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From "Robert Mattson" <>
Subject RE: [users@httpd] http video streaming
Date Fri, 11 Dec 2009 03:58:52 GMT
Hi Ted,

I have a bit of experience as I've just set up a system to stream mp4
video files, and other hinted media.

1. The best advice I can give is to use VLC media player as the client.
It is pretty good, and when included as a plug-in for Mozilla firefox,
it's pretty darn good. Check out for examples
- I used the example for eye-candy value.

2. Where I set this system up, it was very important for us to maintain
open standards to avoid vendor lock-in. What is vogue today (cough,
cough, flash) may not be tomorrow (cough, cough, HTML5). So we convert
everything using mencoder on gentoo to mp4.
What you're after is a hinted media file. Hints are a section at the
header of the media file that tell the browser/decoder what timeslot is
at what byte offset. When VBR encoded files are streamed, offsets are
damn hard (impossible?) to calculate - so the whole file must be
downloaded then parsed until the correct time offset when skipping. But
if you're client is brain-dead, there is no telling what it will do.

3. I needed to stream the file from a php script to control a few things
dynamically and found this code to be of great use:

Apache + VLC + script + mp4(with hints) = SWEEEET

Good luck,

p.s. if you're deploying streaming with VLC over https, don't forget to
put the root certificates in the correct folder. There is little / no
doco on this.

<snip />

Please consider the environment - do you really need to print this

-----Original Message-----
From: Ted Byers [] 
Sent: Friday, 11 December 2009 6:55 AM
Subject: [users@httpd] http video streaming

Presently running Apache's httpd v 2.2.9 on Windows Server (and also on
but my tests in question were run on the server).

I have attempted to get httpd video streaming working by making a wvx
pointing at the video file I want to stream.  When I then point my
at it, the dialog asking to open media player appears, and when I click
th eplayer opens immediately, but it waits until the entire file (a WMV
file) has been transferred, showing the progress of its being buffered
the player, before it actually plays the file.

Perhaps I am misinformed, but I thought streaming video would start
immediately.  What did I miss?  Does the wmv file need to be constructed
a particular way? Does a special module need to be added before http
streamed video works as I'd expected?

The thing is that I am attempting to reduce the time between when a user
clicks a link to our video and the time when it starts to play and I
see a benefit between the way this streaming is behaving and my original
option (make the video and deploy it to a fast host that has good
which has the video opening on my workstation in just under 20 seconds.

So, while my test works in the sense I do see the video eventually, I
see no
improvement because the client waits until the entire file has been
transfered before playing it.

Can this be improved using only the httpd server or do I have to resort
either Adobe's streaming video server or Apple's streaming video server
buy tools to convert ASF or WMV or mpg files into flash or quicktime


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