Case Studies : Streaming Media

Hi All,

During the last few months, I have found that the awareness regarding the Video Streaming and other delivery models and the functions and details of the Flash Player framework is very less amongst the  students (graduates and graduating) of technical colleges. No surprise if some of the IT professionals are also not much aware of the Flash Player and all of its uses, especially the Video delivery.

So I thought to do my bit, in making an effort to make available those resources and processes that help in knowing more about the things around us, better !

Streaming Media (Adobe)
Streaming Media (Adobe)

In this series, we would provide different case studies, which are to be taken one by one, and you are expected to understand and answer the questions for each of the case studies. While trying to work on each one of these, you may want to form into groups of three or four enthusiastic students and then approach with a co-ordinated effort. Document all your findings, observations, resources and importantly, your queries and pain points.

Hope this helps, some of you, at least.

Case Study : tv.adobe.com

  • What is/are the complete workflow(s) that is being implemented in the Case study ?
  • What is the underlying technology that is being used for video and audio delivery ?
  • What are the different components and their design that are used in the Portal given for Case Study ?
  • What alternatives can you know/think of ?
  • Is it a good way of doing ? Do you find any issues/vulnerabilities/concerns ?

Case Study : ustream.tv

  • What is/are the complete workflow(s) that is being implemented in the Case study ?
  • What is the underlying technology that is being used for video and audio delivery ?
  • What are the different components and their design that are used in the Portal given for Case Study ?
  • What alternatives can you know/think of ?
  • Is it a good way of doing ? Do you find any issues/vulnerabilities/concerns ?

Case Study : webcast.gov.in

  • What is/are the complete workflow(s) that is being implemented in the Case study ?
  • What is the underlying technology that is being used for video and audio delivery ?
  • What are the different components and their design that are used in the Portal given for Case Study ?
  • What alternatives can you know/think of ?
  • Is it a good way of doing ? Do you find any issues/vulnerabilities/concerns ?

Case Study : youtube.com (this is the most tough one as it has a mixture of many technologies, if I am not wrong)

  • What is/are the complete workflow(s) that is being implemented in the Case study ?
  • What is the underlying technology that is being used for video and audio delivery ?
  • What are the different components and their design that are used in the Portal given for Case Study ?
  • What alternatives can you know/think of ?
  • Is it a good way of doing ? Do you find any issues/vulnerabilities/concerns ?

Overall, at the end of your study, you should be able to have answers for the following :

  • What are the different streaming methods that you are aware of  ?
  • What does each streaming method does in principle ? (which is equivalent to asking, what is streaming ? )
  • Who are the different players (companies/solutions) that offer streaming technologies ?
  • What is a Flash Player and how does it Stream audio and video ! ?

Thank you !

    Share on Facebook

    Kshitij @ IIT Kharagpur : Streaming Technologies

    Hello Everyone…

    Thanks for a wonderful session @ Kshitij , IIT Kharagpur. We were overwhelmed by the organization, co-ordination and enthusiasm.

    As hoped, we wish that the three hours of interaction was productive and compelling to switch gears to the Flash Platform.

    As promised during the session, here is a list of all resources and tutorials to go through.

    • http://fmsguru.com

    All the discussion related to FMS : Forums and Support.
    FMS Video tutorials for each small action.

    • http://flashcomguru.com

    Posts and updates on latest happenings along with few tweaks

    • http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations

    All the happening in and around Adobe, a one stop information portal.

    • http://blogs.adobe.com/flashmedia/tag/fms

    covering information regarding FMS and its ecosystem.

    • http://blogs.adobe.com/cantrell/

    Special blog for mobile programming for Flash

    • http://blogs.adobe.com/ktowes

    Directly from the Product Manager.

    • http://blogs.adobe.com/streamindia

    Streaming India blog site.

    • http://facebook/adobe
    • www.actionscript.org

    you can take a look at this.

    • www.creativecow.net

    An interactive and active forum for streaming discussions

    • www.flashsecrets.com

    A blog well maintained.

    • http://blog.728media.com

    A blog on FMS with examples and illustrations

    • www.askmeflash.com

    A very good question-answer discussion portal

    • www.workingbase.com

    A very good project portal.

    • http://david.realeyes.com

    A FMS user, and a serious eye opener on technology and its usage.

    • http://active.tutsplus.com

    A very good site to learn rich actionscripting

    • www.bytearray.org

    A high level and passionate flash player programming

    • http://www.flashrealtime.com/

    Another blog for flash and FMS programming

    List of all the other resources.

    All the best. We would come back with more updates soon. Stay Live …
    Share on Facebook

    Delhi Video Event, November 2010

    Adobe organized a video event showcasing one of its key products Creative Suite CS5 along with Broadcasting solutions for video streaming using Flash Media Server and other Adobe Flash Platform based products. Mainly catering to the video production units and other video broadcasters in and around New Delhi, the event attracted more than 100 enthusiastic participants wanting to know more about what’s new in their favorite product suites, CS5.
    Following are few snaps from the event.

    Date of event : 26th November, 2010

    Venue: Radisson, Noida.

    Event Stage

    Event Stage

    Everything inside CS5 : Guru Vaidya

    Everything inside CS5 : Guru Vaidya

    Audience @ Video event, Radisson

    Audience @ Video event, Radisson

    Enterprise Solutions with Flash Media Server

    Enterprise Solutions with Flash Media Server

    Reception busy with Attendees

    Reception busy with Attendees

    Video enthusiasts getting special attention

    Video enthusiasts getting special attention

    Share on Facebook

    NIT Durgapur – Event Gallary

    Share on Facebook

    Jamia University visit : Streaming Media Program

    Today we did the follow-up session in Jamia after our initial visit with an introductory session on Streaming one month ago. It was basically a ‘Hands-on’ Training session, in which we demonstrated how to create basic streaming applications using Flash Builder 4 and server-side action script.

    The response was very good. The students are hungry to learn and attempt.

    All of them had FMS installed on their machines (very nice to see the start up page that pops up after the installation on all the lab machines ! ) and were exploring live streaming using FMLE. There were almost 60-70 students from 3rd and 4th year Computer Sciences Department.

    Here, we demonstrated them creating small client-server application to connect to FMS server that can play live and archived video streams. Student version of Flash Builder and FMS development server was being used for this purpose. Also described about the FMS process and monitoring their server using fms admin console and debugging using traces, application logs and other diagnostic logs. A small chat application that uses sharedObjects have also been illustrated there and work flow has been described.

    Students did show interest and were able to follow the training all along. At the end of the session we provided three problem statements to the students to solve ranging for intermediate to hard level project modules that would around a month to complete.

    This was the second visit to any of the educational institutions in NCR region and gave us lots of insights already as to how well equipped we should be while addressing to the student community.

    It was a fascinating experience so far with all the events going on under the banner of Streaming Media India Program. Two student visits along with three customer interactions were done in a span of three months.

    We started with an initial session to a august gathering of customers in and around NCR , a whole day session broken into five sub-presentations. The first experience was really tasty and inspired the appetite for many improvements to make it better.

    Without much gap before the next event, we visited the Noida campus of HCL to address a richly experienced gathering of developers, project managers and leads. It was a repeat of the same session but were faced with lot more technical queries instigating deeper study and clarifications from our side.

    With the feedback received and retrospection, we improved the session content to best fit and that showed in the third event for customers, this time sticking back to the beloved Adobe campus itself.

    The experience gained so far was gainful, encouraging and at the same time thought and action provoking. Making the best use of this unique opportunity would the most beneficial directly for the students, customers, to us as a part of the Flash Media Server Team and indirectly to the Knowledge society that we are unconsciously building !

    Hoping to see brighter avenues,

    Streaming Media Program India (streamindia@adobe.com)

    Share on Facebook

    Streaming Media Program : Problem Statement

    Problem Statements for Streaming Media Program :

    1.     Build a multicast enabled peer-to-peer intra-institutional video conferencing application using Flash Media Server 4.0 as the backend server and a client application based on Flash.

    • Flash Media Server 4 to be used in multicasting mode : RTMFP is the protocol.
    • Flash Builder to be used to build the client applications and AS3 is the scripting language.
    • Two-way video conferencing should be enabled.
    • Text chat, mute/unmute, video recording are also to be included as ‘expected features’
    • QOS and other statistics to be obtained.
    • Desktop and Screen sharing are the ‘extra features’ that are good to have.

    2.     Build a OSMF based video player that can do the following :

    • Multi bit-rate streaming of videos
    • Video playback of live events
    • Overlay of video content like text, graphics, score cards, photos etc.
    • Dynamic playlist creation on the client side.
    • RTMP/RTMPE/RTMPTE fall back mechanism
    • SWF verification to be enabled
    • QOS and logging to be enabled
    • Full screen mode, Digital video recording to be present.
    • Embed URL to be provided for faster accessibility

    Before trying to attempt the above statements, as a warm up, you can try with a smaller problem statement below :

    (Please watch out this space for any updates and additional problem statements).

    Create a RTMP FMS application along with a very basic client application that does the following :

    • The server side application takes live video from Flash Media Live Encoder.
    • Client application should be able to subscribe to this stream published from the Flash Media Live Encoder with the following : Print the Metadata of the live stream coming in, check the bandwidth between the client and the server and print it on the client.
    • The server side application along with taking the live stream from the flash media live encoder should be able to record the stream on the server.

    Helpful resources :

    OSMF Player : http://osmf.org/

    Flash Media Server : http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashmediaserver/

    Mailing Alias: streamindia@adobe.com

    Share on Facebook

    Adobe’s Flash Media Family for Video Delivery

    Adobe’s Flash Platform enables people to deploy their video solution over internet for a rich user experience. It provides a complete end-to-end seamless solution for creating, publishing, delivering and playback option for videos known as “Plan to Playback”. Following set of products could be utilized in this space:

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Share on Facebook

    Emergence of Video Sharing and Streaming

     User generated videos have been proved to be a very effective mode of communication and training purpose in recent years. These videos help one to understand a certain process efficiently by actually looking at the demonstration, or these videos help common people to connect and watch their loved ones who are residing at far distances and otherwise happen to meet generally after a long gap.

    Now, using the technologies which were earlier available during the early era of 90s it was very difficult and was almost impossible to send/share a recorded videos  across the world wide web due to many reasons like the non-availability of sufficient hi-speed bandwidth (56Kbps modem line)that is required to push such large amount of data, unavailability of better encoding and decoding options, non-availability of standard media players which can understand the file formats and many other such infrastructure and logistic issues.

    In the later part of 90s people tried to share videos file using “Traditional download” mechanism where users were supposed to click over a link on website and then need to wait for the entire download to finish at a very slow speed (56Kbps Modem – 96 Kbps ISDN) before they could actually playback the file and view the content. Situation was worse when due to some bandwidth fluctuation users get disconnected and then again need to start the file downloading process. It was obviously a tedious process and far enough from an optimum solution for end-users, content publishers as well as content providers together due to many issues, few obvious can be enumerated as below:

    1. Long waiting time for users to actually view the content.
    2. No control over the video file once it is delivered to a consumer.
    3. No failover mechanism.
    4. No content protection.
    5. No control over piracy.

    In 1999, the phenomenal popularity of the 2 1/2-minute movie trailer for “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace”—a whopping big 25 MB file at 480×216 resolution (good quality)—was proof that media-hungry Internet audiences are willing to be forgiving of long waits for large files. But if an artist or publisher does not want end-users to be able to save and freely redistribute their media content, the downloadable approach is problematic

     Web-based technologies emerged as a powerful tool of communication and collaboration for people living in the different part of the world in the era after 2000. In this age we had hi-speed bandwidth available (~1200Kbps fast DSL lines or T1/2/3 technologies), efficient video codecs like VP6/7(by On2Spark) or H.264 (MPEG4 Standard10), audio codecs like MP3/AAC were now available that enabled people to record and sufficiently compress video files to travel it across the web. At this point the technology that has been largely used by people and organizations to share video was “Progressive download” mechanism. This technology had enabled the users to playback the file before it completely downloaded. Progressive download allows playback of content that has been received to continue, while the remainder is still being downloaded. Progressive download, therefore, allows the end-user to view the beginning of the file, as the remainder is being downloaded, and to quit the download if the content is not worth the wait. Progressive download has basically gained the enough momentum and was regarded as a highly popularized method of sharing videos. Websites like Youtube.com has given video sharing an entirely new dimension where large number of people were simultaneously able to watch the videos and share their user-generated contents. But, technically it has only drastically reduced the waiting time only but the flaws that were there with “Traditional download” was still remained unchallenged as it was just a simple web-delivery technique. Few of the issues that still has to be addressed were as follows:

    1. No control over the video once it has been delivered to consumer.
    2. No content protection.
    3. No control over piracy.
    4. No quality control.
    5. No insight about end-user experience.
    6. No collaboration options while watching a video content.
    7. No method to deliver real-time broadcasting of events.

    So, the middle of 2005 was a time where people don’t only wanted to share the videos but they also wanted to have the rich media experience while watching a program over internet and this demand obviously was not ridiculous as by this time sufficient infrastructure and technology was there in place to broadcast such high-quality videos over internet for a large set of users.

    To address all of such kind of issues the new phenomena that emerged in the starting year of 2000 and gain popularity around 2004-05 was “Streaming Approach”.  Streaming approach can be clearly defined by following three primary characteristics combined:

    • Streaming media technology enables real-time or on-demand access to audio, video, and multimedia content via the Internet or an intranet: Streaming technology enables the near real-time transmission of events recorded in video and/or audio, as they happen—sometimes called “Live-Live,” and commonly known as Webcasting. Streaming technology also makes it possible to conveniently distribute pre-recorded/pre-edited media on-demand. In other words, media that is stored and published on the Web in streaming formats can be made available for access at any time.

     

    • Streaming media is transmitted by a media server application, and is processed and played back by a client player application, as it is received: A client application, known as player, can start playing back streaming media as soon as enough data has been received—without having to wait for the entire file to have arrived. As data is transferred, it is temporarily stored in a buffer until enough data has accumulated to be properly assembled into the next sequence of the media stream. When streaming technology was first available, the ability to begin playback before the entire file had been transferred was a distinct advantage. Now, however, pseudo-streaming techniques, such as progressive download, allow some other formats to begin to play before fi le download is completed. So, while the ability to begin playback prior to completing file transfer is a characteristic of streaming, it is not, in and of itself, a differentiating factor.

     

    • A streamed fi le is received, processed, and played simultaneously and immediately, leaving behind no residual copy of the content on the receiving device: An important advantage of streaming media (unlike either traditional or progressive download) technology is the copyright protection it provides. No copy of the content is left on the receiving device. Therefore, the recipient can neither alter nor redistribute the content in an unauthorized manner.

    Streaming solution when mixed with the Adobe flash Platform technology (Flash Media Live Encoder, Flash Media Server, OSMF, Flash Access ) it has created wonders in this domain where  at one hand to the consumer-side it enhanced the rich media delivery experience (Flash Player) , to the content-publisher side it has provided an easy way to control and monitor content distribution (DRM) and to the Content distributor side (CDNs like Akamai/Edgecast etc) it has provided the secure protocol and other flash specific defense mechanism. Adobe flash Platform and other technologies had tremendously reduced the application development time with rich media features having capabilities of presenting real-time videos to the subscribers with various kind of collaborative options like real-time chat and interaction, data casting, webcasting. It also helps content producers to monetize and protect their video content over internet. Basically streaming solution has changed the world the way it used to interact using video files from simple sharing to do a lot more and is a big milestone in the direction of convergence.

    Regards,

    streamIndia@adobe.com

    Platform dedicated to Streaming

    Share on Facebook