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Serverless Streaming: The Best of Both Worlds

Serverless Streaming: The Best of Both Worlds

Find out about new technology that will do away with the streaming server software that Web video is dependent on today.

Okay, you've created your masterpiece, and you want to publish it to the Web so your Aunt Gertie in Tallahassee can watch it. You're thinking about creating a streaming media file, so she can watch it without having to wait for a download. But streaming media doesn't have great quality, especially on slower connections, and publishing streaming media means finding a host with a streaming media server.
If you create a downloadable media file, you could make it as high quality as you want, but the file could end up being huge. That means a long download time for poor Aunt Gertie, not to mention a long upload time for you.

The Serverless Alternative

There is another alternative, one that walks the middle ground between streaming and downloading, yet is clearly very different from them both. Serverless streaming has been around a while, taking a little time to get up to speed, with the notable exception of VivoActive, from the now deceased Vivo Software. Real Networks bought Vivo in 1998, and allowed it to die, some believe because Real recognized it as being serious competition.
After the untimely demise of Vivo, we didn't see much in the way of serverless streaming until the release of QuickTime 4. When Apple released the last version of QuickTime, they included the ability for quick viewing, which means viewing while the QuickTime file continues to download. Version 5 is in its second public beta release at press time and should be in its final release by the time you read this.
QuickTime's primary drawback is the old slow connection problem. If you're on a slow connection, then your computer cannot download the file as fast as you can view it. So you end up trying to watch the file a frame at a time, as it arrives, which can be an extremely frustrating experience.

High Speed and Quality, Too

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Tags:  April 2001
Sun, 04/01/2001 - 12:00am