Streaming Media at the U of M

Audio and video files can be extremely large even if they are for short durations. Hundreds of megabytes are not uncommon for a short, ten minute video clip. Transmitting these huge files through a network places a significant burden on it, resulting in slowdowns for everyone. Additionally, when placed on a web page and viewed off campus, these media files could take hours to download.

Streaming is the process of taking a large audio or video file and transmitting small, continuous amounts of that file over a network. Initially, a small amount of the media is downloaded or transmitted. While that initial portion is playing, the next portion of the media is downloaded. The entire process continues until the entire file has been received and played. A popular streaming media format is the 'Real' format. We have installed RealServer to offer streaming media services for the University community.

Just as a Web server delivers pages to Web browsers over the Internet, RealServer serves media clips to clients. It allows users to stream, rather than download, the media clips.

The following chart gives a simple overview of the process of creating, uploading and delivering streaming media files.

streaming media flowchart
    - Administered by Jon Sirski - 272-1615.
    - Users access the streaming files through a web browser, Real player, Windows Media Player, VLC, Quicktime, etc.

Streaming Media Table of Contents

Streaming Media at the U of M
Recording Audio and Video
Digitizing Recorded Media
Editing and Creating Streaming Media Files
Streaming Media Server Policies
Uploading Streaming Media Files
Making a Link on a Web Page to Stream Your File
Helix Universal Server Specifications



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