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Many of you may not know but you can use Mydeo to stream your 3gp content over the RTSP protocol. 3gp is a video (multimedia container) format designed for use on 3g mobile phones. Almost all 3g phones can display the format which makes it the perfect format for delivering video to mobile phones. If you are looking for a way to get your content to mobile phone users give us call and we will be able to set you up with the perfect solution. We have many other solutions which may work for you too, so if you have a requirement which is not met by our website, please do contact us to discuss it as we may still be able to help you. We love hearing about your projects and the features that you require and endeavour to integrate them into our system when appropriate. We are constantly upgrading our system so suggestions are most welcome. Please feel free to contact us on 0208 540 2300 or help@mydeo.com.

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Embedding live streams with Flowplayer

Previously, we discussed embedding flash videos into a webpage for on-demand content here – http://blog.mydeo.com/2009/04/24/flowplayer-quick-start-guide/. While this article covers both RTMP streaming and HTTP delivery methods it does not include instruction for how to get live flash streams to work with flowplayer.

The basics for this remain the same:

Please note that the .js and .swf files referenced in the code below could be a different version to the ones you’ve just downloaded in the Flowplayer pack. Make sure you reference the correct versions of these files in your code.

Flowplayer now needs to be told that the video is a live stream and for viewing stream from the limelight FMS the stream needs to be subscribed to. The code below explains how to do this:

<html>
<head>
<script src="flowplayer-3.1.0.min.js"></script>
</head>
<body>
<div>
<a style="display: block;height:400px;width:600px;background-color: #ffffff;border: solid 1px #ccc;" id="rtmp_player"></a>

<!-- Note: the property of the above tag (rtmp_player) must match the first parameter of the script below -->

<script>
                $f("rtmp_player", "flowplayer-3.2.5.swf", {
                    clip: {
                       url : 'stream1', //this is the name of the stream assset in the encoder
                       live : true,  // tell flowplayer it's live
                       provider: 'rtmp'
                 },

                plugins: {
                  rtmp: {
                  url: 'flowplayer.rtmp-3.2.3.swf',
				  netConnectionUrl: 'rtmp://xyz.fc.llnwd.net/xyz' ,  //this is the rest of the URL excluding the stream name that you set in the encoder
				  subscribe:true  //subscribe to the stream
                      }
                 }
              });
</script>
</div>
</body>
</html>

With all that in place you should have no problem viewing your live flash streams in Flowplayer.

As usual, if you have any questions or problems, please feel free to contact us on m3@mydeo.com and we will do our best to help you.

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Refer a friend and earn £50 in Amazon vouchers

Do you know of anyone who is looking to deliver media on the internet? Mydeo, www.mydeo.com, is now offering £50 in Amazon.co.uk vouchers for anyone that you refer to us who signs up to one of our monthly packages. You can view all of the packages that we have available here – https://m3.mydeo.com/business/plans.aspx.

All you have to do to earn your £50 voucher is send us the details of the person you think will benefit from using us, including an email address, name and telephone number if you have it. You can send all of the information to m3@mydeo.com.

There is no limit to the number of referrals you can send us, so the more you send to us the more money you make when they sign up.

For people not in the United Kingdom who would like to earn a reward for referrals, please contact us on +44 208 540 2300 or m3@mydeo.com and we will most certainly be able to organise a reward that suits you.

As always, any other questions are welcome, so please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email.

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m3 uploading options

Mydeo m3 uploading options and explanations

Below is a list of the various different options we have for uploading media on to the CDN and a brief explanation of each.

Web upload

Most users will be able to use the web upload to get content on to the CDN. This is the simplest way to get started. Once you have logged into your m3 account just go to the ‘upload media’ page, browse for your file and click upload. Once that is done the file will appear in your ‘media manager’. This method of uploading is only suitable with a reliable internet connection as it cannot resume a failed upload.

FTP

While we encourage people to use the web upload function we can supply customers with FTP accounts to get their content onto the CDN. This takes place outside of m3 and we have a separate system for stats retrieval but the same information will be available to you. We do understand that sometimes it is necessary for customers to use FTP so if you do need it please feel free to contact us to discuss this.

Customer origin

Some customers already have their own servers and manage their content on those servers. Customer origin is simple a way for the CDN to gather that content from your servers and distribute it throughout the network. This of course does require you have your own servers.

If you have any questions about any of these methods for uploading, please do not hesitate to contact us on m3@mydeo.com – we would love to hear from you.

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Mydeo now have the ability to collect content from your servers and deliver it via the Limelight CDN. This is what is known as customer origin. Basically, your server will become part of the network and you will not have to upload your content anymore. This is particularly useful for people who already manage content on their own servers and do not want to do it in two locations – it is a great way to switch to using a CDN without the major hassle of uploading everything. We can set up a customer origin for any customer who is on an m3 plan and has their own server where the content will be hosted. If you would like more information about this or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact us on m3@mydeo.com.

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One of the major factors that affect the performance of your website delivery is the distance between the end user and your web server. With this in mind it makes sense to try and get your content as close to your users as possible. A content delivery network (CDN) is a great way to do this.

A CDN is a collection of web servers positioned around the world. When a user makes a request for a file, the CDN automatically determines which server is closest to that user and delivers the files from that location.

CDNs are mainly used for the delivery of video because of the videos need for high bandwidth capabilities to deliver properly. However, there are lots of other possibilities for the use of CDNs. You could deliver images, stylesheets, scripts, animations etc. By delivering these from CDN you will drastically increase the speed of your website.

Typically in the past it has been cost prohibitive for smaller companies to use a CDN to host their content for website optimization because of minimum throughput commitments being multiple terabytes and contract length being a year or even longer in some cases. M3 eliminates this problem. With plans starting at 25GBs of throughput any one can use a CDN to optimize their website. M3 uses the Limelight Networks CDN which is widely known as one of the biggest and best in the world so you can always be sure that your content is being delivered on a top class network which will certainly increase the delivery speed of any media. You can view our pricing here https://m3.mydeo.com/Business/plans.aspx and sign up for a trial at www.mydeo.com.

If you have any questions please feel free to write to us on m3@mydeo.com

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Following the nomination for ‘Best Streaming Host’ in the 2009 ISPA awards, mydeo m3 has been nominated for a ‘Streaming Media European Readers’ Choice Award’. The Readers’ Choice awards are the only awards program of its kind in the industry. The winners will be chosen by the end users themselves. Voting for the nominees started on the 6th of July and ends on the 21st of August 2009.

Mydeo m3 is nominated in the ‘Streaming services provider’ and ‘Online video platform’ category.  To place your vote, go to http://www.streamingmediaglobal.com/Readerschoiceeurope/.

The idea of the Readers’ Choice awards is really quite simple. There is no panel or jury. The most votes decides the three finalists and the winner for each category so if you feel m3 deserves to win, go to http://www.streamingmediaglobal.com/Readerschoiceeurope/ and vote for it.

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What is the best Bit-rate for online video?

The main thing to remember when dealing with online video is that the delivery of the video is hugely dependant on the viewer’s internet connection. The slower their internet connection, the lower the quality your video will have to be for them to receive it without any buffering. A standard 2 Mbps connection at full speed will be able to stream a video clip of up to 2 Mbps, however, it is highly unlikely that the connection is going to be running at full speed. There are many factors that affect the speed of a connection – this is why broadband providers say ‘up to 2 Mbps’. If your intention is to get your video out to as many viewers as possible you need to think about the lowest common denominator. ie. ‘What is the slowest connection speed that I am going to have to stream to?’ You also need to think about the lowest quality of the video that is acceptable to you. With both of these in mind, we would suggest a bit-rate between 500 kbps and 750 kbps. This will give you a quality that is acceptable to most people while still being deliverable on slower internet connections.

 

What format should I use?

There are many options when it comes to deciding what format to have your videos in. The decision needs to be made by knowing a little bit about your audience. If you intend to stream to mobile phones, for example, you need to pick a format that the media players on the phones can play. For standard website delivery, however, the choice is much easier. There are three main formats which you could choose from (there are many others available but none are considered standard). These are Flash, Windows Media and QuickTime. Each of these three has their own pros and cons but the main one to look at is market penetration. QuickTime is predominantly an Apple Mac format, meaning that some viewers with windows may not be able to watch your video without installing the software – which could put some users off. The same goes for Windows media and Apple users; they will have to install Windows media player for Apple. Flash has the highest market saturation which means that if you are trying to reach an audience who use both PCs and Macs this will be the best way to go.

 

Should I stream my videos or deliver them over HTTP?

The answer to this question is not as simple as picking one or the other. There is no doubt that streaming a video will save you on bandwidth costs. Having said that, you might have to lower the quality of your video to make sure that it is delivered to all of your viewers properly (especially the ones with slow internet connections). A great article to read which will help you decide is located here http://blog.mydeo.com/2009/01/12/streaming-vs-progressive-download-understanding-the-difference/. A basic rule of thumb is, if you have short video clips HTTP delivery will be fine because even if the whole file is downloaded you bandwidth usage will not be huge. If you have longer clips, streaming may be a better option to save on bandwidth costs.

 

What player should I use?

If you are using Windows media player or QuickTime the answer to this is obvious – Windows media player or QuickTime player. If you have decided to use flash we would suggest a player called FlowPlayer. It is very simple to set up and is fully customisable, and the best part is that it is free to use the open source license and a commercial license is only $95 (at the time of writing this).  They have great tutorials on their site which makes setting it up a breeze. You can find FlowPlayer at http://flowplayer.org.

 

Why do I need a CDN (content delivery network)?

Simply put, a CDN will speed up the delivery of your file, be it video, audio or static content. If you were to put your content on your web server with your website you could risk your files not being delivered to everyone who visits your site. A web server has a finite amount of bandwidth and the further your content has to travel the longer it will take. Let’s assume someone in Australia is trying to view your website which is hosted in the USA. That data has to literally travel across the whole world to get to the users browser. While this may be acceptable for something like HTML files which are small, imagine a video file which is much bigger going all that way. A CDN will deliver your file from its closest node thus speeding up the delivery of your file by limiting its journey. Because the bandwidth is limited on your web server, this means that the more people who are viewing your site the more connections that bandwidth has to be shared by. Eventually there will simply not be enough bandwidth to deliver anything properly to anyone. A CDN not only has much more bandwidth available to it at each node but it is also delivering the file from more than one location, depending on where your viewers are. You can literally have millions of viewers all watching the same video at the same time without the delivery being affected by it.

 

How much bandwidth do I need?

The amount of bandwidth that you will use is determined by three things. The bit-rate (quality) of the file, its length and how many times it is viewed. We have a bandwidth estimator which can help you decide how much you need here https://m3.mydeo.com/Business/plans.aspx . Try not to sign up for an inflexible plan or sign contracts for too long. You might find that your bandwidth requirements change and then you are tied into a contract either paying for more than you need, or over paying because you are using more than your allowance. With an m3 account, you can change plan from month to month meaning that if you expect high traffic for one month only you can commit yourself to a higher bandwidth usage for that month and revert back to a smaller plan from the next month.

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Online video basics – Definitions of commonly used terms

 Bandwidth

 Bandwidth is defined as a data transmission rate; the maximum amount of information (bits per second) that can be transmitted along a channel. If you think of the communications path as a pipe, then bandwidth represents the width of the pipe that determines how much data can flow through it at once.

 Bit rate

 Bit Rate refers to the rate at which ‘bits’ of data are transferred across a network. It is usually represented as ‘Kbps’ which stands for Kilo Bits per Second.

Buffering

 Buffering is where a stream of data begins before the media file actually plays. This data goes to local storage so that the incoming data always stays ahead of the actual data being viewed.

Bit

 Describes the smallest unit of storage in a computer. It has a value of 0 or 1. Eight bits make up 1 byte, which can store one letter, number or symbol.

Broadband

 Describes a high-speed network connection (T-1, DSL, cable modem), as opposed to a dial-up connection, which can only transfer data at a speed of 56Kbps.

Buffering

 Buffering is where a stream of data begins before the media file actually plays. This data goes to local storage so that the incoming data always stays ahead of the actual data being viewed.

Byte

 Describes a unit of storage that can contain one letter, number or symbol. Consists of 8 bits.

Capture

 The process of changing or transferring digital or analogue audio or video files to binary files, which can then be edited and compressed.

Compression

 The process of compressing audio and video signals for the purposes of streaming. This can be done using hardware or software. The streaming files are decompressed at the user’s end using a ‘player’.

CDN (Content Delivery Network)

 A company that delivers streaming media via an intelligent distributed network. This means that audio or video streams will be delivered more reliably, with less buffering and time outs. Generally, this will provide a better overall experience for the end user.

 CODEC

 Stands for Compress/Decompress. An algorithm or formula is used to code and compress the media file, which is then decoded and decompressed as the user views or listens to the file.

 Delivery modes

 Files can be delivered as a progressive download or streamed from a streaming server. See http://blog.mydeo.com/2009/01/12/streaming-vs-progressive-download-understanding-the-difference/ for more information about delivery modes.

DSL

 Digital Subscriber Line. DSL uses unused portions of a phone line’s bandwidth for transmitting data at high speed.

Embedded player

 A player placed within a browser window so that only the video shows.

Firewire

 Sometimes referred to as DV, iLink or IEEE1394, Firewire allows very fast data transfer, so is ideal for transferring footage from your digital camera to your PC.

FPS (Frames Per Second)

 The number of video frames displayed each second. The higher the number, the smoother and sharper the images appear. Sometimes referred to as Frame-rate.

Hosting

 Storing media files on servers specifically designed for streaming over the internet.

Kbps

 Stands for Kilo Bits Per Second and refers to the rate at which ‘bits’ of data are transferred across a network or internet.

MPEG

 MPEG is a digital video and audio compression format that was defined by the Moving Pictures Experts Groups, which is part of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Packet loss

 Data is transmitted in small units known as packets. Occasionally, packets are lost or delayeddue to network congestion, resulting in dropped frames.

Pixel

 One unit of screen information. A video image is composed of individual coloured dots, referred to as pixels. Depending on how a monitor is set, a pixel can take up 8 bits/1 byte (256 colours), 16 bits/2 bytes (high colour), or 24 bits/3 bytes (true colour).

Player

 Compressed files are decompressed when they reach the viewer using a ‘player’. The most common players are Microsoft’s Windows Media Player, Real Networks’ RealPlayer and Apple’s QuickTime player. If files are compressed using Microsoft’s compression software, the viewer will need the Windows Media Player. If files are compressed using Real’s compression software, the viewer will need the RealPlayer, and so on.

Progressive download

 A method of delivering audio/video data over the internet that involves playing the downloaded portion of a file while the download is still in progress.

RealVideo

 The file format developed by RealNetworks, used to stream video over the internet.

Streaming media

 Streaming media allows the user to watch or listen to a media file without downloading it. The file is simultaneously ‘streamed’ to the user as he or she is watching or listening to it. The user needs a player to view or listen to the files – files must be decompressed by a media player that is compatible with the format of the file. Streaming media technology enables the real time or on demand distribution of audio, video and multimedia on the internet. A streamed file is simultaneously downloaded and viewed, but no physical file is left on the viewer’s machine.

 Throughput

The total amount of data transferred over a period of time – normally represented as MB or GB

VOD (Video On Demand)

Video that can be accessed at any time by the user.

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Mydeo m3 nominated ‘Best Streaming Host’ at prestigious ISPA awards 2009

London, Tuesday 19 May 2009: Mydeo, the award winning UK video hosting service, has been shortlisted for ‘Best Streaming Host’ at the ISPA Awards 2009. Mydeo was selected from a wide range of streaming services and is now a finalist competing for one of the industry’s most coveted awards.

It’s the fourth year in a row Mydeo has been named a finalist for the ‘Best Streaming Host’ award which is presented to the company that provided its customers with the best possible service during 2008. The award will be judged on strict criteria including network performance, value for money, value added service and customer care.

Cary Marsh, Mydeo’s CEO and Co-Founder, comments: “We’re delighted to be nominated for this award again in 2009.  We launched Mydeo Media Manager (m3) less than a year ago and the response has been fantastic. Mydeo m3 provides businesses with the high performance and scalability of the Limelight CDN, but on more flexible commercial terms including: no minimum contracts, flexible monthly payment plans and free premium online reporting.”

The ISPA Awards are the only Internet awards designed to reward excellence in the Internet industry, and attract the UK’s top Internet companies, industry figures and parliamentarians.

Competition for finalists’ places was particularly fierce this year with a record amount of entries from companies across the Internet sector. The announcement of the finalists follows three months of rigorous testing of entrants by ISPA’s technical testing partners, Epitiro. 

The winners will be crowned on 9th July at a glittering awards ceremony hosted at the Grosvenor Marriott Hotel.

About Mydeo

Launched in 2005 by Cary Marsh and Iain Millar, Mydeo won a Research & Development Grant for Technical Innovation from the UK Department of Trade and Industry. Mydeo provides quality global streaming video hosting for home and business users. The site provides simple online tools that help users instantly upload and publish content to a world-class CDN. Microsoft’s first and only European Windows Movie Maker hosting partner, the service now has close to 250,000 users spanning over 180 countries.

Mydeo uses the Limelight Networks for global storage and delivery together with secure streaming to guarantee security for Mydeo users’ content. This means that consumers and small businesses can enjoy the quality and reliability of a world-leading streaming network, something they would never have been able to purchase directly.

Recent Awards

MediaTech 100 Winner 2008

ISPA Awards, Best Streaming Service finalist 2008

Everywoman Iris Award Winner 2007

Red Herring Europe 100 finalist 2007

Courvoisier ‘The Future 500’ list 2007

Sharpe Edge awards, Best e-Company finalist 2007

ISPA Awards, Best Streaming Service finalist 2007

IWA Europe ‘Best Streaming Innovation’ finalist 2007

WebUser Magazine ‘Best New Websites’ 2006

Blackberry Women in Technology Awards, Best Use of Technology finalist 2006

HSBC Start-up Stars Regional Winner 2006

NatWest Startup Awards, Best Use of Technology finalist 2006

ISPA Awards, Best Streaming Service finalist 2006

Growing Business Magazine ’50 to watch for 2006’

Real Business Magazine ‘Young Guns 2006’

Digital Video Magazine Gold Award Winner 2006

About the ISPAs

The ISPAs – the UK Internet industry awards – are unique as they are awarded to people and organisations in the industry by their peers and reflect the broad nature of the service provider sector.

The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA UK) has been organising the UK Internet Industry Awards since 1999 to herald the best of the Internet industry and to celebrate innovation and best practice. In 2002 the awards were dubbed The ISPAs.

Each year the event changes to reflect changes in the sector and to represent the ever broadening nature of the service provider sector.

The awards categories now fall into one of two divisions – the ISP and Special Awards.

Attended by senior decision makers, Government representatives and the media, The ISPAs are the premiere event for the industry.

Organisations and individuals requesting tickets or further information should in the first instance visit http://www.ispaawards.org.uk.

Organisations interested in sponsoring The ISPAs should telephone 020 7609 1907 or email pressoffice@ispa.org.uk.
 

Notes to Press

For further information please go to http://m3.mydeo.com  or contact press@mydeo.com +44(0) 7799 622 146

For previous press releases: http://www.mydeo.com/press

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