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Streaming Media Handbook, The

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Streaming Media Handbook, The


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  • Copyright 2003
  • Dimensions: K
  • Pages: 336
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-035813-4
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-035813-4

  • Practical solutions for webcasts, media-on-demand, and private corporate intranet applications
  • Covers streaming infrastructure, production, coding, and delivery
  • Presents extensive examples using QuickTime, Windows Media, and Real
  • Includes three detailed corporate case studies
  • By the producer of webcasts for U2 and The Rolling Stones

The real-world guide to delivering streaming media—no experience needed!

More and more Web sites are discovering the compelling advantages of streaming media. But delivering high-performance, reliable, cost-effective media across the Internet can be extremely challenging?especially for Web professionals who've never done it before. Now, you can master streaming media step by step, with guidance from an expert who has produced webcasts for U2, The Rolling Stones, and dozens of enterprise clients. Eyal Menin covers every facet of streaming video infrastructure, production, coding, and delivery, including:

  • Choosing optimal technologies for webcasts, media-on-demand, public Web delivery, and private corporate intranet applications
  • Understanding how streaming media works with your network and firewalls
  • Configuring encoding workstations and streaming media servers
  • Identifying cost-effective content sources
  • Troubleshooting performance, reliability, and efficiency
  • Streaming media to wireless and mobile devices.
  • Marketing your streaming content

The book's many examples encompass all three leading media formats—Real, Windows Media, and QuickTime. Also included: practical guidance on measuring the success of your streaming media initiative, plus three detailed corporate case studies.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Streaming to Mobile Devices

Table of Contents

(NOTE: Each chapter concludes with Summary.)




1. Streaming Media Basics.

What Is Streaming Media? History of Streaming Media. Who Should Use Streaming Media? Advantages of Using Streaming Media. Disadvantages of Using Streaming Media. Leading Technologies in the Market.

2. Networks.

Networks-Basic. Networks-Advanced. How Does Streaming Video Work? Firewall Issues.

3. Source Material.

DeÞnitions of Video and Audio. Video Formats. Audio Formats. Video Equipment. Action.

4. Stock Library Media.

When Not to Produce Video. Legal Aspects of Content Distribution. Digital Media Formats. Analog Media Formats.

5. Mobile Networks.

A Wireless World. How Do Wireless Networks Work? WLAN Protocols. The WAP Consortium. What Is iMode? WAP versus iMode. Streaming over Wireless Networks. Wireless Service Providers.


6. Video Capture.

The Art of Compression. Compression Tools-Hardware. Capture Card Comparison. Compression Tools-Software. Choosing What Best Fits Your Needs.

7. Encoding Workstation.

Building Your Own Encoding Workstation. Recommended Components. Hardware Installation. System Audio Configuration.

8. The Encoding Process.

Testing Your Encoding Workstation. Live Webcast or Media On-Demand. RealSystem( Encoding Tools. QuickTime( Encoding Tools. Windows Media(tm)s Encoding Tools.

9. Media Servers.

Building Your Own Media Server. Recommended Components. Hardware Installation. Software Installation.

10. Streaming Content.

Unicast versus Multicast. How Media On-Demand Works. How to Set Up an On-Demand Unicast Stream. How to Set Up a Multicast Stream. How to Set Up a Live Unicast Stream. How to Set Up a Live Multicast Stream. Creating Broadcast Playlists.

11. Streaming to Mobile Devices.

Concept Planning. Mobile Devices and the Enterprise. Streaming to Handheld Devices. Unicast versus Multicast. Wireless Streaming Technologies. PacketVideo. RealNetworks( RealSystem Mobile. Microsoft Windows Media.


12. Marketing Techniques.

Defining Your Objectives. Online Versus Offline. Free Online Guides. Increasing Traffic to Your Site. The Buzz Word-Online Partnerships.

13. Case Studies.

How to Measure Success. Case 1-Centerseat and Broadband Channels on the Web. Case 2-The Fortune 500 Company and Developing a User-Friendly Mediacentric Corporate Web site. Case 3-U2 PopMart Tour and the First Internet Press Kit. Summary.




Streaming Media Handbook will help many readers without technical experience add streaming media to their Web site. The book takes a basic approach, explaining the steps needed to prepare video or audio for streaming on the Internet or on private networks. I had the idea to write this book when I realized that most guides about streaming technology primarily addressed an audience that had extensive computer and network experience. Until now the exciting world of streaming video was a privilege only few could enjoy; one had to have technical knowledge of computers and basic video production skills. The purpose of this book is to simplify terms, share knowledge, and guide readers in choosing the proper tools to help them use streaming media technology in their day-to-day tasks.

Who Should Read This Book

This book is designed for readers of all levels, from the novice to the expert. Streaming Media Handbook is for everyone interested in learning how to stream media on the Internet, on a corporate local area network (LAN), or on a wireless local area network (WLAN). The book covers basic setup procedures that apply to every industry. Whether you work in the entertainment industry, you want to post media on your small-business Web site, or you are planning to add rich media to an enterprise network, this book shows you the steps necessary to reach your goal.

First-time users of streaming technology will find that this book uses simple terms and is easy to read. An illustrated guide leads you step-by-step through the installation of hardware and software, making it a task anyone can perform. Advanced readers will find useful information in the chapters explaining the latest software and streaming media tools on the market as well as detail configuration tips to operate media servers behind firewalls. Experienced users can apply the examples and case studies to their environments, helping them identify similarities and apply solutions to situations previous streaming guides did not address.

How This Book Is Organized

Streaming Media Handbook is divided into three parts. The first part (Chapters 1-5) provides a comprehensive overview of the preproduction process, which makes your video ready for streaming. The second part (Chapters 6-11) explains the various hardware and software products on the market. This part compares core streaming technologies such as QuickTime, RealMedia, and Windows Media, and helps you select the appropriate technology for your needs. This part also provides a step-by-step guide to setting up encoding workstations and to setting up media servers for the distribution of media on-demand or live webcasting. The last part (Chapters 12-13) has useful resources for all readers. It includes a list of streaming media providers, hardware and software companies, and online marketing techniques to promote media on the Internet. This part also has three case studies in which streaming media technologies were used.

A Companion Web Site

With the purchase of this book you are eligible for free online technical support from the author. Log on to www.streaminghandbook.com and enter the necessary information. After doing so, you will be eligible to receive instant access to updated resources that cover software upgrades, and to receive more information about products mentioned in the book.

Tools You Will Need

To further your knowledge of streaming media technology, I recommend that you create a laboratory environment where you can practice setting up streaming media. This laboratory environment will let you practice with hardware and software installations before you do the real thing. You can learn how to configure a dedicated encoding workstation and distribution media server. These computers can be part of a local area network or placed on the Internet. As described later in the book, some software installations are available for Windows, UNIX, and Macintosh operating systems. Streaming Media Handbook is addressing installations only on the Windows operating system. Read Chapters 6-10 to learn how to configure encoding workstations and media servers. These chapters are a useful guide for the preparation, storage, and display of streaming files.


The streaming media industry is growing rapidly. From a small jerky image streamed over a dialup connection to a global solution that provides enhanced communication tools, streaming technology has taken our world by storm. Streaming media has become widely used by small businesses as well as large enterprises. Today, companies that provide streaming media services are traded on the open stock market. The ability to instantly deliver a message in a cost-effective way across cities, states, and countries has changed our world. A technology that belonged to few is now used by many, opening up the world to an exciting and promising future. I hope this book helps you to better understand streaming technology and its potential. As you read you will notice that the book debunks the myth that has clouded streaming technology since its early days. In many ways the ability to stream video is similar to keeping fit at your local gym. You cannot stay in good shape simply by paying your monthly dues. You must also exercise. The information in this book gives you the equipment to train with; it offers you the knowledge to compress analog or digital video and to distribute streaming media on the Internet or on your local area network. Once you have this tool it is up to you to exercise it.


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