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From Andrew Wilson <and...@www.elsevier.co.uk>
Subject Re: Real Audio
Date Wed, 19 Apr 1995 21:09:58 GMT
Randy:
> Does anyone on the list have more information about the Real Audio
> extensions that will reportedly be added to the NetSite server?
> I assume this is a proprietary add-on?

Mark Cox
> Try http://www.realaudio.com/
> (IW Report is on GNN http://www.gnn.com/gnn/news/feature/networld.html)

This looks a little wild on first glance.  The RealAudio 'streams' seem
to be outside of the HTTP functionality.  I'd guess that some clever soul
has shoehorned (albeit elegantly) the MBONE utilities into a 1.3 clone.
This would mean that the server would double as an MBONE 'radio station'
or as a 'signal relay'.

We know that it's possible to process a downloading data-set in real time,
just look at the Netscape images fading in.  It would be nice to have
a similar facility for .au files, but it'd require the browser to
maintain the ftp download to an AudioTool clone while you carried on surfing.

Failing that it'd be neat to have an AudioTool that accepted a URL and
did all the hard work instead of the browser.  The browser would see that
the URL ended in .rau (or whatever) and kick off the AudioTool helper appn.

The real freak seems to be the random access approach to the data streams.
In effect the server will be recieving periodic requests to rewind a stream
and start playing the 'sample' again.  God only knows what this will
do to bandwidth!?!

[This has an interesting parallel with recent chat in other places about
random access URLs which only ask for 'part' of whatever's sitting on the
server.  The first verse of your fave song would be:

	http://www.noisy.com/rekerds/Disc1/Track5/000000-150000
]

RealAudio *is* extremely cool, and on a closed LAN with fast wires could
prove to be a viable alternative to CDROM-based multi-media packages.
Over WAN things would be different.  Many service providers (EUnet in Europe
for one) are *very* anti UDP and related bandwidth killing protocols, we may
see a backlash against large scale use of MBONE-like services on WAN.

Whatever, it's likely that other groups will start to produce slightly
modified versions of Apache which do additional gee-wizzery, so it might
be wize to make room for such enhancements in future code-cleaning sweeps.

Don't even *ask* me about VRML.  The future scares me. ;)

Ay.

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