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Old May 26th, 2002, 03:41 PM   #1
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Greetings Y'all

My Name is Adam Brooks and I will be doing my best to answer questions for you about streaming media.
I have been creating video for the web sor the last severals years and have been involved in video production for 20 years in the Boston area.
I feel that there is a great opportunity in the streaming marketplace.
Just check out www.arbitron.com to see how much streaming is happening and how it continues to grow.

I see a number of posts already and am excited to learn with all of you.

Thanks,

Adam Brooks
Media Consultant
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Old May 26th, 2002, 07:30 PM   #2
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Its a pleasure to meet you, Adam, and you will likely be a valuable well of info.

With that said... I have a question. What is the best format for quality, small file size, and player compatibility? Quickime, Real, or Windows Media?

I know there are companies that offer a way to upload a video, and it streams most formats. Just because I won't use a Mac, doesn't mean I don't want Mac people to watch my video.
Thanks, and again, welcome to the forums.
Keith
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Old May 27th, 2002, 03:35 AM   #3
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My list goes like this:

1. mpeg (mac plays it too natively I believe)
2. quicktime (most windows machines have it installed, at least version 4)

and thats about where it ends. Macs do not play AVI (or ASF for
that matter) as far as I know. I also do not know how many mac
people use/have installed REAL player.
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Old May 27th, 2002, 08:04 AM   #4
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I personally don't care for QT or Real, as they are both very invasive. All I want to do, is watch some video. If I really wanted to buy the full version or get the latest version, I would. As scary as this thought is... there may be alot of people that feel the same as me.

I do like QT as far as being pleasing to the eye, and renders really well with Sorenson. Real is still an invasive pig, not all that smooth. I have tried mpeg, but haven't found the right way to stream it in a higher quality. IE is available for Mac, so I would assume that you could probably play Windows Media on them too.
But, as Rob points out, how many Macs actually use it?

So, how do you stream the highest quality to the highest number of people?
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Old May 27th, 2002, 10:31 AM   #5
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Mpeg has a downside indeed. It needs much more bandwidth
(filesize) then another compression (like QT or real)... but it is
more cross platform then anything else I think...
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Old May 27th, 2002, 11:10 AM   #6
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I llike windows media if I am looking at a PC crowd. It has a good codec and can be viewed on macs and pc's. Quicktime has a lot of features going for it, but most people don't use them.

MPEG-1 plays on both Mac and PC and I use them for CD-ROM or HD powerpoint presentations.

The big problem with real is the player. If you learn to create your own player window that embeds the real file into a browser window and avoid all of Real's advertising it's not bad either.

Adam
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Old May 27th, 2002, 09:29 PM   #7
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When creating an embeded video, wouldn't the end user still need to have the codec installed? Or worse- have to decide if the video is worth downloading something new in order to view it. This is why I'm asking about compatibility.

I realize that you can't please everyone, but the more happy people, the better. Any Mac people using Windows Media? Who prefers QT on their Windows machine? Who hates Real as much as I do?
Keith
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Old May 28th, 2002, 03:05 AM   #8
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Personally I prefer the following (in this order) : MPEG2,
Hi-res quicktime, hi-res AVI/DiVX, MPEG1, low-res quicktime.

But I'm a pretty much broadband user, ie, I download a lot. I
prefer quality over size, but ofcourse, a lot of people don't. I love
those quicktime hi-res trailers www.apple.com/trailers has online.
These are great.

Oh, one other thing. With Real and QuickTime you can protect
your stuff so that it is impossible or very difficult to download,
so that at least normal users can only see it online, I have a
couple of problems with this approach:

1. you can only see it one time. If you want to see it again at
a later date you have to view it online again. If it is gone you
are out of luck. And it costs bandwidth again, nice when some
cable / ADSL connection don't have unlimited allowance for
bandwidth
2. if your connection is not fast enough for the quality you want
you basically cannot see it (good). If you were able to
download it, you could.
3. I think it only decreases interest and views when it is streaming
only because some people will not see it or see it in a crappy
quality due to reasons 1 or 2. It is a good sign if people are
keeping your trailers/footage!!

Just my two cents...
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Old May 28th, 2002, 10:00 AM   #9
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Yes Capt, you are correct.
that is why I pointed out that Mac users will use quicktime. it is installed on every Mac. And Windows Media for pc;s.
Now if you want to talk about which codec to use.
You need to decide how backward compatible you want to be.
I find for most of my clients that they want the best looking video for the lowest bandwith.
The newer codecs look better.
I guess it also depends on how compelling your content is.
If people really want to see it they will download both the player and the video.

Question one always is : Who's your audience?
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Old May 28th, 2002, 10:21 AM   #10
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I agree with you Rob, that quality is a high priority. It doesn't matter if it is the greatest footage since The Ten Commandments, if it looks like garbage after a bad compress/ stream.

I am trying to embed these videos into web pages, as seamlessly as possible. I have tried Windows Media, QT, and Real. Mind you, I am not overly proficient in embeding and scripting. I still want video and audio to blend with the page.

I have also experimented with using Wildform Flix, to create a flash animation out of video. It's just extremely hard to get the sweet quality of the original at small file sizes. In the few cases the quality was acceptible, the flash file was often larger than the original avi. And these days, if you surf you need flash, so compatibility was no problem.
Oh, what fun I have :)
Keith
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Old June 2nd, 2002, 08:01 PM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Capt Quirk : I agree with you Rob, that quality is a high priority. It doesn't matter if it is the greatest footage since The Ten Commandments, if it looks like garbage after a bad compress/ stream.

I am trying to embed these videos into web pages, as seamlessly as possible. I have tried Windows Media, QT, and Real. Mind you, I am not overly proficient in embeding and scripting. I still want video and audio to blend with the page.

I have also experimented with using Wildform Flix, to create a flash animation out of video. It's just extremely hard to get the sweet quality of the original at small file sizes. In the few cases the quality was acceptible, the flash file was often larger than the original avi. And these days, if you surf you need flash, so compatibility was no problem.
Oh, what fun I have :)
Keith -->>>

You might want to check out simulated video in Flash. Flix does not compare to DV codecs. Simulated Video is image sequences done correctly you get much smaller file size than Flix and way better quality.
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