Media Service: RealNetworks
From 28th March, 2006 access to this service for content publishers will only be available via SSH. FTP access is no longer supported.
The move to the new server for boomobx.ucs.ed.ac.uk requires that you
delete the existing host key for this server from your SSH client and
accept and store the new one when prompted. For the SSH Secure File
Transfer Client this is effected via:
Edit\Settings\Global Settings\Server Authentication\Host
The RealNetworks RealPlayer client is readily available:
- All PCs in public labs managed by EUCS already have RealONE player installed.
- RealPlayer 10 is available as a free download for Win32, Mac OS X and Linux/Unix from RealPayer - Free Download site.
- The open source Helix Player 1.0 have gone 'gold" and are available for download via the Helix Player Project site.
Contact your EUCS user support team for further advice on obtaining and installing these clients.
IMPORTANT If you are creating content for delivery to EUCS public lab PCs then you MUST FOLLOW these encoding guidelines to ensue that the content can be played.
Publishers have an initial quota of 250Mb. This is sufficient for example for > 14 hours of RealAudio encoded at 32Kbps or 100 minutes at 350Kbps (288x216). If you require more quota please send your request to stream-media@ed
This quota is not for offline file store. Such content can be kept elsewhere e.g. on CD-R/W or user's local hard disk. For permanent storage consider the use of the EUCS Archive service.
Video and audio assets have to be encoded into the appropriate Real Media file format before they can be streamed to the user's media player.
Encoding software and hardware
Always consider using one of the local encoding services described below to encode your content. However, if you do decide to undertake your own encoding then this will require:
- a Windows NT/2000/XP PC, Macintosh OS 8/9.n, Linux or Solaris machine that meets the specifications provided by RealNetworks
- RealSystem Producer Plus software (please note that this software costs $200 approx. and that a there is a freely available basic version of RealSystem Producer
- media capture card, EUCS have experience of using the Osprey range of cards under Windows 2000 and Solaris; these are available in the UK from Teamsolutions
There are two local resources that can provide encoding services:
- MALTS - Media and Learning Technologies Service
- have the professional expertise and equipment to encode material in a variety of formats. Charges may apply if the material is for a funded project and particularly where material is not for direct use within learning and teaching. For further details contact email@example.com
- GMRC - Graphics and Multimedia Resource Centre
- provide advice and the hardware and software needed for "do-it-yourself" encoding.
IMPORTANT To ensure that the RealNetworks content can be played on PCs such as those in the EUCS managed public labs follow the practise explained in our local encoding guidelines.
Stand-alone audio streams should have a maximum encode rate of 64Kbps, for speech based material, an encode of 48Kbps is usually sufficient. Standalone video streams should have a maximum encode rate, including audio, of 350Kbps. This provides plenty of scope for publishers to create high-quality audio and video content for most material. We may revise these limits on an individual basis after considering the effect any change may have on the whole service.
All publishers are subject to the quota arrangements described below. The task of making RealNetworks encoded content available for serving requires two steps:
- Transferring encoded content to the media service
- Linking to content from Web pages
As a media publisher you are provided with a dedicated publishing directory on the Helix media server. You will only be able to access this publishing area and transfer content using the secure file transfer facilities of a Secure Shell client.
The move to the new server for boomobx.ucs.ed.ac.uk requires that you delete the existing host key
for this server from your SSH client and accept and store the new one when prompted. For the SSH Secure
File Transfer Client this is effected via:
Edit\Settings\Global Settings\Server Authentication\Host Keys
Windows XP users
SSH clients are installed on all XP managed desktops. If you don't use a managed XP desktop the download and install the SSH Secure Shell v3.2 for Windows which is available free for non-commercial use.
Mac OS X and Linux users
Use the scp command from a shell window.
To move content to your publishing space:
- start your SCP client
- connect to host boombox.ucs.ed.ac.uk
- select password as the authentication type
- enter your username and password when prompted
- transfer your files
Please ask your user support team for assistance if you are unsure how to use your SSH client to transfer files.
To link to your streaming media content from within an HTML page create a URL of the form:
See section 10 "Delivering a Presentation", of the local copy of the RealSystem G2 Production Guide for further details and other methods of linking to streaming media.
The following are links to RealNetwork's documentation for content developers. You can obtain your own copy of these and get access to other useful information at the Resources and Support section of the RealNetworks web site.
- RealNetworks Production Guide
- - this manual will help you produce your multimedia presentation, whether you simply want to stream a video from your home page or create a multimedia extravaganza with video, audio, animation, images, and text
- RealONE player Scripting Guide
- - explains methods that you can use to coordinate streaming media and HTML pages in the various RealOne Player panes. Second, it shows how to use scripting to extend the functionality of the embedded player, a variation of RealOne Player that enables streaming media to play directly within a Web page