With more and more people turning to the Internet for entertainment as well as information, it is becoming crucial for websites to offer videos and audio. From podcasts to music, tutorials to news – online streaming media is now more popular than ever. Streaming audio or video is a fantastic way to market products, services and brands. Video demonstrations and conferencing as well as live webcasts are the future of Internet marketing. There are a variety of tools available to webmasters today when it comes to streaming media. In the past, due to the large size of audio and video files, page load times were severely slowed and websites often crashed when a user attempted to play a media file. We are all aware that the average Internet user does not have the patience to wait for web pages to load and if a site crashes then profits drop. With the proliferation of separate servers for media files known as “media servers,” page load times are not effected as they once were when audio or video clips are utilized. In the case of media servers, a traditional web server hosts web files while a separate media server hosts media files. There are various hosting plans and configurations on the market with different features and benefits available. When selecting a media hosting plan it is imperative to find the service that will best suit what you are trying to accomplish.
Hosting Options for Streaming Content Wowza Media Servers
FFMpeg is a very popular way to stream content on websites. It features a free software license and easy to use modules which allow for simple implementation. It is a a cross platform solution (runs on Widows, Mac, Linux, etc.) that allows its users to easily record, convert files and stream content. FFMpeg includes the most popular codecs and supports many different file formats. FFMpeg files can be played by most all media players. For example if you upload a Quicktime file it will play without needing to install Quicktime to your site. FFMpeg is renowned for its ability to support just about any file format ever created. Learn more about online media streaming with ffmpeg.
SHOUTCast is the premier live audio broadcast and Internet radio application. It is ideal for radio stations, bands, musicians, commentators, podcasts, etc. This service is known for their high quality and compatibility. SHOUTCast is a very flexible solution for webmasters because it supports MP3 and a variety of other audio file formats with no need for conversion. The newest version features an iPhone app offering even more user control. Another nice feature is the built-in analytics which provide the ability to obtain listener data in real-time which is useful for marketing purposes.
The Wave of the Future
Streaming content from your website is truly the wave of the future. Not only can you provide an amazing experience for the visitors to your site, you can even monetize on video and audio files by implementing ads into them and selling ad space on your site. Streaming content allows you to take your site to the next level.