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Streaming Windows Media files on-demand

Updated: October 4, 2007

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2

This section demonstrates how to use Windows Media Services to stream a video file from an on-demand publishing point on your server when a user requests it, also known as on-demand streaming. Users can start, stop, pause, fast-forward, and rewind the content they request by using controls on the Player. From a user's perspective, on-demand streaming is similar to playing content on a DVD player.

  1. Obtain the video content you want to stream. You can create the content yourself, or purchase or license the content as necessary. The recording should be high quality and in a format that is convenient for encoding.

  2. Prepare the content for streaming. If necessary, edit the video to achieve the desired playing time, arrangement, and tone. Encode the video and save it as a Windows Media file. Microsoft Expression Encoder includes several broadband encoding profiles that you can use to achieve a specific result. For example, if you intend to include interstitial advertisements in your content, consider encoding the video as several sequential video files. Store the content files either on the Windows Media server or in a location on your network.

  3. Reference the video content in your on-demand publishing point:

    • In the console tree, click the on-demand publishing point from which you want to stream content.

    • In the details pane, click the Source tab.

    • In the Content Source area, be sure the Location path is the same as the location of the Windows Media file you want to stream.

    • If it is not, click Change and type the path to the content, or click Browse to locate the file.

  4. Choose a method to generate revenue from your content. The Windows Media Rights Manager SDK provides you with several commercial access options, such as pay-per-view or subscription services, depending on your business model.

  5. Protect your content from unauthorized access. Configure and enable the authentication and authorization plug-ins that you want to use to control access to your content. For more information about authentication and authorization, see Configuring security options.

  6. You can configure and enable a logging plug-in to collect client usage data and publishing point performance information. Using data from the log files, you can create reports to verify that your system is performing as expected. Additional logs can be generated to record the performance of specific advertisements within the broadcast. You can then give these specialized logs to your advertisers. For more information about logging, see Logging.

  7. Use the Unicast Announcement Wizard to create an announcement file that you can add to a Web page or provide to users as a network share location.

    • In the console tree, select the publishing point that contains the content you want to announce.

    • In the details pane, click the Announce tab.

    • Click Run Unicast Announcement Wizard, and then follow the steps in the wizard.

      Using the Unicast Announcement Wizard, you can also create a basic Web page with an embedded link to your content. After creating this page, you can then personalize it and add it to your site.

See Also

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