The Media Server can be used to stream audio and video files to a variety of devices using popular streaming methods, such as:
The above list contains for each protocol a list of the devices or software programs that can play that particular protocol. The list is not complete - there might be other devices or software packages that can play each protocol.
When running, the Media Server is waiting for clients to connect to it and request a particular file. The server will then stream a file in a particular protocol requested by the client. Every server instance can support one or more protocols.
The server is configured though an XML configuration file. You can change the server settings by editing the XML file with an editor or using the demos' user interface.
We provide sample HTML files to make it easy to test the individual protocols. There are HTML files for the individual protocols and an HTML file that will automatically select a protocol appropriate for the device used to connect to the server. The file is called
player.html refered to as the "Universal player".
The server demos included with this toolkit have two forms:
To use the standalone exe, run it and select the option to start listening.
The windows service has an extra step for registering it. You can register it by running the service exe and adding the /RegServer command line parameter. For convenience, the service exe can also automatically register itself following the instructions in the message box brought up when you run the service exe as a regular exe.
Once registered, the windows service server can be started using the Service Manager exe. You can also configure windows to automatically start the service when Windows boots up. This way, you can just set it up and forget about it.
Once the server starts and is listening for connections, the simplest way to test it is by playing the Universal player file in a web browser. For example, if the server is set up and listed on 127.0.0.1 and port 7979, connect to the server using this url:
This will launch the Universal player that will stream the default file (sample.mp4) using the best protocol for your web browser or device. The web page will also display the URL that can be used to play the file in that protocol without using an HTML page. For example, if you run this file on a Windows PC that has Flash installed, you might see this Flash URL:
If you enter that URL in a Flash player, you can play it without using a browser.
You can change the server configuration by clicking on the Network button. The most important settings are the folder containing the media files and the port on which the server will listen. To help avoid problems, each server is setup to listen on different ports. For example, the C++ Standalone exe will listen by default on port 7979, while the C++ Windows Service listens by default on port 6969. Make sure you use the correct port number for the version of the server that is running.
There is a log viewer demo that you can use to view the logs created by the server. Note that the time listed in the log file can be local time or universal time (GMT). If you wish to use local time, make sure to specify that in the logging settings (bring up by clicking on "Logging..." button in the service manager or server exe).
The server expects the files to be in MP4 format. The video should be compressed in H264 format and the audio should be compressed in AAC. These are the compressions most common among all devices. Note that some Apple devices might expect the video to not use B frames, otherwise the video becomes very jerky.
The safest thing is to compress a file using the Convert To Media Server demo. Convert the file you wish to stream using that demo and place it in the media streaming folder.