Media Tips, Tricks, and Hints
This Month's Question:
Wowza Media Server Pro
Wowza Media Server Pro is an infrastructure grade Flash® server that implements all aspects of the Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) to stream Flash content and interact with Flash clients (players). Wowza Media Server Pro is a cross-platform Java 5 (a.k.a. 1.5) server architected from the ground up for efficient, reliable and cost-effective operation.
Inside it's a tightly architected, 64-bit Java server built to scale up effectively with the growing demand for Flash streaming content. It is optimized to take full advantage of the 64-bit OS and hardware environments while also delivering exceptional performance on the 32-bit systems. The architecture is specifically tuned to the efficient utilization of the CPU and the memory resources to scale well with higher storage I/O capacities which allows you to increase the efficiency of your server infrastructure.
Among its many capabilities, it facilitates streaming of live and pre-recorded video and audio content, enables remote recording for applications like video email or messaging, provides a platform for collaborative applications (such as video/audio and text chat, video conferencing, shared whiteboard, and gaming), and plays MP3 files. It also supports the management and integration of the dynamic content such as playlists and advertising.
Some of it's built-in features include:
Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP)
Wowza Media Server Pro implements RTMP to achieve real-time interaction between Wowza Media Server Pro and the Flash client. All three variations of the protocol are supported – RTMP, RTMPT, and RTMPS. RTMP is the base protocol and is the most efficient and fastest of the three variants. RTMPT is a tunneling variant of the RTMP protocol that can be used to tunnel through firewalls that employ stateful packet inspection. RTMPS is a secure variant of the RTMPT protocol that employs SSL certificates to secure the data being transmitted between the Flash player and the server.
Remote Shared Objects (RSO)
Wowza Media Server Pro implements the server component of Remote Shared Objects. Remote Shared Objects are an extension of ActionScript objects that allows the sharing of object data between Flash movies on the same or different client machines, or for persistent maintenance of data across client sessions.
Flash Players and Codecs
Wowza Media Server Pro is compatible with standard Flash players 7, 8 & 9 and supports the same method as FMS for making client to server calls. It works with all Flash codec variants including Sorenson Spark and On2 VP6, including On2 Flix® Live, Flix Publisher Live, and hardware accelerated implementations of VP6 from a number of vendors.
Fast Forward and Fast Rewind
This unique TiVo®-like feature of Wowza Media Server Pro provides viewers of pre-recorded video with the familiar experience of using a DVR. A user can fast forward or rewind the video at different pre-set speeds, for example at 4X, 15X, or 60X. This feature significantly improves user experience in e-learning and on-line training applications, or when viewing the long format movies. A Flash player example with Fast Forward and Rewind features is included with Wowza Media Server Pro download.
Live Stream Recording
Wowza Media Server Pro allows you to instantly record live video/audio content from a video device, such as webcam video captured by the Flash player. This feature is particularly useful for applications requiring content archiving or later replay. For example, live stream recording can be used in an educational environment to record live lectures and make them instantly available as on-demand e-learning content.
Customizable Media Reader
Wowza Media Server Pro expands the range of readable media types beyond the traditionally supported flv and MP3 formats in Flash with its unique media reader that can be configured for custom extensions for any media type.
Eliminates the need to install stream-specific players on client machines by supporting re-streaming of SHOUTcast (or icecast) streams as an MP3 stream delivered to a standard Flash Player client. This feature provides an excellent solution for radio (audio) broadcasters and content delivery networks who utilize SHOUTcast and wish to expand their audiences with minimum friction.
Wowza Media Server Pro features a flexible custom module interface (API) which can be used to create custom stream types and extend server functionality with custom modules directly callable by the Flash player client. Custom modules are a replacement for the FMS server-side scripting capabilities.
Tight, small and embeddable -- the full server footprint is under 1 MB. Its compact size offers an opportunity to expand the applications for the Wowza Media Server Pro technology beyond the data center. The Wowza Media Server Pro technology can be embedded in various devices, such as set-top boxes, network appliances, mobile and consumer devices to enable a variety of new rich media streaming applications.
Support for More Platforms
It can be deployed on any platform that supports the Java Runtime Environment. It is multi-threaded at its core and can take full advantage of Java’s 64-bit capabilities. To simplify deployment, the following downloadable installation packages are available:
• Linux - RPM - Red Hat Package Manager
• Linux - DEB - Debian Package Manager
• Mac OS X
• Linux/ /Unix/Solaris - straight install using tar command
Shared Services Ready
For applications in shared hosting environment, Wowza Media Server Pro can be configured to run multiple virtual hosts. Each of these virtual host environments has its own set of configuration files, application folders and log files. This enables a single server to efficiently serve multiple users in separate environments.
Flexible Administration and Management
Wowza Media Server Pro provides standards-based mechanisms that fit into existing management and administrative infrastructure. For event logging it uses the Java-based log4j logging system. By default the server is configured to log basic information to the console window and detail information in W3C Extended Common Log Format (ECLF) to log files.
It uses the Java Management Extention (JMX) interface that works with the Wowza IDE JMX perspective and a variety of administation consoles and management systems, such as HP OpenView, IBM Websphere, BEA Weblogic and many others.
For simple administration you can use JConsole, available with most Java SDKs, or the open source MC4J browser, to monitor and control both local and remote servers. These administration consoles capture a wide range of data, giving you a detailed view of server performance, the status of applications, connections and virtual hosts, bandwidth utilization and more.
You can see the data as a snap shot or capture it over time to let you analyze and manage your operations effectively.
Standards-Based Backend Integration
Wowza Media Server Pro’s extensible Java API provides a wide variety of system integration options. This custom module interface can be used to integrate Wowza Media Server Pro with other servers or backend APIs directly through Java, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOAP), remote procedure calls (RPC) or the Java Native Interface (JNI).
Wowza IDE - Free Integrated Development Environment
To simplify and streamline the tasks of extending, configuring and managing Wowza Media Server Pro we offer Wowza Integrated Development Environment (Wowza IDE), a free tool based on popular Eclipse application framework. Wowza IDE provides a rich integrated development environment that greatly simplifies the leap into the Java development world for Wowza Media Server Pro users. It allows you to easily create, debug and validate your server-side code prior to deployment. Additionally, Wowza IDE includes Java Management Extensions (JMX) perspective for managing and monitoring Wowza Media Server Pro servers. Wowza IDE is available for the Windows and Mac OS X platforms.
The volume of video viewing on the Internet in doubling every 6 months. Flash is the most exciting segment of this market. Flash is rapidly taking market share from other formats and with more than 98% of all computers equipped with Flash you can easily reach your audiences and tap a vast pool of revenue opportunities.
Wowza Media Server Pro offers you a Flash streaming platform that lets you take advantage of the these market opportunities. Get Wowza Media Server Pro now and let Flash stream.
Available in several editions, Wowza Media Server Pro makes Flash streaming affordable for organizations of all sizes – from individuals to enterprises, hosting companies and content delivery networks (CDN).
For Tips and Tricks on using Wowza components and compatible players, CLICK HERE.
For most up to date information on Wowza Media Server Pro please visit www.wowzamedia.com.