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-   -   Internet video (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/flash-web-video/27729-internet-video.html)

Jim Giles June 20th, 2004 06:48 AM


Plus you gotta be real smart.

K. Forman June 20th, 2004 08:58 AM

Jim- I can understand where you are coming from, but you do not need to be a genius. I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, yet I am able to shoot, edit, and post clips. There are little things that will make the video better, but common sense and understanding are your best tools.

There are some things that will help your video look better, and stream faster. Use a solid background. Use straight cuts, instead of dissolves and transitions. Try lowering the audio quality a bit more, so the bulk of the download is video. Keep trying different codecs, until you find the right one.

Learn to do it yourself, so you don't need to pay others to do it for you.

Jim Giles June 20th, 2004 09:12 AM


I probably could learn to edit the file (actually, it's the time involved that I don't have) but even after getting the video file 'right' you still must contend with all them players.

For me, the 'playerless' aspect is too appealing not to take advantage of. I'm trying to appeal to a 'mass' market including 28k dialup connections.

Thank you for the feedback.

Keith Loh June 20th, 2004 09:19 AM

<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Lohman :
Keith: could you tell us a bit more about the technology behind
clipstream? I know you can't explain how it work probably, but
before recommending something to others I always like to know
what is going on and when it works and doesn't work. -->>>

Clipstream is a propriety codec that is played back from a small Java applet that is launched by the Java that is preinstalled in most browsers. It has a PC-based encoder that converts most common formats into Clipstream bit rate files (either a batch or user-specified bit rates). The encoder then outputs the applet code that the user then places in a web page where they can make modifications. All the files are uploaded to the user's basic HTTP server. The basic configuration has a supplied buttonset (which the user can replace with their own design if they wish). If they have chosen the autobit rate option, when a viewer comes to the page, the applet senses the user's bandwidth at the time and will play the appropriate bit rate version of the movie (if autoplay has been selected) or will wait for the user to use the buttonset or click on the screen to play it. The encoder can also supply beginning and end images.

Some of our more advanced clients use make use of JavaScript to control various parts of Clipstream such as making use of indexing, embedding Clipstream in presentations, interactive surveys and even inside Flash. So when I said earlier that Clipstream competes with Flash, well really it can work within Flash as well just like Flash makes use of Sorensen.

Those are the basics. I'd like to write more but I'm due on set in an hour.

You can always take a look on the website:
Product Video section

The technical guide:
The technical guide (.pdf)
Showcase section

There is also an Audio-only applet for which we do many of the same things (except just in audio). We just recently signed an exclusive agreement with Universal Music Group in fact.

Dan Euritt June 20th, 2004 02:01 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Jim Giles :I have not heard one substantive criticism of Clipstream from my vantage point. -->>>

you have heard substantive criticism of clipstream... it just isn't registering... when you are a newbie, it's real easy to glom onto something because it seems like the easy way to do things.

i would recommend that you go to google and do your due diligence on how many pc's have wmp already installed, to begin with.

the big advantage with clipstream, and it was very significant, was the capability to do "playerless streaming"... that advantage is no more, thanks to microsoft:

"The MSJVM( Microsoft® Java Virtual Machine (MSJVM) is no longer available for distribution from Microsoft and there will be no enhancements to the MSJVM. Microsoft products and SKUs currently including the MSJVM will continue to be retired or replaced by versions not containing the MSJVM on a schedule to be announced."


in other words, the msjvm is required to play back clipstream video, and it is no longer included with microsoft internet explorer.

i experienced this first hand, when my brand new laptop with winxp on it would not play back the clipstream videos.

i had to follow a couple of links to the sun website, in order to download the java player that clipstream requires... by comparison, almost all desktop computers on the internet have wmp by default, and they will continue to do so.

the other criticism i had of clipstream was the video quality, you can see it for yourself by downloading this link:


among other things, the clipstream encoder will not go over 15 fps... that sort of thing can be partially compensated for by a sophisticated media player itself, which is how wmp and real handle low bitrates/framerates... the clipstream java player apparently does not have that capability.

keith, we are indeed talking apples to apples here, http streaming is the subject... your codec is not nearly as efficient as the wmp codec, so it will cost the customer more money in the long run, because he will have to encode the video at a higher bandwidth to compensate.

in addition, the clipstream encoder apparently requires some dos-level command line interfacing to get the most out of it... quite the opposite of what jim was claiming about it being easy to use.

sorry if it looks like i'm down on clipstream, i'd really like to see a solid alternative to the borg... maybe you guys could include the java player with the clipstream video download?

Jim Giles June 20th, 2004 03:03 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Dan Euritt :
you have heard substantive criticism of clipstream... it just isn't registering... -->>>
No argument. What you say registers with me, however. How long would it take a 28 k connection to download Java player?

The ball is clearly in Keith's court.

Thank you Dan; VERY INFORMATIVE! I hope Clipstream has a good response.

Jim Giles June 20th, 2004 05:20 PM

I've been thinking about this some more and I still think Clipstream is awesome visavis all them players. Even if an individual doesn't have Java (which I think most people have but looking for even more confirmation on this) all you gotta do is go to java.com.

Consider also:

In these special cases Java needs to be installed, either from Microsoft or Sun.

or here.

Java is there in at least 93% of the worlds machine.

Actually more because that figure includes weird machines that aren't really used to surf the net.

That figure is from an independent survey thats continuously done by


Jim Giles June 20th, 2004 05:25 PM

Java Stats
Sat May 1 00:05:02 2004 - Mon May 31 23:55:04 2004 31.0 Days

Java enabled: 220397621 (93%)
Java disabled: 2255771 (0%)
Java unknown: 14218316 (6%)


JavaScript Stats
Sat May 1 00:05:02 2004 - Mon May 31 23:55:04 2004 31.0 Days

Javascript 1.2+: 222889677 (94%)
Javascript <1.2: 474008 (0%)
Javascript false: 13508023 (5%)


I don't know the difference between Java and JavaScript.

Dave Perry June 20th, 2004 08:34 PM

This is an article explaining why choosing QuickTime as your primary video delivery format is an excellent choice: http://www.quicktiming.org/articles/QT_101.php

Keith Loh June 21st, 2004 01:31 AM

I'm replying quickly as I just got back from an all day shoot. But you can actually encode at 30fps in Clipstream, but not with the basic front end interface. The front end interface is just a GUI for the DOS level encoder. Most longtime users of Clipstream will use the DOS encoder and it is in that level that you can encode at 30fps. The reason why we did not include that in the front end UI is that we do not agree that you need 30fps for internet streaming, especially at the market we are aiming at which is high volume institutions, portals and advertising.

Far from being annoyed at your criticism, I welcome it because it helps us formulate our strategy for version three of our product as well as how to improve the product.

A criticism based upon output quality is best satisfied by a test of both codecs under similar conditions. This includes an analysis of bandwidth, user stats, how quickly did the video play, how long did it take to buffer or download, etc. These types of head to head tests we have done for major clients. Some of them we've won, some of them we have lost to be sure.

As far as Windows Media installation, you have a point, except where Windows Media prompts the user upgrade. Clearly, some people are used to automatically upgrading, some are not because they don't want bloat ware, they are suspicious of Microsoft and otherwise don't have the patience to stop whatever they are doing to get up to speed. This is the same complaint that stops people from installing Real to begin with, and it is the reason why some people who choose one Media Player software tend to stick with that single player to the exception of the others. It creates partisans who can't understand why others don't en masse support their media player choice. This drives people delivering content crazy. I'm sure there are many people on this board, in particular, who don't understand why everyone doesn't convert to Quicktime. Well, I know quite a few people who absolutely hate Quicktime. For some reason, it crashes their system, it is always nagging them to upgrade or install iTunes, all of these things they have to embrace before they see the light.

Your criticism about the install base is a good one. Of course if you don't have Java right out of the box, you won't be able to view Clipstream, regardless of the measures we take to ask you to install it. However, Java isn't used just for Clipstream, it is used for a variety of applets from several thousand other companies and developers. We are counting that eventually most people do install Java for one reason or another. Although Microsoft stopped installing it, Sun has picked up the slack by approaching hardware manufacturers to preinstall it anyway independent of the OS. Our stats show that almost all of our visitors do in fact have one form of Java installed. Surprisingly, almost half still have MSJV for some reason. Jim Giles has posted that other stat (93 per cent) which we also know about.

Well, this board has a unique situation. I'm not on DVInfo to be an evangelist or Guy Kawasaki for Clipstream. It just so happens that I'm on here for video production advice and when someone wanted to know about Internet Video, I would be remiss not to point to the company I work for. I happen to have almost every player installed and I've heard the complaints about all of them because the people who come to us have those issues with their own user base.

Rob Lohman June 21st, 2004 02:40 AM

Keith, thanks for your explenation of Clipstream! So are you
saying that the codec is natively available for Flash as well? That
would be interesting. But I assume it isn't transmitted with the
video file in that case? So people must install it in Flash?

I agree with both points of Java. I haven't been running Java
myself for a year or so now due to SP1a from MS. I'm not missing
it since I don't think any site I visit is using java on the client.
At least they all remain working.

Would I install Java just to see a movie someone made? At this
point in time, doubtfull. As I would not install Real. They may have
worked out the problems with that by now, but I'm still not at
ease with that product (not saying other products don't have
issues). I've actually skipped several movies last year to being
in the real format.

I agree with everyone who says that the different mediaplayers
is a nightmare. The best format anybody can possibly read is
MPEG1 <g> Too bad about the filesizes....

Dan Euritt June 21st, 2004 02:56 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Jim Giles : In these special cases Java needs to be installed, either from Microsoft or Sun.-->>>

but you can't download java from microsoft... that's my entire point, and it's why the future outlook for clipstream isn't good.

you did a great job of getting those java stats! that's the kind of homework we have to do when deciding how to design our websites.

so the stats for the currently installed java base look good, but what will they look like in the near future? it can only get worse, as more and more new winxp o.s.'s without java are installed.

while keith attempts to dismiss that issue, the counterpoint from rob backs up my claim that in the future, there is no compelling reason for people to have a java client on their computers.

thank you keith for taking the time to work with us explaining clipstream... wrt the codec comparison, both clips had the same frame size, the same data rate at 350kbps vs. 358kbps, the wmp clip had a much tougher job to do because it was for the full 30fps, while the clipstream codec was already falling apart at 15fps(?)... it displayed serious blockiness at that low framerate, so there is no hope for it for serious bandwidth useage... i was unable to find 30fps capability documented in the clipstream literature, all i recall seeing is the same 15fps limit with dos command line encoding... it's rather a moot point anyway, as the clipstream codec isn't suitable for high-bandwidth useage.

where would you want to use clipstream? just where it's designed to be used, in advertising banners and the like... a great application that will remain viable until the lack of java clients becomes an issue... at which point, clipstream will have to include the java client as an automatic download, or maybe call up an end user-created gif file as an automatic viewing alternative??

for some time now, i have been fascinated with the idea of creating java-based banners and the like, but the couple of emails i sent to clipstream from their website were not responded to, and with the total lack of pricing on their website, i had to give them up as an alternative... flash will now finally encode real video with a halfway decent picture, so that's probably where the world will continue to go.

if the clipstream people had a clue, they would be selling the clipstream encoder right off of the website as a cheap download, which is just what the content creation community needs... that is how internet standards are created.

Jim Giles June 21st, 2004 03:44 PM

It's my understanding that java can operate in any environment. What do you call that? Platform independent? In any event if that is the case, I don't see how such an 'operating system' protocol or what have you will diminish in install base. It seems too valuable to the Internet community, don't it?

I still think the members of this forum are way more exacting than the average bear out there. IOW, y'all's standards are a lot higher than mine when it comes to viewing video on the Internet.

Keith Loh June 21st, 2004 06:24 PM

Dan, we do have "clues" and all of what you have written we have heard before and are addressing in our development and marketing. If we can't satisfy you now, we are doing our best to improve the product and strategy for the future. As for trying to dismiss anything, I've answered as much as I can in a public forum. The reality is that the product is what it is until the next version and we would love to institute instant changes but can only work as fast as we can. All I've tried to do here is provide some basic information and correct any misinformation. Any fatal flaws will be show up in the marketplace, not just on a forum such as this and will affect all of Java developers, not just ourselves.

As for your unresponded to emails, if you want I can look in our help desk to see if in fact we did or did not respond adequately and go forward from there. If you had a poor experience before, then I apologize on behalf of whoever you were dealing with. I don't think it's necessary to turn DVInfo into the Clipstream support forum as there are more than a couple ways to get information and support on our website.

As for putting in place a java 'client'. Well the java player is there in a tiny zipped class. So that is the client. You have already made the point about java install or lack thereof so we are not covering any new ground there.

The Clipstream Video Encoder can be tried out by anyone, with the only restriction being the 20 second limit when testing online. We also are willing to provide temporary test licensing that the users can try out on their website and do their own comparison taking into account time for playback, file size, webstats, etc., as I have said. Dan's suggestion of a possible way of selling Clipstream is one of many dozens of strategies that have already occured to us and may arise again. That sort of licensing scheme was not lightly dismissed when the current path was decided upon.

Rob, Clipstream is called by Javascript from Flash and can appear as an ilayer or frame. Some of our clients have done this in advertising and other campaigns. As I said before, I consider Flash our major competitor in this arena. If major clients ask for comparisons then that is a nice compliment to our technology that we can be measured up against Macromedia. The marketplace can speak then. We can survive and succeed or Macromedia can squash us. It doesn't take a genius to see that.

Who is next on the hot seat? Bill Gates? Rob Burgess? Steve Jobs?

Rob Lohman June 22nd, 2004 04:07 AM

Keith: thank you for your well formed responses and help with
your companies product. That IS much appreciated!

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