded. Basically the process is very samilar to those of down load and play though the only underlying differences emerge at the recipients or clients side (Windows par. 2).

The main difference between the two approaches is that in streaming the user is able to play the video or audio at the same time when it’s being downloaded. A buffer is used to eliminate any interference which may arise. Most interference occurs when there is congestion at the network. The progressive play backs that are experienced in media streaming are solely supported by Microsoft Advanced streaming Format. This is the format which is common in media streaming. Streaming media server employs an approach which is almost similar to the web server approach. The only underlying difference is that in streaming media the compressed data is first copied to its server for instance Microsoft Windows Media Server. In web server the files are transferred directly to web server. After copying the web page with the necessary information is then transferred to the web server. The two approaches may be used on the same desktop without any problem.

Data delivery process is very different between the two approaches. For instance web server approach makes use of passive burst methodology whereby the client receives active, intelligent data. The data is assessed by the client the same date when it’s sent and at the same rate that was used in compression of the information. As a result the client and server are in close contact therefore the feedback of the user can be responded to by the client. On the other hand streaming media servers make use of normal protocols as well as specialized ones in attempt of improving the entire streaming process. Streaming media server is more advantageous because it offers an efficient network throughout the entire process, it also emphasizes on the quality of the videos and the audios under transmission. Generally this method is cost effective because it can serve a large group of clients at the same time. Besides that it offers protection of the copyright content besides the multiple delivery options (Windows par. 6).

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