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  1. #1
    Søren
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    which player, when streaming many diff. filetypes?

    I have a website that http- streams alot of different filetypes. The most likely types are these:

    mpeg
    mpg
    mov
    asf
    wmv
    and a couple more..


    We are talking about many hundreds of small videoes, approximately 5 mb.
    Which is the best and easiest way to stream these videoes, and how many players do i need to cover all formats - or could i restrict to only one player where all filetypes could be played in..?

  2. #2
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Re: which player, when streaming many diff. filetypes?

    With hundreds of videos it would consume a lot of time and space trying to use multiple formats. I think you need a more streamlined solution.

    I definitely recommend Flash. You can download our free video player and create your own playlist. The main problem for you will be converting all the clips to Flash, but if you can afford to invest a few bucks in a converter then you'll save yourself a huge amount of time and effort.

    And IMO it's heaps better for the end user.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  3. #3
    Søren
    Guest

    Re: which player, when streaming many diff. filetypes?

    The space isnt a problem. Why would it consume alot of time? - it is a automatic system where users can add a video, and then the page figure out itself which 'code' it should use to stream the video, by looking at the filetype.

    Our problem is that we dont know how many formats of the formats we see on our site, windows media player can stream, and how many formats quicktime can stream, and so on.

    Normally we only check what the users uploaded, we dont downloaded to our own hd - so it would take a little more work if we should convert the videoes.


    Do you still recommend converting the files and using the flash player now you know a little more about our problem..?

  4. #4
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Re: which player, when streaming many diff. filetypes?

    It sure does help to know more about your situation. As always, the more information the better.

    I said it would consume a lot of time because I assumed you would want to make each file available in different formats. However now I think you mean you would stream each file only in it's own original format.

    This is going to be a personal preference decision - I don't think there is any "correct" answer.

    You asked how many players you would need to cover all formats. I'm not quite sure what you mean by this - you don't need any players to deliver video in the formats you listed. The end user needs the player, not the website. The question is really "Which players will my visitors need?". The answer is "Whatever formats you decide to offer them".

    Personally, my feeling is that having to having to chop and change between multiple file formats is messy. But that's just my opinion - there's no reason you can't do it.

    Do you have an idea of how your code is going to work? I see what you're trying to achieve by looking at the file type and it's a good idea. I can also see problems with it though - is your code just going to look at the file extension or are you going to try and analyse the file type a bit more thoroughly? How will the code deal with file extensions or types which are invalid or incorrect?

    Who is able to upload files and how will you police them? If it's open to the public, you can be sure that two things will happen:
    (1) Some people will upload invalid files, e.g. not named with the correct extension, using an obscure codec, etc.
    (2) Some people will deliberately upload incorrect (even malicious) files just to see what will happen.

    In the end, If you don't have any practical way to convert files to Flash (or any other format) then that's obviously not going to work. I don't see that you have much choice other than to play the files in whichever format they were uploaded. I guess you could say you accept either Windows Media or Quicktime, provide good upload instructions, and design your code to recognise the files and provide appropriate code as best it can. Files which don't work, you just delete.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  5. #5
    Søren
    Guest

    Re: which player, when streaming many diff. filetypes?

    Hi Dave

    It is a cms system, where we must confirm any file uploaded before it is added to the site. So that wont be a problem.

    The code will look at the extension, and then imbed the file with the correct code.

    My problem is that i dont know which file-extensions win media support and which it doesnt support. I've tried to stream a .mov file in win media player, and it worked fine. So when do i need quicktime? and what about .swf .asf. avi. .rm and so on... - can win. media player stream and support them?

    My experience is that most extensions we meet are supported by win media - would it be an idea to convert files with extensions not supported by win media to a extension supported by win media...?

  6. #6
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Re: which player, when streaming many diff. filetypes?

    In my experience it is certainly possible to get Win Media Player to play various formats including Quicktime, but sometimes with unpredictable results. For example, there's a fair chance the end user will get a message like "Media Player doesn't recognise this extension but can try to play it anyway". Although this sort of thing can work, it's ugly.

    Regarding the other formats you mentioned, here's how I see it:
    .swf - needs to be played with Flash Player. Not a good video format - Flash video should be .flv.
    .asf - works fine with WMP.
    .avi - usually works fine with WMP but there are many different codecs out there which can be problematic.
    .rm - needs to be played with Real Player. I think this format is on the way out but that's just my opinion.

    Changing the extension won't usually help - you would need to convert the file itself. If you just change the extension you'll end up with errors.

    If your code can look at the file extension and provide tailored embedding code, I would recommend providing the appropriate code to run the file with it's native player, e.g. if it's a mov file, play it with Quicktime.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  7. #7
    Søren
    Guest

    Re: which player, when streaming many diff. filetypes?

    Thanks Dave - great help..

    one last question - the swf files are usually not video files, recorded with a camera.. but animations made with the flash program. Isnt it correct that these animations should be in swf format..?

  8. #8
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Re: which player, when streaming many diff. filetypes?

    Yeah, that's right. flv for true video and swf for animations, interactive content, etc.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

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