Sunday, May 16, 2004

Microsoft Windows Media - Fast Streaming with Windows Media 9

This is cool, both in theory and in practice! The web page at Microsoft Windows Media site explains the benefits of Windows Media 9 Series. The idea of fast streaming is simple - to deliver instant-on/always on experience. In other words, taking some of the unreliability inherent in the Internet out of the experience. And it really works!

As many of you know, I'm a fan of the Grateful Dead and it's many offshoots. I've just been listening to some really cool tracks from an upcoming Jerry Garcia release. The studio has released a number of the tracks on streaming audio and the sound quality is pretty good. The on demand steam comes from a Windows 2003 server with Direct 9.

Well - it's Sunday morning and I'm listening to this stream, and looking at the patch status of my boxes. Turns out I have to reboot the ISA server. Just as I hit the reboot button, I realised I'd loose the Jerry Garcia stream. I thought it would be interesting to see just how good the buffering was. My ISA server runs on a little Dell Dimension 4600, and took 46 seconds to reboot (according to uptime.exe). During the reboot, the player did not miss a beat! I was amazed - this is cool!!

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