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MMS? RTSP? mp3? on demand? I'm confused!

Just want to serve audio from a linux vps

10:09 am on Aug 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I've been googling myself silly and experimenting on my own linux and windows pcs with to stream mms using VLC's mms and rstp settings.
I've followed the streaming wizard on both, and it's quite probable that I'm trying to do the wrong thing for what I want to achieve, but then a glance at the docs doesn't seem to suggest VLM will do what I want either, which is...

At the moment, I am serving audio to Reciva internet radios via standard http on a shared host. This doesn't allow for pausing the stream - when I restart, it's back to the beginning.
If I serve the stream as mms:// from a trial on a Windows Media hosting server, pause, rewind and "go to time" work perfectly. The problem is, after a week of searching and quotes, it seems that these services are ridiculously expensive. You can see from the table below, which is copied from the unit's specs [corporate.reciva.com], that it supports rtsp and mms.

The manufacturer says that
"when the radio makes a request to begin playing a stream at a certain start time, it does so by appending a 'start' GET parameter to the URL.
For example, if the radio was playing your wma stream beginning at 4 minutes and 30 seconds, then the radio would attempt to access this URL:

Does this sound right? Does it have to be wma? I can't see that as one of the transcode options. I'm also struggling with how to convert to wma on a linux box if I had to transcode it separately.

As a way of testing, I started the VLC streaming wizard (using Linux as for some reason I couldn't see mms, only mms-sh on Windows) and it started streaming the file but no on-demand.
In other words, when I pointed vlc on my other PC at the LAN, it buffered for a while, and just started playing from where I could see the server was, without any kind of time-control.

What I want is to be able to have a directory (and subdirectories) of files, and when one is requested via mms, have vlc or vlm serve it up, with transport controls, running on a linux vps (centos 5.5 seems to be fairly standard for this sort of thing).

Am I barking up the wrong tree with vlc/vlm? If so, what tree should I be barking at? I've also found live555 which appears to be an rtsp server - anyone heard of or used this?

Thanks - ps, here's that list.

Audio Decoders
RealAudio® decoder YES Versions 4, 5 and 8
Microsoft®Windows MediaTM Audio decoder YES Microsoft®Windows MediaTM Audio versions 2, 7 and 8
MP3 decoder YES MPEG layer 3 audio
AAC decoder YES MPEG 4 audio
AU decoder YES Sun MicrosystemsTM uncompressed audio format
WAV decoder YES Microsoft® uncompressed audio format [WAVE]
AIFF decoder YES Audio Interchange File Format
Playlist Formats
ASX YES Microsoft® playlist format
RAM YES RealAudio® playlist format
Audio Stream Protocols
RTSP YES Real Time Streaming Protocol
MMS YES Microsoft® Media Streaming Protocol
HTTP YES Hyper Text Transfer Protocol

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