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More Information On Windows Media DRM...

Want more information on Windows Media Digital Rights Management? Read below for valuable information on DRM:
Streaming Server vs. Web Server

Following is a feature comparison of a Windows Media server and a Web server and information on the best way to determine which option is right for you. For a more complete comparison, see Microsoft's Web Server vs. Streaming Server Comparison

Comparing server features
The features of each type of server are compared in the following table.

Feature Windows Media Services Web server
Stream through most firewalls X X
Stream content with Digital Rights Management X X
Fast Streaming X  
Stream without downloading X  
Broadcast (live) X  
Intelligent streaming X  
Optimized for streaming Windows Media content X  
Indexing X  
Administering and logging X  

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The following list describes each of the above features. If you are interested only in the features that a Web server can provide, then Web server streaming may be the right option for you.

  • Stream through most firewalls. Firewalls are special servers that filter information that flows between the Internet and private networks or intranets. Many firewalls are set up by default to block data that isn't from a Web server—data such as a Windows Media stream. Firewalls can be reconfigured to allow this data into the intranet. Alternatively, Windows Media servers can be configured to stream using the same protocol as Web servers, HTTP.

  • Stream content with Digital Rights Management. Content that has been packaged using Microsoft Windows Media Rights Manager to add DRM protection can be streamed or downloaded from either type of server. Windows Media Rights Manager helps content owners distribute licensed digital media over the Internet with superior audio quality.

  • Fast Streaming. A feature of Windows Media Services that allows for a combination of streaming, downloading, and caching to provide the best user experience. Fast Streaming includes Fast Start, which downloads the first few seconds of the content at as high a bit rate as possible, so the wait to start playing is reduced; Fast Cache, which uses available bandwidth to cache as much content as possible ahead of playback; Fast Recovery, which sends error correction data with the data packets instead of waiting for an error to occur; and Fast Reconnect, which enables the server to automatically restore connections that are lost.

  • Stream without downloading. Content from a Web server is downloaded. If Fast Cache is enabled on a Windows Media server, content might be cached to enhance playback. However, this feature can be disabled if you want your content streamed only.

  • Broadcast (live). Web servers can only host on-demand content (files). A Windows Media server can host content for on-demand delivery or as a broadcast. Broadcasting enables you to effectively stream live content (events that occur in real time), and files and playlists that are played back from the server. Some examples of broadcasting are streaming live radio and television signals, and Internet radio stations.

  • Intelligent streaming. As mentioned earlier, this feature requires an interaction between a Windows Media server and Windows Media Player to optimize the stream for the current available bandwidth.

  • Optimized for streaming Windows Media content. Windows Media Services was designed for the special requirements of streaming media. For example, Windows Media Services handles resources on a computer better than a Web server when streaming. A Windows Media server is capable of delivering more concurrent streams on a given computer by making more efficient use of a computer's CPU and network bandwidth. A Windows Media server sends data at the same bit rate as the content. A Web server on the other hand does not control the bit rate at which it sends a stream. Consequently, two or more concurrent streams from a Web server could saturate a network's bandwidth.

    Files are streamed from a Web server by using a method called progressive downloading. This means that a file plays as it downloads to the user's Internet cache. This can be a concern for users, because digital media files often consume a large amount of hard disk space. Also, a user cannot seek to different parts of the content, until the entire file is downloaded.

  • Indexing. This feature provides end users with a means of fast-forwarding and rewinding through a file that is being streamed, which requires interaction between a Windows Media server and Windows Media Player.

  • Administering and logging. You can control how a Windows Media server manages live content and files, and monitor overall system activity in real time. You can also create detailed logs that include data such as individual client connection information and server events.

The experts at Digital Rights Director have significant experience in all aspects of digital media ingestion, encoding, management, protection, storage, and delivery. Please Contact Us today if your business requires assistance with Digital Asset Management, Digital Rights Management, or Digital Content Delivery!

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