When used with Windows Media Player 9 Series or later, Fast Cache provides a way to stream content to clients faster than the data rate specified by the stream format. For example, using Fast Cache, the server can transmit a 128-kilobits-per-second (Kbps) stream at 700 Kbps. The stream is still rendered in Windows Media Player at the specified data rate, but the client is able to buffer a much larger portion of the content before rendering it. This allows the client to handle variable network conditions without a perceptible impact on the playback quality of either on-demand or broadcast content.
This ability is useful in the following situations:
When the available network bandwidth of the client exceeds the required bandwidth of the content; for example, clients that use a cable modem, DSL connection, or corporate intranets.
When the network connectivity is intermittent or has high latency; for example, wireless networks.
When the quality of the content received is of paramount importance; for example, businesses that provide pay-per-view movies.
|When Fast Cache is enabled, Windows Media Services cannot use intelligent streaming.|
|You can control the behavior of individual streams by adding Fast Streaming URL modifiers to the URL that a client uses to connect to the stream. For example, you can use the WMCache URL modifier to enable a client to use Fast Cache. You can also control the maximum bandwidth available for streaming a file or a live stream by using the WMBitrate and WMContentBitrate URL modifiers. For more information, see Controlling Fast Streaming behavior with URL modifiers.|