Helmet camera question
Posted May 21, 2003 - 09:18 AM
How much does it cost to put stuff on a FTP server??
Posted May 21, 2003 - 02:04 PM
I can make avi files easy from my helmetcan and computer software. If I succeed at that, can I just store them at a location such as where my digital pictures are and send the address to TT for viewing. What is needed to be done to make larger files video stream.. Thanks, Jim
Unfortunetly it's not that tough a question....just an expensive answer. There's no real difference from how the file sits on the server for whether you download it or stream it out. The file is sittin' on a hard drive and has to deliver the info via the network connection.
take this video for instance....
First it's a .mov so it's good quality, but HUGE. 131Meg for 4 minutes of action. I made this before I dicovered the WInmedia compression. The lodgetxfr:vid is a name and password I imbedded in the link to keep the evil-doers from gaining access.
If you 'right click and save-to' the video file the box can take it's time and dealing with the usual latencies and delays on the internet, deliver the file to your computer. It could take 5 min or it could take an hour... no problems. All it's worried about it delivering some bits from my place to your place and making sure that eventually all of them get there. Then you can play it on your box with no issues.
If you left click on it (like a normal windows-type click) your browswer will pop a Quicktime symbol and start attempting to stream the video to you. Here's where the grief starts...
You don't know this, but the FTP server this file is hosted on is a 5 year old P200PRO server... can we say old and slow? Yep... As well, that box is sitting on my home network that also has streaming audio (I can provide that link if ya want) and a half dozen other boxes surfing on and off at any given time. So, the cable modem network congestion out of my house is pretty high, but to you it looks like any other internet link.
So.. what quicktime and win media and real media and whatever else you use to view streaming media do to combat the stuttering flow out of my place is to buffer an appropriate portion of the video before beginning to display it to you. Quicktime does the nicest buffering. You're still dealing with the delays and limited bandwidth available between you and me. You're trying to deliver, with no hicups or glitches, 500k to 4 meg a second, over a congested (shared) internet. So left clicking will try to play it immediately but you're left to the mercies of whoever set up the backend infrastructure and you still have to wait for a download to happen before you'll see anything. ... and if the flow get interrupted the players like to start over to make sure they haven't missed anything. I believe my cable modem setup is like 700k into my place and 400k out.. the cable companies bias the cable modem system to provide good downloads not so fast uploads. (which I am doing to you) So if you're trying to stream a video that runs at a meg a second (or 4 meg a second) the network can't keep up and you end up buffing a large portion of it before your local browser will consider playing it. You may have to download and buffer 1/2 or 3/4 of the file before it streams and for that effort you might as well d/l it and have it to play again and again.
So, how do you get around the weak-assed delivery system and limp-wristed network connection. You have to get someone to host it for ya. There's a few places that'll do it for ya. I don't know them 'cause I built my own system (sorry). These places have huge multi-processor 'puters with fast hard drive arrays on massive network pipes. Naturally that stuff doesn't come cheap and only large corporations can afford to do it. Even then it's costly to deliver multiple streams. You'll notice web-based streaming video is really small and generally crappy quality. It's good for talking head news stories, but if there's any movement the picture is screwed. We have to accept that the internet as a video delivery medium sucks. As the need to deliver video becomes more mainstream, storage and playback companies will pop up. Already these places are becoming more and more common. In the short term, you get to right click instead of stream stuff from your home.
The FTP server thing is pretty easy to set up and obviously (as in my situation) you can do it with a minimal 'puter. There's a few free FTP server software packages out there and WSFTP comes to mind. If you want to get into the routing of ftp vs http requests I can do that, but you're probably not too interested. Suffice to say FTP was here before the HTTP of the internet and all computers can deal with it.
Most network providers offer some sort of home page with your subscription and this is a decent place to store your files for downloading. Unfortunetly, those 'free' homepages are limited in size and if you want more space, you pay for it. Some places charge by the amount of info downloaded, so watch out for that clause in the contract. This is why I built my own site. I have a couple of gigs of video sitting on there, it's old and slow, but does the job and it makes use out of a 'puter most people think would be obsolete.
whew... where's that beer..
Posted May 21, 2003 - 03:02 PM