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Designing Web Audio & CD-ROM by Dylan Thede, Josh Beggs

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Streaming RealAudio from a web server

If you are adding streaming media to your web site for the first time, you may wonder where to start. If you have your own web server, your first option is to download and install the free RealServer 5.0 or RealServer G2 basic servers from the RealNetworks web site. For the simplest and most cost-effective way to add streaming media to your web site without installing RealServer, HTTP pseudo-streaming from a standard web server is a good solution.

You can serve RealMedia content from your existing web site in the same manner that you serve JPEGs, GIFs, and HTML. However, remember that while an ordinary web server can deliver a RealAudio clip, it cannot fast forward the clip or compensate for network congestion. Computer networks are not built for real-time media delivery. To compensate, a dedicated streaming media system such as RealNetwork’s Basic Server Plus employs many sophisticated techniques for delivering media efficiently and robustly.

Although streaming media from a web server is not as reliable as a dedicated RealServer, it is adequate for small-scale broadcasting to a handful of simultaneous listeners.

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