Streaming is an alternative to downloading as a way of delivering media
the web. It lends itself well to serving high quality or
content, with the following benefits:
The Streaming Service is run by the Computing Service in collaboration with the Web Office, the A.V. Centre and the E-Learning Development Team.
This section outlines how to stream audio and video for public use on any website. Using this method, it is not possible currently to restrict access to streams, eg so that they are playable by staff only. Files stored within the Yorkshare VLE can be streamed securely within course areas. See the Yorkshare Headquarters for more information about this.
If you have media that you wish to make publicly available via streaming should contact your Departmental Web Officer. They should be able to help with publishing and work with the media in whatever form you have available (eg DVDs or raw digital files). Please also consider any relevant copyright or other legal issues.
In future the streaming service will be integrated with the University's principal content repositories such as the Digital Library, as well as the VLE. In the meantime the streaming service offers a simple way to manage and publicly stream some long-play media by hosting it in a dedicated 'dropbox', accessible only by web officers (typically) and a few others within a department. The dropboxes are areas of networked filestore or 'mapped drives' whose contents are visible to the streaming servers.
To apply for a streaming dropbox for your department, email firstname.lastname@example.org, specifying:
The size of the dropbox will be 5Gb initially. Size increases will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and may be subject to charging.
The path to your dropbox will be \\streamfs.york.ac.uk\stream\your-department-name (eg \\streamfs.york.ac.uk\stream\physics). For help with mapping a drive see:
Your media will need to be in one of the supported formats (either Flash video, H.264/HE-AAC encoded content stored in an MPEG-4 file, or MP3 audio).
The A.V. Centre has limited resources to help with converting media where necessary, including digitising DVDs on request, and can access dropbox filestore directly. For all enquiries telephone x3033 or email the A.V. Centre.
To upload digital media to the streaming server simply place the file within your dropbox. Please note it is not possible to create subfolders within the dropbox.
If you are managing a University web site using the Web CMS please see adding streaming media to CMS pages, otherwise use the media player wizard to generate HTML that can be inserted into any webpage.
The service supports the following encodings and formats:
Streaming takes place using Adobe's Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP), which makes use of TCP port 1935. Most local firewall settings should not require changes, however some firewalled environments may have to be configured to permit RTMP traffic over this port.
There are currently no plans to support live streaming, however this is an area under investigation. If you have requirements for live streaming please register your interest by emailing email@example.com.
Unfortunately this is not currently possible for media held within dropboxes. If this is an issue for you, please raise this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Downloading large media files can tie up server resources significantly. To avoid damaging the responsiveness of the University's web site at large, currently media placed in dropboxes is only available via streaming.
The streaming server currently used is Wowza Media Pro 1.7.
The streaming service is now a production-level or 'live' service fully supported by IT Services. Plans are in place for deploying a fully resilient load-balanced server architecture in the near future.
Future plans have yet to be agreed, however there are a number of possible improvements that could be considered: