A S t r e a m i n g M e d i a P r i m e r :
H O W D O I P U T M Y S T R E A M I N G M E D I A O N T H E W E B ?
SMIL offers numerous benefi ts:
Bandwidth negotiation Similar to QuickTime's alternate bit rate scheme, you can individually
encode and optimize your media fi les to get the best result at different bit rates. SMIL can
automatically negotiate the appropriate fi le to stream, depending on available bandwidth, without
the quality compromises inherent in MBR fi les.
Personalized content A SMIL fi le can list different language or content options for clips.
For example, to create a video with soundtracks in different languages or soundtrack content
targeting different audiences, you could produce just one video clip, with no soundtrack, then
create separate audio clips for each language or version. Your SMIL fi le has just one link, and the
appropriate soundtrack is synchronized and streamed with the video, based on the preferences
each end user set up in his/her media player.
Interactivity Using SMIL, you can easily create interactive media presentations, such as an audio
or video jukebox that plays a different clip each time the user clicks a button.
Flexibility and control SMIL puts the developer in control of the presentation. When your
presentation includes multiple clips, you can use SMIL to defi ne the layout. You can start playing
a clip at any point in its internal timeline, without changing the encoded clip itself. And, since a
SMIL fi le lists a separate URL for each clip, you can assemble presentations from clips stored on
any server (media and/or Web servers), anywhere.
An open standard SMIL can be used to choreograph a wide variety of fi le formats for a variety
of different media players and browsers.
This Web page, with its embedded media player,
What about embedding streaming media
was assembled with Adobe GoLive and other tools
into my Web pages?
in the Adobe Streaming Media Collection
This question should really be, What about embedding a streaming
media player into my Web pages?' When your end user clicks on a link
to access streaming media, the media player fi rst has to load, usually
opening a new window that is distinctly separate from the browser
window. If you want to provide an experience whereby your streaming
content is more seamlessly integrated with your other Web content
including text, still images, animations, music and other audio as well
as high levels of interactivity, you may want to embed a media player
into your Web page.
An embedded player can have a custom skin (look and feel), as well
as customized controls (functionality). You can also include functions
that trigger on mouse over events, or player states. URL fl ips triggered
by Web markers inserted into the video timeline can synchronize other
elements on the Web page with the streaming content.
The drawback to embedding a media player is that you must choose
It is easier to run the streaming player as a
which player to embed. The quality of the rich media experience you
stand alone application, but if you are creating
create for your audience comes at the expense of end user preferences.
If your audience preferences are controlled (e.g., by corporate or institu
content that needs to be very interactive or needs to
tional dictate) or predictable (e.g., by platform or content), then embed
be integrated with other Internet technologies,
ding a player is likely to be a good choice. If, however, you are targeting a
embedding is the way to go Lately, most popular
widely diverse demographic (e.g., consumers), embedding a player will be
player platforms have been implementing interactive
sure to diminish the size of the audience you actually reach.
content through information included in metafi les
If you plan to embed a media player, especially for implementations
(SMIL, ASX, RAM). This new trend has made it
where end users may employ a variety of browsers and/or platforms,
easier to create the interactivity that developers are
you'll need some fairly advanced Web development skills and an under
looking for, but it is still not as extensible as embed
standing of the differences between the different browsers' implementa
ding the player.
the specifi cs of embedding streaming media players, a good place to start
is the SDK (software developer kit) downloadable (typically for free)
from the Web site of your preferred architecture.
55 Embedding Players, by Michael Long, http://www.streamingmedia.com/tutorials/view.asp?tutorial_id=54