Monday, February 28, 2011

HTML5, Live streaming & Media server

             HTML5 come with media tags( <video> , <audio>)  for adding videos and audios in web pages. Using these tags, it is easy to render videos/audios without the help of a flash embeded player. Most of the modern browsers are now supporting HTML5. The HTML5 tags are fully depends on the browser, so the format of videos and audios are depends on the browser codecs (Refer Browser support). Since there is no standardization of the codecs(formats), multiple format of same video must me used for different browsers.

             Another fact around the HTML5 player is the live streaming. The live streaming must be supported by browser, not the HTML5 player. Most of the browsers now supports only progressive download. But only the Safari in Mac OS supports live streaming in RTSP protocol. According to other browsers team, they are in progress with this. Many flash palyers are available for media streaming based on RTMP protocol. Apple implemented a HTTP based media streming, "HTTP Live Streaming" for their IOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod) for HTML5 player. 

          If we need to develop a web application with media streaming, we have to use flash streaming player for normal browsers and HTML5 player for IOS devices. But both of the players supports different protocols. Hence we have to find a media server that handles both the protocols. The  Wowza media server (paid) is the best option for such an application. A testing vertion of Wowza media available, which serves only 10 concurrent requests at a time. Wowza supports only FLV (Flash Video), MP4 (QuickTime container - .mp4, .f4v, .mov, .m4v, .mp4a, .3gp, and .3g2) and MP3 (.mp3) formats, for other media format we have to convert or hint  the media to supported formats.There is no automatic trans-coding in Wowza server. We have to encode the media by using FFMPEG or VLC.

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