View Full Version : progressive vs streaming

11-03-2004, 10:55 PM
Without Flash Communication Server, video files download progressively onto the client's machine. (I'm not sure I completely understand the difference between progressive and streaming - so if someone can explain in more detail that would be great).

Anyway, my main question is this...
Can Flash Communication Server benefit progressive download performance (let's say if I have a video file that downloads progressively with a preloader - so it doesn't start playing until 100% downloaded) - so, during the preload phase, if there are multiple users trying to view the video and waiting for it to progressively download, can Flash Communication manage load balancing of the progressive download to improve performance?

Or, is Flash Communication Server meant for improving performance of streaming video only?


11-06-2004, 07:36 PM
Howdy... :)

I know pretty much nothing about this FCS stuff, but I thought that FCS is meant to be used with the streaming video...

11-06-2004, 08:28 PM
Im with CB in that I know little about FCS but I dont think its only video and I cant imagine that it would do anything to improve progressive download.

The difference between progressive DL and streaming is that progressive download is a play as you download kind of thing. Once you've finished playing, it means you have downloaded the whole thing to your hard drive and can watch it as many times as you want all over again without a connection to the internet (as its playing from your cache). Streaming is a download what you need to play at that that point of playback and forget it existed after playing it. If you watch a whole streaming movie and go back and watch it again, you will need to keep a connection to dl the frames again to watch them as it plays back again. Nothing is left in your cache, or anywhere. Once streaming content is played, its gone.

11-06-2004, 08:58 PM
If I had understood the conversion from the MAX correctly, there is a chance that they might add some mechanism to save the streaming meterial on the user's hard drive for the later viewing on the FCS 2.0... But that could be another misleading sentence as well... It's just a rumor for now... :D

11-06-2004, 09:07 PM
One of the advantages to using FlashCom is that you get true streaming.

This means that without FlashCom I can have someone progressively download the video - it can start playing after it has just downloaded a buffer (not required to download the whole video) - however if the video was five minutes long, the viewer could only skip forward to what has been downloaded already (in order, from the beginning).

With FlashCom, the viewer could start the video (after a buffer) and even if only the first minute is loaded it could be skipped forward to the four minute mark and start playing (after a small buffer) without having to download minutes two and three.

I don't think FlashCom currently supports load balancing but it might - someone more knowledgable than myself (or the docs) should be able to answer this pretty easily. Other advantages is does have are feeding a different quility stream based on users bandwidth as well as streaming of live video.

11-07-2004, 01:26 AM
All of these answers have helped me to better understand streaming vs progressive download. I didn't realize that with streaming, the video is not actaully loaded into the users cache (ever). But, it would make sense, because if the user jumps around in the video, than pieces of the video would have to be stored in client cache out of order, or it would have to be cached in the background (in order) in a seperate process. Anyway if MM comes up with a way to cache streaming video on the client machine, that would be a great feature.

11-21-2004, 03:14 PM
splict: Seeing how the FVSS hosting boasts load-balancing I would think that FlashCom either supports it or could be made to. I am by no means stating this as an authority, just an observation ^_^

11-21-2004, 06:02 PM
Good point petefs. I'm pretty sure it is possible but I'm not so sure FlashCom can currently do it "out of the box." Then agin, I should make it clear that I don't know what I'm talking about. I only have a single - I think its called 'Personal' - license and I've only used it for streaming videos with, at max, a few concurrent users.

11-21-2004, 06:42 PM
I am by no means an FCS master either, although I'll be charged with learning it very soon so I'm trying to push my inexperienced nose in there ; )

Really, load balancing should be relatively easy to implement with anything whether it 'supports' it or not -- it's just easier if it plays nice, eh?

I'll report when I get to researchin' it for real : )

11-21-2004, 07:12 PM
I'll be interested in hearing what you find out. :)

12-16-2004, 02:49 AM
i believe another feature of streaming is that each user can get their own version of video, depending on their connection, so dial-up user would not have to wait for 10mb video to load. there probably is a way to test user connection and pick a different version with progressive, but i do not know.

and also, if i am not mistaken, streaming is supported in flash player 6, wether progressive is only supported by version 7.