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mediums, that needs to be recut and simplifi ed for best results on the Web. Adobe Premiere  and 
Adobe After Effects  software provide all the tools you need for digital video editing and visual effects.
You'll need tools for pre processing and encoding streaming media
Outputting your production as streaming media is likely to include two basic steps: pre processing 
and encoding (also referred to as compression, although compression is only part of encoding). 
Pre processing fi lters out non essential information from your video and audio information 
that is diffi cult to encode and is not required for generally accepted Web quality media. 
If you are doing a live Webcast, you'll need to set up automatic pre processing functions between 
capture and encoding. If, however, you edited your project for VOD (video on demand), you may 
have already done most, if not all, of the pre processing in the editing stage. The com 
pression part of encoding reduces the bit rate of the digital media fi le so that it can be 
WHY DO WE
effi ciently streamed at the proper bandwidth. Encoding also translates the media fi le 
NEED PLUG INS?
into the architecture's format, and may add other functionality such as digital rights 
management features.
When you click on a Web link for a media 
fi le, you depend on your browser to auto 
Gotta have a streaming media server  or two  or three 
matically  know  how to play it. 
The term  server  can either be used to refer to server software, or to computer hardware 
It  knows  because most fi les on the Web 
dedicated to serving processes. When we say that you need a specialized server to stream 
use a MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail 
media, we are primarily referring to the server software. You'll recall from our defi nition 
Extension) format. Originally developed 
for transmitting attachments to e mail 
of streaming, that true streaming requires a specialized streaming server. Although fi les 
messages, MIME is a standard system for 
formatted for streaming can be served from a Web server, fi les cannot truly be streamed. 
identifying the type of data contained in a 
In the next section, and later in this Primer, you'll learn more about why this is so. 
fi le, based on its extension. MIME types 
that are automatically recognized and dis 
If you choose to deliver your streaming media in only one format, you need only use 
played by most browsers include format 
the server software that supports that format. But if you decide to offer more than one 
ted text fi les like HTML, graphics fi les like 
format, remember that each format must be served by its compatible server software. 
GIF and JPEG, and interactivity enhancing 
So, if you want to offer your streaming content in all three of the popular streaming 
fi les like those created in JavaScript or 
formats QuickTime, RealMedia, and Windows Media you will need to run, or have 
ActiveX.  When a browser encounters an 
 unknown  MIME type, it does one of the 
access to, servers for all three architectures.
following:
New options for serving and hosting streaming media are emerging on an almost daily 
  
Begins downloading the fi le and opens it 
basis. The pivotal question for every  streamer,  large or small, is whether to serve their 
with the application designated in your 
own streams or to outsource. A hosting provider may prove to be an excellent alternative 
browser preferences. 
to setting up your own server(s), if you are an individual or small business expecting 
  
If it does not fi nd a corresponding 
to stream just a little. If you intend to serve a lot of streaming media as part of an 
application, it may ask you with which 
application you want to open the fi le, or 
enterprise initiative, in support of e commerce, or for most any type of commercial 
it may ask if you want to download an 
endeavor you will need dedicated hardware, and/or a hosting provider. 
appropriate application.
  
Allows you to save the fi le to disk.
And a streaming media player  or two  or three  
  
Allows you to cancel the transfer.
Streaming media requires client software on the receiving end in other words, each of 
Browsers can handle practically any fi le 
the end users in your audience needs a player to see and hear your streaming media 
type, even those that they cannot display 
content. These players stream pre recorded and live media over the Internet, and can play 
themselves, by using external, or  helper,  
back media that has been saved to disk in various formats. 
applications known as plug ins. These 
auxiliary programs must be installed for 
There are two basic types of streaming media clients:  
a browser to load and display (or play) 
   Java clients Java clients quickly download a Java applet to the user's machine 
certain MIME types. Adobe Acrobat  
before the streaming content begins, so that any Java enabled browser can play back 
PDF fi les, Macromedia Flash SWF fi les, 
and video and audio fi les formatted 
the stream. Java clients can provide a virtually transparent experience for the end 
for RealMedia, Windows Media, and 
user, playing content that appears to be seamlessly embedded into a Web page, a 
namic Medianamic Media
QuickTime players are just a few of the 
yy
banner, or an e mail, without invoking a pop up window for a plug in player that 
more commonly encountered fi le types 
may interrupt the experience. Java clients do not, typically, offer the full range of 
requiring a plug in for display or playback.
end user controls provided by plug in clients. For the moment, the plug in client 
Browsers usually come with common 
model remains the popular standard.
plug ins already installed and, when they 
obe Dobe D
encounter a fi le requiring a plug in that 
   Plug in clients A plug in is an application that adds functionality to your Web 
dd
has not been installed, will often prompt 
browser. In the case of a media player, the plug in provides the client software 
AA
you to download and install it, if you 
needed to play back and control media that is either downloaded or streamed to 
choose to do so. 
the browser. The three major streaming media architectures use plug in clients.
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