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Live Video Streaming

Using SMIL

4:33 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

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joined:July 14, 2003
votes: 0

Hello all,

Im trying to build an application that can stream a live video feed to a user. My task for today is to loop an intro video until the live stream has been started.

I've been looking at SMIL but im thinking that it doesn;t suit my needs here as there isn't any way to test whether the live stream has started at the end of a loop of the intro video. Am I right in saying this? If I am can anyone suggest any other methods of doing this?


8:39 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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joined:Mar 31, 2004
votes: 0

SMIL, a sequencing/timing subset language of XML, will do just about anything you tell it to do.

What limits SMIL at this point in time is that, except for one or two very pricey and obscure development software tools, all the functionality must be implemented manually (read: hand-coded). When combined with Real Networks' Realpix transitions and RealText captioning, or with Microsoft's HTML+TIME hybrid timing language, some pretty amazing results can be produced.

However, the application with the greatest amount of flexibility and reach is Flash. Using Flash MX with Quicktime, or Flash MX 2004 with Quicktime, Real or WinMedia Player, video can be streamed. Whichever one you use depends more upon the bandwidth capability of your audience than anything else. In my estimation, Quicktime produces the highest quality video, but also the largest video files. Of the remaining two, in my own personal experience, the Real player is the more stable format, but has been known to come bundled with adware, spyware and tracking software in spite of the company's ongoing denial that it is doing so.

Moreover, all the functionality in Flash is automated with the help of its resident scripting language, Actionscript, based on Javascript. Even if you have difficulties, Flash is well-supported by its manufacturer, Macromedia Software, and there must be thousands of generous souls in the Flash dev community, accessible via the web, who are ready and willing to offer their expertise at a moment's notice to help you out of a jam if you have any problems with Flash.

While SMIL seems poised to take center stage at the onset of the impending media convergence, at the moment, it's not quite ready for prime time.

If I'm not mistaken, I think Flash even supports SMIL to some degree, as the latest version has widened its support of XML overall. Talk about having your cake and eating it too!

Hope this info helps a little.


9:36 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:July 14, 2003
votes: 0

Hi Kat,

Thanks for the reply! The project im working on is a "can you just..." project so im not able to buy in any new technology. Which means im going to spend a nice an easy morning researching the 'HTML+TIME hybrid timing language'.

Cheers for the info!


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