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Apple launches HTTP Live Streaming standard in iPhone 3.0

post #1 of 57
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One of the more overlooked features of the new iPhone 3.0 is support for a new open standard for live video streaming over HTTP, which promises to open up standards-based video broadcasting to a wide audience while giving mobile users an optimized picture as they roam between WiFi and mobile networks.

At the March unveiling of iPhone 3.0, Apple only dropped a subtle hint about new streaming video features in the new operating system (literally limited to writing "streaming video" on the slide of other features, below), leaving out any details about how it would work and not even mentioning the feature in any detail in the presentation.

For the last decade, Apple has been selling QuickTime Streaming Server, which uses an RTSP (Real-Time Streaming Protocol) server to stream live or rebroadcast video feeds to viewers. Apple uses this technology to stream some of its own live events. However, despite offering royalty free streaming and also delivering it as an open source project, QuickTime's RTSP streaming server hasn't gained the traction it was once expected to achieve.

A large part of this is due to the fact that RTSP traffic is blocked by many firewalls, making it difficult to deliver streams reliably. The audio and video conferencing used by iChat also relies on RTSP, causing some users frustrating problems for the same reason. Getting RTSP video streaming to work on the iPhone would be even more difficult, as it routinely moves between mobile and WiFi networks.

Apple attempted to solve the RTSP problem long ago in QuickTime Streaming Server by creating an option to bundle up RTSP streaming video traffic into HTTP packets, which appear identical to standard web traffic and therefore are permitted through most firewalls. This involves a extra layer of overhead however, resulting in a greater demand for bandwidth. For the iPhone, Apple decided to pursue a different strategy, which it calls HTTP Live Streaming.



HTTP Live Streaming
The technology behind HTTP Live Streaming leaked into public knowledge in May when Apple submitted it to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as a draft standard on track to become an RFC (or Request For Comments, the memorandum used by the Internet Society to define how technologies work in order to foster cooperation and compatibility between the vendors implementing them).

Apple's HTTP Live Streaming proposed draft looks a lot like a method Microsoft began selling last year, called Smooth Streaming. The difference is that Apple's proposed IETF standard can use anybody's encoder and broadcast server, and will work with any client software designed to receive the stream. In contrast, Microsoft's Smooth Streaming is of course designed to exclusively use Microsoft Expression Encoder, Microsoft Internet Information Server with a Smooth Streaming extension, and requires Microsoft's Silverlight 2 on the client.

Essentially, Apple wants a standard for streaming video that anyone can use so that it can continue selling hardware without being either shut out of the market by proprietary software, or held captive by it; Microsoft, as a software vendor, wants to create another captive market where it has the power to shut out competitors at its whim. In parallel to Microsoft's Silverlight Smooth Streaming, Adobe also offers an equivalent Flash-based streaming server of its own.

If this is all beginning to sound familiar, it's because video streaming has followed much of the same historical trajectory as multimedia playback, making the history of streaming another chapter in the history of QuickTime.

The advent of streaming
Back in the mid 90s, Apple's pioneering advancement of software-based desktop video authoring and playback gave the company a strong lead in multimedia computing. With the arrival of the Internet however, there seemed to be a huge potential for sending efficient streams of video to users (primarily over dial-up) instead of relying on CD-ROMs for distribution of large video files or expecting users to directly download huge videos over dial-up connections.

Internet media streaming was popularized by Progressive Networks in 1995 with its proprietary RealAudio streaming format. In 1997, the company was renamed RealNetworks and launched a RealVideo service as part of RealPlayer 4.0. It also partnered with Netscape to develop what would become the RTSP standard for streaming.

Real had been founded by Microsoft millionaire Rob Glaser. Microsoft owned ten percent of the company and licensed Real's streaming formats in NetShow, its product aimed at killing Netscape's streaming server. Microsoft's NetShow incorporated Real's streaming formats for compatibility with existing content, but hoped to eventually shift Internet streaming to its own new ActiveX Streaming Format (ASF). Despite its interests in Real, Microsoft's growing ambitions resulted in the company pitting itself against RealPlayer with its own Windows Media Player in 1998, a phoenix that rose from the ashes of 1996's Active Movie/DirectShow player, which themselves were rebranded versions of the company's ill fated QuickTime competitor originally named Video For Windows.

Just as QuickTime suddenly failed to work properly under Windows 98 and Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player suddenly stopped playing Real's streaming formats, as Glaser testified in the Microsoft Monopoly trial. Real executive David Richards also testified that Microsoft was pressuring AOL to drop support for Real and use Microsoft's own streaming software instead, citing an email on the subject from AOL's CEO to Glaser which warned, "They want to kill you guys so badly, it is ugly."

Microsoft hoped to own the future of streaming and digital playback both, so it took on Real and Apple at once, pushing the idea of streaming ASF (the Real killer) via MMS (Microsoft Media Server, the new name for NetShow and not to be confused with the mobile messaging protocol) and establishing ActiveX Authoring Format (AAF) as its QuickTime killer.

In 1998 AAF was rejected by the ISO in favor of QuickTime as the basis for the new MPEG-4 media container format. By 2003 MMS, which used its own proprietary system for streaming media, had been deprecated by Microsoft in favor of its own new RTSP server, Windows Media Server 9. After the ActiveX brand was sufficiently tainted by widespread security flaws, the A in ASF and AAF was changed to stand for "Advanced." Most recently, Microsoft was forced to drop its ASF and adopt the MPEG-4 container to support Smooth Streaming.

During its streaming battle with Microsoft, and without any other revenue streams to fall back on, Real turned itself into an adware vendor that attempted to leverage its existing value in RealPlayer to inundate users with marketing partners' messages and attempts to sell them subscription music. It also filed suit against Microsoft and won an antitrust settlement of $460 million in 2005.

Apple jumps on streaming bandwagon
While still recovering from its mid 90s brush with death, Apple, unlike Real, did have other real business to keep it going. It released QuickTime 3 in 1998 with a sort of fake streaming called HTTP Progressive Download. Rather than actually streaming video in real time, it only allowed users to begin downloading a file and start watching the portion the was available.

The next year however, at NAB 1999, Apple released QuickTime 4 with QuickTime Streaming Server, which supplied real standards-based RTSP streaming. Rather than imposing a per user royalty fee for streams, Apple allowed unlimited streaming use, hoping this would enable it to catch up in the streaming business dominated by Real and demanded by Microsoft. Apple also released the software as open source as the Darwin Streaming Server.

In a press release, Steve Jobs, still acting as interim CEO, stated, "Finally, streaming live video and audio over the Internet no longer requires proprietary software and expensive servers. By including streaming as part of Mac OS X Server and introducing Darwin Streaming Server, Apple is significantly lowering the cost of streaming digital video and audio and the result should be a deluge of high quality streamed content."

Apple remained in third place in the streaming market however, and the deluge of streaming content didn't materialize as expected. Internet radio based on streaming MP3 files did begin to take off however, using the SHOUTcast protocol developed by Nullsoft. Along with the GPL Icecast server, QuickTime Streaming Server also adopted SHOUTcast audio streaming server support as a feature, and Apple also added radio streaming client support to iTunes.

Streaming stymied by technology, licensing
In 2002, Apple launched QuickTime 6 with the new QuickTime Broadcaster, which enabled users to capture live video and stream it, either unicast to another user or multicast over a local network where multiple users could view it. Multicast transmission of video is efficient, but isn't allowed over the Internet because ISPs can't decide how to bill users for the traffic, which rather than being unicast point to point like a telephone call, is instead spread out for multiple users to receive more like a television broadcast.

QuickTime Broadcaster can also send a video stream to QuickTime Streaming Server, which will then reflect the single stream to a variety of other unicast clients, or relay the signal to other servers for load balancing. A remaining problem is the RTSP firewall issue; getting around this requires a network of servers that encapsulate streams as HTTP packets and then rebroadcast them to local users inside the firewall, a solution that doesn't work outside of large corporate installations.

Another factor holding back streaming was MPEG-4 licensing. In its press release, Apple noted, "QuickTime Broadcaster supports the broadcast of MPEG-4, but as with QuickTime 6, the distribution of QuickTime Broadcaster is being delayed until MPEG-4 video licensing terms are improved. The MPEG-4 licensing terms proposed by MPEG-LA (the largest group of MPEG-4 patent holders) includes royalty payments from companies, like Apple, who ship MPEG-4 codecs, as well as royalties from content providers who use MPEG-4 to stream video. Apple agrees with paying a reasonable royalty for including MPEG-4 codecs in QuickTime, but does not believe that MPEG-4 can be successful in the marketplace if content owners must also pay royalties in order to deliver their content using MPEG-4."

The iPod's end run around streaming
One of the main purposes of streaming was to get around the issue of limited Internet bandwidth in the late 90s. At a time when most users only had dial-up, streaming audio or video could make more sense than waiting for a download to finish. By 2003, with broadband nearly ubiquitous, Apple followed up the launch of the iPod with the new iTunes Store, which in addition to streaming Internet radio now offered a library of music for progressive download. Apple also happened upon a new demand brewed by the iPod itself: podcasting.

Using an RSS feed, content creators could publish their broadcasts as progressive download files rather than streaming them in real time. With this new technology, the emphasis on streaming reverted back to the CD-ROM and Walkman climate of the early 90s, where users obtained high quality prerecorded content in advance of listening to it rather than trying to stream content in real time and having to put up with lower quality streams and needing some cost effective way to tune into these streams.

Microsoft continued following Real's efforts to market music subscriptions; in contrast, Apple quickly established itself at the top of this new business of both selling prerecorded content and delivering podcasts. iTunes served as a library for listing the podcasts of conventional broadcasters, and Apple also encouraged universities to publish their content as free podcasts in iTunes U. Podcast Producer, part of Mac OS X Server, enables organizations to create workflows that capture video from remote clients, perform automated editing to add opening videos and titles and end credits, and then produce output files ready for iTunes distribution as podcasts or streams for QuickTime Streaming Server.



iPhone 3.0 introduces mobile streaming
While iTunes users can listen to radio streams from their broadband PC, there wasn't a practical way to take streamed content with them on their iPods. That is, until the iPhone appeared with a hefty mobile data plan in tow. Suddenly, the landscape changed again, with a new demand for streaming to take advantage of the bandwidth customers had already paid for when buying the iPhone.

Among the first apps for iPhone 2.0 was AOL Radio, followed by a series of others that delivered audio or video streams proprietary to their provider: BBC, TV.com, and even users' own video with SlingPlayer. AT&T cried foul, asking that its mobile network not be used to capacity by apps on the device when other providers were making a killing selling their users little audio and video clips.

Apple didn't build RTSP support into the iPhone, leaving vendors to work out their own delivery mechanism. Navigating the problems of firewalls and roaming between networks would likely make video streaming over RTSP little more than frustrating, with a constant rebuffering of the stream to annoy users. Instead, Apple has now adopted this emerging alternative it calls HTTP Live Streaming.

Unlike progressive downloads, HTTP Live Streaming actually does stream content in real time, although there can be a latency of as much as 30 seconds. It works much simpler than RTSP; essentially, the content to be broadcast is encoded into an MPEG transport stream and chopped into segments that are around ten seconds long. Rather than getting a continuous stream of new data over RTSP, the new protocol simply asks for the first couple clips, then asks for additional clips as needed. This works great through firewalls, and doesn't require any special servers because any standard web server can deliver the chopped up video segments.

Where HTTP Live Streaming shines
The real benefit to HTTP Live Streaming is that the server can maintain multiple versions of the clips in different formats. This allows an iPhone user with a WiFi connection to negotiate a higher quality version of the video than if only EDGE were available. Even better, the phone can renegotiate a higher or lower quality dynamically if it improves or loses signal. This enables the watcher to experience the best video quality possible at the current bandwidth available, continually optimized as new segments are requested.

Unlike Microsoft's Smooth Streaming trojan horse for Silverlight, HTTP Live Streaming works with any playback client on any platform and does not involve a layer of DRM, although it does support encryption, allowing broadcasters to limit access to their content. Because support is built directly into the iPhone's embedded QuickTime player, users don't even need to download apps for every broadcaster or channel; content creators can simply publish their feeds within a standard website, and iPhone can access them just like a desktop client. Other phones can similarly support the same interoperable standard, providing a leg up for mobile platforms with less commercial attraction or no ability to run real applications, like the Palm Pre.

The embedded support for HTTP Live Streaming in the iPhone also provides a route around AT&T's App Store limitations, enabling vendors to deliver their content, unrestricted, to iPhone users at optimal quality using published standards over the web, even directly from their iPhone apps. It also standardizes video playback, allowing publishers to simply hand the iPhone content rather than having to build their own player. As Apple adds features to QuickTime, those apps will simply benefit from those enhancements, and will all look and work consistently.

The simple video streaming outlined in HTTP Live Streaming is similar to SHOUTcast in that it uses a regular HTTP server and posts content data using and extended version of the M3P (MP3 Playlist) format that supports video as well. That will make it easy for homebrew broadcasters to set up Internet TV broadcasts following the same pattern as Internet radio.

What's next? The obvious followup is to add support for HTTP Live Streaming in Apple TV, allowing for HD streams direct from broadcasters, facilitating the ability to only pay for channels you want to watch, skipping around the local cable monopoly while gaining access to content they don't carry.

The same content would also be accessible on the iPhone, a desktop PC, or any other device with the capacity to play modern video codecs. And that's why Apple is not supporting Mozilla's efforts to use the obsolete Ogg Theora on the web, which lacks silicon support for hardware acceleration on mobiles and appliances.

For examples of HTTP Live Streaming, see iphone.akamai.com. Viewing live streams requires iPhone 3.0 or Snow Leopard QuickTime X.
post #2 of 57
Just an FYI that there is a church in Hawaii that has been streaming their service live to the iPhone for a little over 2 weeks. Cultofmac did a story on them. The live stream direct link is m.enewhope.org/live
post #3 of 57
It would be intersting if this is the technology Hulu will be using on the iPhone. ESPN and a couple other media apps that said they would be using the iPhone's new media service. None of those apps ware available yet.

For those who wanted Apple to include video chat on the iPhone, they are going in a different direction with the technology and would not be using the current iChat protocals.

Also this technology does not support Theora. Unless Firefox and Opera will allow video tags to recognize alternative media framework codecs they will be left out of the party in using this technology.
post #4 of 57
If iTunes, Youtube, and Hulu all use HTTP Live Streaming as their mobile streaming service that automatically makes it the defacto standard that all mobile platforms would have to support.
post #5 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

If iTunes, Youtube, and Hulu all use HTTP Live Streaming as their mobile streaming service that automatically makes it the defacto standard that all mobile platforms would have to support.

Real Player was the "Defacto Standard" for years, Window Media before that.

Your post has no basis for support.

If Microsoft doesn't jump on board and support it in IE (or their browser to be released someday) then it will never be standard.

FireFox has more grounds to set Web Standards than Apple does given their Market Share.
post #6 of 57
Hmm, streaming pr0n.

Would be nice if it worked from iChat to a iPhone.
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post #7 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

For those who wanted Apple to include video chat on the iPhone, they are going in a different direction with the technology and would not be using the current iChat protocals.

Also this technology does not support Theora. Unless Firefox and Opera will allow video tags to recognize alternative media framework codecs they will be left out of the party in using this technology.

I don't see an issue with iChat since Apple and AOL could easily add the newer protocol. I would not be supprised to see this added to iChat and AIM sometime in the next 6mo to a year.

The other browsers vendors are all wanting to solve this problem so I think MS will come on board.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iPhone1982 View Post

If Microsoft doesn't jump on board and support it in IE (or their browser to be released someday) then it will never be standard.

FireFox has more grounds to set Web Standards than Apple does given their Market Share.

MS is no longer the driving force in the browser war. If all of the others browsers come on board MS will have no choice but to join the party plus someone will figure our a way to add a plugin if MS dosen't.
post #8 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Legalos808 View Post

Just an FYI that there is a church in Hawaii that has been streaming their service live to the iPhone for a little over 2 weeks. Cultofmac did a story on them. The live stream direct link is m.enewhope.org/live

Thanks for the link -- I was hoping someone would point to a live stream, so I could check it out.
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post #9 of 57
I specifically said mobile devices. Mobile Safari has 65% of mobile browser marketshare. IE holds an extremely small amount, Firefox has none.

Flash is the dafacto streaming technology on the desktop. In the mobile space there is no defacto streaming service, it's a wide open field.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iPhone1982 View Post

Real Player was the "Defacto Standard" for years, Window Media before that.

Your post has no basis for support.

If Microsoft doesn't jump on board and support it in IE (or their browser to be released someday) then it will never be standard.

FireFox has more grounds to set Web Standards than Apple does given their Market Share.
post #10 of 57
I just looked at some clips from your link. Wow the video looked really good. For an hour long clip I saw no obvouis artifacts or banding problems. For streaming video it looked clean and sharp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legalos808 View Post

Just an FYI that there is a church in Hawaii that has been streaming their service live to the iPhone for a little over 2 weeks. Cultofmac did a story on them. The live stream direct link is m.enewhope.org/live
post #11 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon View Post

I don't see an issue with iChat since Apple and AOL could easily add the newer protocol. I would not be supprised to see this added to iChat and AIM sometime in the next 6mo to a year.

The other browsers vendors are all wanting to solve this problem so I think MS will come on board.



MS is no longer the driving force in the browser war. If all of the others browsers come on board MS will have no choice but to join the party plus someone will figure our a way to add a plugin if MS dosen't.

I would hope you can look a little forward and realize there will be no difference in the next couple years.

Mobile OS's, Desktop OS's and Browsers will merge into a single OS.
The mobile platform is catching up in CPU/GPU/RAM to netbooks.

You would think that they would all be multi-tasking by now...
post #12 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I just looked at some clips from your link. Wow the video looked really good. For an hour long clip I saw no obvouis artifacts or banding problems. For streaming video it looked clean and sharp.

Of you watch the live stream saturday nights or Sunday morning it's pretty impressive even on 3g it doesn't artifact to much.
post #13 of 57
So bascially HTTP Straming is a Chopped version of Progressive Download. Another good open standard Apple is adopting.
post #14 of 57
No, they are not going to merge. Desktop OS and mobile OS have entirely different user interfaces and are designed to serve different purposes. Desktop OS is designed for keyboards, mouse, and screens at least 13 inches. Mobile devices have tiny keyboards, no mouse, and typically 2 to 3 inch screens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iPhone1982 View Post

Mobile OS's, Desktop OS's and Browsers will merge into a single OS.
The mobile platform is catching up in CPU/GPU/RAM to netbooks.
post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The embedded support for HTTP Live Streaming in the iPhone also provides a route around AT&T's App Store limitations, enabling vendors to deliver their content, unrestricted, to iPhone users at optimal quality using published standards over the web, even directly from their iPhone apps. It also standardizes video playback, allowing publishers to simply hand the iPhone content rather than having to build their own player. As Apple adds features to QuickTime, those apps will simply benefit from those enhancements, and will all look and work consistently.

The simple video streaming outlined in HTTP Live Streaming is similar to SHOUTcast in that it uses a regular HTTP server and posts content data using and extended version of the M3P (MP3 Playlist) format that supports video as well. That will make it easy for homebrew broadcasters to set up Internet TV broadcasts following the same pattern as Internet radio.

Just on these two paragraphs, I'm picturing the 3G traffic hitting the fan!
I wonder if Apple has any sort of opt out clause based on quality of 3G network service? Perhaps after the iPhone 3GS, it may be time for Apple to play hardball in the US and push briefly into Verizon/CDMA? Or will they continue to wait it out? It also seems that this might also force other carriers (like Rogers in Canada) to reconsider bandwidth cap systems?
post #16 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by randythot View Post

Just on these two paragraphs, I'm picturing the 3G traffic hitting the fan!
I wonder if Apple has any sort of opt out clause based on quality of 3G network service? Perhaps after the iPhone 3GS, it may be time for Apple to play hardball in the US and push briefly into Verizon/CDMA? Or will they continue to wait it out? It also seems that this might also force other carriers (like Rogers in Canada) to reconsider bandwidth cap systems?

iChat uses RSTP. If you want to see an example of live HTTP streaming, go to iphone.akamai.com and select the NASA TV channel. Good, solid, wholesome geeky streaming 24/7
post #17 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPhone1982 View Post

I would hope you can look a little forward and realize there will be no difference in the next couple years.

Mobile OS's, Desktop OS's and Browsers will merge into a single OS.
The mobile platform is catching up in CPU/GPU/RAM to netbooks.

You would think that they would all be multi-tasking by now...

You iz funnay.
post #18 of 57
I'm sure developers at WWDC were given some additional insight into the technology. Obviously OSX Server will incorporate this into the QuickTime Streaming Server as a protocal to broadcast with.
post #19 of 57
Quote:
What's next? The obvious followup is to add support for HTTP Live Streaming in Apple TV, allowing for HD streams direct from broadcasters, facilitating the ability to only pay for channels you want to watch, skipping around the local cable monopoly while gaining access to content they don't carry.

Except how many of us get our high speed internet through the cable company?

*raises hand*

There's only 2 choices in this town, the Cable monopoly, or the Telephone monopoly.
post #20 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The technology behind HTTP Live Streaming leaked into public knowledge in May when Apple submitted it to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as a draft standard on track to become an RFC (or Request For Comments, the memorandum used by the Internet Society to define how technologies work in order to foster cooperation and compatibility between the vendors implementing them).

It's an individually submitted draft with no status. Reception of this draft by the Audio/Video Transport workgroup has not been positive, with questions being asked about basic assumptions on that group's mailing list, along with proposals of better ways to accomplish the same thing. The draft was always intended as Informational document - not a standard - going directly to the RFC Editor, bypassing the working group and IETF as the authority. Read the heading of the draft and the initial boilerplate.

AppleInsider is way too pro-Apple... Sending chunks of data with hacks to http does not merit this level of fanboyism.
post #21 of 57
Streaming of Apple events has worked already since the iPhone 0S 1.0.

For example the keynote:
http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.ne...rnal=ijalrmacu

Any idea how this works? Because this is already live streaming to your iPhone.
post #22 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by jef View Post

Streaming of Apple events has worked already since the iPhone 0S 1.0.

For example the keynote:
http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.ne...rnal=ijalrmacu

Any idea how this works? Because this is already live streaming to your iPhone.

You were unable to stream Apple keynotes before OS3.0. When you tried to launch the stream manually you would get an unsupported media error. And if you tried to load it from the site you would see a link icon that the iPhone would not let you select.

The WWDC keynote this year was the first that I was able to access and only after putting the 3.0GM (which supports html streaming) on my iPhone.
post #23 of 57
Anything that breaks Adobe's monopolizing practice of attempting to force Flash onto every Internet connected device on earth is a good thing.

The sooner this and other open standards are achieved, the better IMHO.
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post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

You were unable to stream Apple keynotes before OS3.0. When you tried to launch the stream manually you would get an unsupported media error. And if you tried to load it from the site you would see a link icon that the iPhone would not let you select.

The WWDC keynote this year was the first that I was able to access and only after putting the 3.0GM (which supports html streaming) on my iPhone.


Apple have offered a progressive stream in the days after most of the last keynotes. Which has worked on my iphone since last year.

Apple have not offered proper stream for years. It's always been progressive.
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post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

I'm sure developers at WWDC were given some additional insight into the technology. Obviously OSX Server will incorporate this into the QuickTime Streaming Server as a protocal to broadcast with.

I hope so. I use QTSS and Broadcaster with a Kona card to stream Avid edit sessions to a client in New York from our facility in Austin. I works, but not very well. There have been firewall and ISP problems in the past. The setup also has trouble keeping audio in sync, but that appears to the a Broadcaster problem. I'd like to have HTTP streaming as an option.
post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by tadunne View Post

Apple have offered a progressive stream in the days after most of the last keynotes. Which has worked on my iphone since last year.

Apple have not offered proper stream for years. It's always been progressive.

As noted by many iPhone users and those running 3.0b5 the wwdc 2009 quicktime stream did not work until they updated to 3.0GM. Last year this was the same with both the special event in september and the wwdc keynote before it all rtsp streams. I ended up waiting and downloading them through itunes.
post #27 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPhone1982 View Post

Real Player was the "Defacto Standard" for years, Window Media before that.

Your post has no basis for support.

If Microsoft doesn't jump on board and support it in IE (or their browser to be released someday) then it will never be standard.

FireFox has more grounds to set Web Standards than Apple does given their Market Share.

I would say... Neither does yours. You do have a cockroach as a pet? Right? Since they are the most abundant creature vs a dog or cat????

Microsoft has been losing support for its web "standard" software for years now. At somepoint it becomes an avalanche and suddenly MS is not relavent. Just a thought.

As far as firefox being in charge.... They make no hardware so they are at the support of all hardware makers to support them.

Apple is playing a middle of the road, making and using "standard" software that others can cheaply use, and making hardware that is optimized for that software.

Just a thought.

en
post #28 of 57
Does anyone know if MLB.com uses HTTP Live Streaming to feed their live streams to the MLB.com iPhone app? Those feeds can be pretty nice on 3G but do tend to get a little blocky over EDGE.
post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

What's next? The obvious followup is to add support for HTTP Live Streaming in Apple TV, allowing for HD streams direct from broadcasters, facilitating the ability to only pay for channels you want to watch, skipping around the local cable monopoly while gaining access to content they don't carry.

I'm really hoping that the broadcasters see beyond the current linear-format TV, but perhaps this is a stepping stone to that future. Of course - some channels are better streamed anyway (eg: live sports/news - but note that many sports and news are actually prerecorded) - but the majority could move to a new model.

We need to get to a point where a current TV show releases its episodes weekly (eg: 7pm Thurs) but moves straight to a download model, rather than streaming model (it's easy enough to force ads into either system). An older TV shows are downloaded on demand - ad supported, or part of a subscription package, or PPV.
post #30 of 57
So, my question is about what it will take for Hulu and Netflix to start streaming to the iPhone. I assume both use a flash server of some kind. Do they need to do anything on their side to stream to the iPhone with the new HTTP live streaming. Is their an investment in time, equipment, anything? If yes - any idea how painful? If no - is there any other inhibitor to keep them from starting to stream to the iPhone? There is such a big potential market here that I have to believe that they are seriously looking at it.

Any thoughts?
post #31 of 57
Colloquy livestream app had been usable on iPhone and available for ages.

And guys, those keynotes were not live-streams, they were recorded videos. A live stream is "LIVE"
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post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon View Post

I don't see an issue with iChat since Apple and AOL could easily add the newer protocol. I would not be supprised to see this added to iChat and AIM sometime in the next 6mo to a year.

The other browsers vendors are all wanting to solve this problem so I think MS will come on board.


MS is no longer the driving force in the browser war. If all of the others browsers come on board MS will have no choice but to join the party plus someone will figure our a way to add a plugin if MS dosen't.

Without delving into the spec any deeper, I don't see this working for video chat. The streaming isn't real time -- it sounds like it's essentially lots of 10sec or so movies held together by a playlist. The client just requests the next movie while the current one is playing. This is fine for TV or sports (who's going to mind a 10 sec delay?), but won't work for 2 way synchronous video.

The only way around this would be to decrease the individual movie length to less than 1 sec. But the bandwidth overhead for this will make it fairly unfeasible. Plus, I suspect whatever error correction, file re-request etc. that HTTP streaming includes will not play nicely with the TCP error/lost packet handling. Result: even greater increase in bandwidth and latency, leading to an even poorer 2 way video chat.

The only place I can see this working is a one way streaming broadcast from one iPhone to somewhere else (possibly another iPhone). Until an iPhone has a front facing camera, realistically, that's all you'll get anyway!

I'm no expert in this area, so happy to be corrected (by someone who is!). But my feelings are: don't get your hopes up.
post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bspears View Post

Does anyone know if MLB.com uses HTTP Live Streaming to feed their live streams to the MLB.com iPhone app? Those feeds can be pretty nice on 3G but do tend to get a little blocky over EDGE.

I believe they do. I remember an MLB programmer talking about how excited they were for the new 3.0 OS because it would give them ability to stream videos of games. I think this was in the video they showed at WWDC in the keynote about app developers.
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post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

We need to get to a point where a current TV show releases its episodes weekly (eg: 7pm Thurs) but moves straight to a download model, rather than streaming model (it's easy enough to force ads into either system). An older TV shows are downloaded on demand - ad supported, or part of a subscription package, or PPV.

I like that idea. Since the video is chopped into sections anyway, the advertisers can insert ads dynamically, which means that just like re-runs on tv, the ads can be current no matter how old the content is.

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post #35 of 57
I found some additional info on Apple's site

http://developer.apple.com/iphone/li...aOverview.html

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post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by jef View Post

Streaming of Apple events has worked already since the iPhone 0S 1.0.

For example the keynote:
http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.ne...rnal=ijalrmacu

Any idea how this works? Because this is already live streaming to your iPhone.

The video you linked to is not a live stream, but rather a progressive download of a QuickTime movie. The iPhone has always been able to download videos posted on the web or obtained via an RSS feed (video podcasts).
post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

So bascially HTTP Straming is a Chopped version of Progressive Download. Another good open standard Apple is adopting.

Progressive downloads are packaged differently, so it's not exactly just chopped up. HTTP Live Streaming uses MPEG Transport Streams, also used in broadcasting. DVDs use MPEG Program Streams, which assume more reliable delivery.
post #38 of 57
This is not really streaming, but progressive download... The same way youtube and other services work. The one thing people forget is the fact that RTP (and subsequently RTSP and RTCP) was built to manage QoS, adapt the stream bitrate and/or the framerate on the fly, etc... Progressive download is more or less a big fat buffer of bits downloaded in chunks, and eventually played back. Works great when you know your QoS is somewhat secured like at home on DSL. Will require big fat buffers to works smoothly over the mobile.
post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPhone1982 View Post

Mobile OS's, Desktop OS's and Browsers will merge into a single OS.
The mobile platform is catching up in CPU/GPU/RAM to netbooks.

You would think that they would all be multi-tasking by now...

Battery life is still the kicker and why we won't see user initiated multitasking any time soon (you do know that the iPhone multitasks just fine, right?)
post #40 of 57
Why start a new standard. Why not use the one appearently defined in the 3G (UMTS) specs. Every other 3G phone other that I have used will stream content. Its what YouTube uses on the m.youtube.com and what television stations use in Europe. My 3G Nokia that I got back in 2005 supports this, as well as my more recent HTC TyTn. The streams appear to be identical in format.

Why define a new standard and throw these old devices in the trash as far as streaming. If its quality then I don't see it as the existing standard appears to variable bit rate.

Sure the iPhone may promote the adoption of a new standard (and IT IS NOT STANDARDS BASED if it has been adopted yet or signed on my a comittee) but there are alot more Nokia Phones out there. Will video providers have to direct people two different streams? Have two technologies? It will make it more costly. Like I said every other recent good phone has streaming, it appears to the same technology. It was pushed with 3G so it wouldn't suprise me to see it defined in the 3G GSM (UMTS) specs. Why go away from something that works and works well. Your not gonna convince me this is DVD to Blu-ray. Well exepct for the fact that maybe Apple hopes it can control a standard.

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