HTTP/Progressive Streaming

I’ve been reading the dreamhost wiki article on HTTP streaming.

It seems to imply that in order to to do progressive streaming for mp3 files, all you have to do is put the files on your web site and link to them. In other words, it sounds like the web servers are configured to use progressive streaming, and no further configuration is required.

Is my interpretation correct?


Actually the non-term “progressive streaming” is misleading here. Progressive Download is where a file transfer is initiated, and during the transfer the client is able to play the media given the media and the client support that function. The server just has to transfer fast enough to allow real-time playback, so no exceptional configuration is necessary.

Streaming is different, usually the server software must specifically adjust the rate of transfer, possibly accounting for limited bandwidth. In addition their usually isn’t file used on the client to store data received.

If you want to be able to jump to a part of the file which has not yet downloaded, you’ll need streaming. I’m a fan of xmoovStream, but it seems that it hasn’t been developed in a while. I’ve had no problems using it though, but I think it will only run on PHP5.2

Thanks guys for your responses. I’ve learned a bunch since I first posted. The most important thing I learned is that Amazon’s CloudFront hasn’t implemented Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5 yet, which is required to stream to iPhones and iPads and such. That makes DH’s easy CloudFront integration less desirable, since one of the main benefits to me; streaming to iProducts, isn’t available yet. If you have info to the contrary please post.

I’ve not tried it for that purpose, but I do remember that one of the features of xmoovStream was its ability to stream to apple products. have you tried it yet?

I have not tried it yet. I think that the “streaming to apple products” is implemented as a fall-back to HTML5. I’m still confused about whether or not that’s actually streamed or what.

A friend of mine passed me this link:

For what it’s worth, their personal favorite player is called “mediaElement”, Their web site has the following blurb: “Instead of offering an HTML5 player to modern browsers and a totally separate Flash player to older browsers, MediaElement.js upgrades them with custom Flash and Silverlight plugins that mimic the HTML5 MediaElement API.”

Sounds neat. I might consider it myself.