flash streaming

Bob Ippolito bob at redivi.com
Mon Oct 9 05:01:42 MSD 2006

On 10/8/06, Jonathan Vanasco <nginx at 2xlp.com> wrote:
> On Oct 8, 2006, at 8:01 PM, Bob Ippolito wrote:
> > By "flash streaming" they mean "flash video streaming" (flv files).
> > It's used for video.
> >
> > You don't need anything special to do .flv streaming. The only thing
> > that the LightHTTPD module does is allow you to start at an arbitrary
> > key frame in the video. YouTube doesn't even have this feature yet,
> > but Google Video does. It's not really that big of a deal.
> >
> > -bob
> I've been out of flash land for a while, but from what I heard--
>         Macrodobe dumbed down the flash player to not support http range
> requests so they could sell 'Flash Media Server'
>         People got pissed off, and started making new servers that spoke the
> protocol
>         Then existing servers ( like lighttpd ) started integrating the
> functionality

No, that's not it. LightHTTPD does not speak the RTMP protocol, it
only knows how to seek to a given position in a FLV file given a
timecode. People have been doing this for a while, even in PHP.

IIRC there's only one open source RTMP server, Red5, but that's only
really worthwhile if you're trying to do crap with webcams or
microphones, or connect users together (stuff that you would normally
use XMLSocket for).

> It's neat to have, but considering that lighttpd does it already- and
> that portion of their code doesn't seem to leak, it would be trivial
> to just proxy from nginx to lighty on a higher port to handle it (i
> singled lighty out, because i've heard that all the flash-centric
> servers take rather large footprints on memory and cpu )

Yes, Flash Media Server is a dog. Red5 probably is too, and I'm not
even sure it's mature enough to actually use it in production.

Proxying would work just fine though. One feature that might
facilitate good support for this would be if X-Accel-Redirect accepted
an offset... so you could calculate the offset with some scripting
language and serve the rest of the file with nginx.

> flv is also used for audio-only tracks.  i've used it quite a bit for
> online media players.

Can't it play mp3 files as-is these days?


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