Streaming Media

Streaming Media

Employees and Campus organizations at Auburn University have available to them streaming audio and video services that will allow them to place media online, available for viewing on the web. Auburn University uses Real Media technology to deliver these files.

OIT can help to get you pointed in the right direction by setting up your account and providing you with information on how to get your files converted to the proper format.

 

Common Topics

AU's streaming media server

Auburn University's RealNetworks Helix Server is named rm.auburn.edu (realmedia4.auburn.edu). This server is currently licensed for "unlimited" throughput, or an unlimited number of concurrent viewers. Obviously, there is a limit imposed by bandwidth, but it's not imposed by the license. If your department anticipates heavy usage of the streaming server for a particular event, please notify OIT Web Support at webadmn@auburn.edu in advance so that we can help you pre-test the broadcast and be prepared to monitor the server.

Requesting space on the streaming media server

AU Departments and chartered student organizations may request space on the streaming media server.

To request space for streaming media, please send an e-mail message to the Instructional Multimedia Group (img@auburn.edu) that contains the following information:

Your name
Your AU username
The AU department or organization that you represent.
Intended use (class materials, departmental documents, outreach, etc.).

You will be contacted via e-mail at the user name that you specify (username@auburn.edu).

Large multimedia files should not be stored in "regular" departmental web directories, but on the streaming media server.

Requesting a live broadcast password

AU departments may request a live broadcast password. This service is not available to student organizations. To request a live broadcast password, a full-time employee of the department should contact the OIT HelpDesk at (334) 844-4944 or helpdesk@auburn.edu.

Encoding software

You can download a free or trial version of an encoder product from RealNetworks. Purchased versions of the encoder provide more features. Choose which ever one is right for you and your budget. We've found that the free encoder works fine for casual use.

Viewing presentations - player required

Your audience will need to download a RealMedia player to play your presentation from the Web. There is a free version of the most recent player available from RealNetworks. RealMedia also sells versions of the player with more features.

The free version of the RealMedia player is installed on all the OIT Lab machines.

Samples of streamed material

Click below to play sample files from rm.auburn.edu:

  • RealVideo 9
    RealVideo 9 provides the highest quality streaming media experience on the Helix server, from narrowband to broadband, with VHS quality for broadband viewers and DVD quality at 1 Mbps.
    rtsp://rm.auburn.edu:554/real2/samples/real9video.rm
    Path to the file on realmedia4.auburn.edu: /export/real2/samples/real9video.rm

  • G2 from RealMedia
    An older format, G2 combines jpg slides and rm (audio) in a presentation.
    rtsp://rm.auburn.edu:554/real2/samples/africag2/africa.smi
    Path to the file on realmedia4.auburn.edu: /export/real2/samples/africag2/africa.smi
    associated jpg and audio files are also in this directory.

  • RealPix, RealText, and SMIL
    RealPix allows existing image formats like JPEG to be easily added to presentations, offering powerful transition effects and overlay capabilities. RealText allows both static and live XML-compliant text to be added to presentations with powerful effects like smooth scrolling, selectable fonts, and selectable colors. SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language) enables the server to deliver and choreograph multiple live and pre-recorded events, graphics, and text feeds into a single compelling presentation. The SMIL samples demonstrate the use of RealPix, RealText as well as RealAudio and RealVideo.
    rtsp://rm.auburn.edu:554/real2/samples/presentation/presentation.smi
    Path to the file on realmedia4.auburn.edu: /export/real2/samples/presentation/presentation.smi

  • Flash 4
    Ideal for long-form animation and e-commerce applications, streaming Flash 4 from Macromedia provides bandwidth-efficient broadcasting and synchronization in SMIL presentations.
    rtsp://rm.auburn.edu:554/real2/samples/flash.smi
    Path to the file on realmedia4.auburn.edu: /export/real2/samples/flash.smi

  • MP3
    rtsp://rm.auburn.edu:554/real2/samples/realmp3.mp3
    Path to the file on realmedia4.auburn.edu: /export/real2/samples/realmp3.mp3

  • MPEG-4
    Helix Server delivers ISMA compliant MPEG-4 bit streams with the file extension of "mp4". MPEG-4 files must be hinted before it can be streamed from the server. Playback requires an ISMA compliant player such as the RealOne Player with the EnvivioTV Plug-in.
    rtsp://rm.auburn.edu:554/real2/samples/mpg4video.mp4
    Path to the file on realmedia4.auburn.edu: /export/real2/samples/mpg4video.mp4

  • Windows Media
    Helix Server can deliver Windows Media content with the file extensions of "wma", "wmv" and "asf".
    To play in RealPlayer use the "mms" protocol as follows:
    mms://rm.auburn.edu/real4/hr/introduction.wmv
    Path to the file on realmedia4.auburn.edu: /export/real2/samples/wmvideo.wmv
    To play back the file in Windows Media Player, v6.4 and above, include an "asxgen" statement in the URL that calls the player:
    http://rm.auburn.edu/asxgen/real2/samples/wmvideo.wmv
    Path to the file on realmedia4.auburn.edu: /export/real2/samples/wmvideo.wmv

General How-To

Prepare multimedia for web streaming

Getting a multimedia file ready for web streaming requires encoding the file using RealNetworks Helix Producer Basic.

Follow these steps:

  1. Visit the following link to download and then install Helix Producer Basic. Internet Resource: RealNetworks.com: Free and Trial Product
  2. Open Helix Producer Basic and select the radio button for Input file.
  3. Click on the Browse... button and locate the multimedia file that wish to encode and click OK.
  4. Click on the Audiences button and pick a maximum of 3 connection speeds.

    These are the connections speeds that you think the majority of your viewers use. Use the arrow icon to move them from the Templates list and use the trash can icon to delete them from the Audiences in Job list.

    Note: Choosing higher connection speeds makes better quality, but larger files that take up more of your web stream space.

  5. Optional: Click on the Clip Information button and fill in the Title, Author, and Copyright fields to give extra information to your viewers.
  6. From the menu bar, select File > Add File Destination... and enter the name for the finished encoded multimedia file. Click Save.
  7. Click the Encode button to begin encoding the multimedia file for web streaming.
Serving streaming files

Serving a file from a link on a web page

Some people would argue that this is the best method of serving streamed video. This method opens the presentation in the application window (RealOne Player in this example) and gives the viewer the option to resize the viewing window.

Here is an example of a RealMedia file streamed from a link (click to view the broadcast in the player window). Note: in all cases, your audience must have RealOne, or the required player for the media type, installed on their machine.

To serve a file from a link on a web page, use the following link format:

<a href="http:// rm.auburn.edu:7070/ramgen/realN/path/filename.rm">

  • http:// - the protocol
  • rm.auburn.edu - the AU streaming server name. This is the streaming server loadbalancer at AU.
  • :7070 - this is the port configured to handle streaming media traffic. If you don't specify a port, the server will default to this port.
  • ramgen - this is the mount point for the stream. Although it looks like a directory path, it is actually a virtual path that invokes the Helix Server feature to send the browser an encoded stream that starts the RealOne player.
  • realN - this is the volume of the real server disk space where your file is located. It may be that your real server home directory is "real1", "real2" or "real3". You are given this volume name when your real server account is created.
  • path - this is the path to the filename from the real volume. In most cases it is your username or departmental account name. It may include a subdirectory under your home directory, depending on how you organize your files.
  • filename.rm - this is the name of the file you are attempting to serve.


Embedding streaming files

To embed a RealMedia file on a web page, use this code:

<embed
controls="imagewindow"
console="Clip1"
src="rtsp://rm.auburn.edu:7070/realN/path/filename.rm" width="320" height="240"
autostart="false"></embed><BR>

<embed
controls="controlpanel"
console="Clip1"
src="rtsp://rm.auburn.edu:7070/realN/path/filename.rm" width="320" height="30"></embed>

Where realN/path / filename.rm is the volume, path, and the filename. You do not need to include the "ramgen" virtual path with the "rtsp" protocol.

If you want the file to play when the page is viewed (without having to press the start button), turn autostart to "true".

Here is a sample of an embedded file with "autostart" turned to "false". To play the clip, click on the arrow on the control panel below the window.

Uploading files to the streaming server

The Helix server at rm.auburn.edu streams files from a data directory on the host machine "realmedia4.auburn.edu". You can use Secure FTP to transfer files to the realmedia data directory, or map a drive on your on-campus computer to that resource.

NOTE: First you must have an account and directory on realmedia4.auburn.edu. See the information on how to request space.

Secure FTP (WinSCP)

The data storage system for AU's streaming media requires secure FTP. You can download a secure FTP client AU Install.

Configure your WinSCP session as follows to connect to realmedia4.auburn.edu.

  • Host name: realmedia4.auburn.edu
  • Port number: 22
  • User name: use your AU username and password or the departmental user name created for this purpose.

By default, the WinSCP session opens in your home directory on the server (/export/real1/username). Generally, this is the directory where you should upload files to stream. You may create subdirectories within your home directory to keep things organized. If you do, be sure to enter the subdirectory into the "path" when you are ready to play back the file.

Drive Mapping

You may map a drive on your PC to your realmedia4.auburn.edu space. This allows you to save files directly to the server as you encode.

  1. Right click on the My Computer icon and choose Map Network Drive.
  2. Choose a drive letter (we recommend drive R: if it is available).
  3. Enter the folder name \\realmedia4.auburn.edu\homes
  4. Click on Connect using a different username.
  5. In the login box, enter your user name as auburn\username (where "username" is your AU username or the departmental user name that was created for this purpose) and password.
  6. Click Finish.

You can only connect to your own home directory on the realmedia4 server via drive mapping. If you need to collaborate with other people in your department on a streaming project, it may be that your department's Administrative Computing Coordinator needs to request a departmental ID for this project.

Troubleshooting

Can't log in to realmedia4.auburn.edu

Not every AU username has access rights to realmedia4.auburn.edu. Departments and organizations must request a login and space.

  • If you've already requested a streaming media login, and you've received confirmation that it's ready for use, you may need to synchronize your passwords.
  • If you are trying to drive map to the streaming media resource (realmedia4.auburn.edu) be sure to enter your username as "auburn\username". Even though realmedia4.auburn.edu is a unix host, the drive mapping interface uses the Auburn Windows Domain username and password.

Last Updated: Jan. 20, 2012