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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Hi Guys,

    I am looking for some advice with a client.
    The client wants very large video files stored on their site, uploaded by them via a CMS and downloadable by paying customers.

    I have been told there will be a 'few' videos and no idea on size, but they have said their largest will be an hour long, so maybe 700mb?

    The question is how should I go about providing a reliable product that can do these things, as I can already see customers having numorous problems downloading these videos, stopping halfway through ect.

    Are there any issues I should be awear of, techniqally wise.

  2.  

  3. #2
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    This becomes a webhost server issue.

    Most shared webhosts (that you subscribe to) won't allow
    anything like that ... too much of a burden on their servers.

    They will have to find a dedicated server that someone can
    host for them, or preferrably, they need to buy their own
    server and host it themselves ... their website will be the
    only thing running on their own server most likely.

    To have your own server requires a direct continous connection
    to the internet, through an ISP that is dedicated to that.

    This is going to be sort of expensive to do, which is why most
    hosts "share" their servers and the costs associated with it.

    =======

    On the "other side" ... the server side, they will need to hire some
    professionals to do handle some of the programming needs.

    Their site will be something like Netflix Online, where people can
    watch movies "streaming" instead of getting them in the mail.

    Not even sure about how much it will all cost, but it will be quite
    an investment of equipment, service, maintenance, programming
    and operating costs.


  4. #3
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    For a file that big, an HTTP upload will be very unreliable. You can grant trusted users access to an FTP directory and have your script read from that.

    I have a project at work that is similar. The client wanted to upload videos (typically a few minutes in length each) and have them streamed to end users. The way I implemented it:
    • Allow administrators to upload files through our proprietary, closed-source CMS. The file's metadata (original filename, date/time uploaded, and mime type/subtype most importantly) are stored in a database. The actual file data is stored on the filesystem because storing huge amounts of binary data in a database is a bad idea.
    • Every few minutes, a cron job runs that checks for uploaded videos. If it finds any, identifyable by a mime type of video/anything, it will use ffmpeg to attempt to convert the video into a .flv format suitable for streaming. It logs successful, in progress, and failed conversions so it knows when to convert a file and to not try multiple times.
    • The converted FLV is saved in Flash Media Server's appropriate directory that is exposed to the public.
    • An API generates appropriate markup to render the media: notably, the <embed>/<object> tags to load a Flash player that points to the converted stream.

    The most important part of all of this, provided you want to do Flash Media streaming (progressive downloading is easier than all this crap and doesn't require a Flash Media Server license) is using ffmpeg, a free GPL tool, to convert the video from nearly any format into a well-defined format compatible with .flv. Our production servers run Linux which makes this much easier.

    In your specific case, you should get an idea of what kind of quality the client wants for the video. If it's some sort of HD video, you may need Flash Media Server 3 or Silverlight (brilliantly easy to use but obviously few have the plugin) and buckets of bandwidth--i.e., on the range of possibly 1 TB or more per month. If it's typical web streaming video, then Flash Media Server 2 would work, or if you don't want the complete pain in the *** of dealing with Flash Media Server but still want to use Flash client-side, you can do progressive downloading of Flash videos without paying for extra software.
    filburt1, Web Design Forums.net founder
    Site of the Month contest: submit your site or vote for the winner!

  5. #4
    Junior Member
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    Thanks for your input, its very appreciated!

    I'll have a think and do some research, cheers.

  6. #5
    Junior Member ditch182's Avatar
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    You might also look into distributing the files as torrents. Not as fast or reliable, but some video game companies have started to do this.


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