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Streaming Real Media Via HTTP

NOTE: Now that RealNetworks offers a free license for their RealSystem Server, there is little reason for streaming Real Media via HTTP. Instead, you should install the RealSystem Server and "serve" the RealAudio/RealVideo content rather than "stream" the content via HTTP (which is what is explained below).

Many Virtual Server users want to offer RealAudio and RealVideo streams but do not want to install the RealSystem Server that streams these files. Streaming files means that the RealAudio and RealVideo files begin playing before the entire file is downloaded. RealAudio and RealVideo files can be quite large and many people surfing the web would not wait to see the entire file download before it started playing.

A RealAudio/Video server allows you to offer these streamed files. However, you can also stream these files without the RealAudio/Video server. It isn't quite as nice as using the server, but it will cost you no money. It is known as HTTP streaming.

Configuration
To stream RealAudio and RealVideo content using HTTP from your Virtual Server, do the following.

  1. Add the following two MIME Types (if necessary) to your ~/www/conf/mime.types file:

    audio/x-pn-realaudio           rm ra ram
    audio/x-pn-realaudio-plugin    rpm
    

    If you choose to FTP this file and edit it on your local machine with a text editor (such as Notepad), be sure you FTP it in ASCII mode since it is a text file.

  2. Copy your encoded RealAudio and RealVideo files (files with the .rm and .ra extensions) to your Virtual Server using FTP. Be sure to FTP these files in Binary mode.

  3. Use a text editor to create a metafile containing a RealAudio or RealVideo URL. For example, the contents of your metafile should be in the following form:

    http://YOUR-DOMAIN.NAME/path/filename.rm

  4. Save the metafile as a text file with the .ram extension. For example:

    filename.ram

    Then FTP this file to your Virtual Server in ASCII mode (because it is a text file).

  5. In your HTML document, reference the metafile in a hyperlink. For example:

    <A HREF="filename.ram">
    <A HREF="http://YOUR-DOMAIN.NAME/path/filename.ram">

    You can use relative or complete paths. If you use complete paths, you must include both the hostname and the complete path.

  6. When a user clicks on the link, the audio/video file(s) begin to download. The RealPlayer begins playing after a few seconds; it does not need to wait for the entire file to be downloaded.

Examples
Here are a few working examples:

Audio Clip Example       Video Clip Example (takes longer to start)


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