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Apple to stream event over HTML5 for iOS, Snow Leopard Macs

updated 07:15 pm EDT, Tue August 31, 2010

Apple to show music event with HTML5 streaming

Apple provided a late surprise by revealing that it would stream its music event tomorrow through HTML5. The option will use the open HTTP Live Streaming format but, according to Apple, will need either iOS 3.0 or Mac OS X Snow Leopard or better to watch. The event starts at 1PM Eastern or 10AM Pacific and will be available through Apple.com.

The move is likely a deliberate attempt to prove HTML5 can be used for heavy duty video streaming and thus to snub arguments for choosing Flash instead. YouTube has embraced HTML5 but has also said that Flash is often needed for adaptive video streaming and other quality issues that HTML5 doesn't necessarily support. Apple may likewise be keen to show that an iPad, iPhone or iPod can better handle live streams than the sometimes problematic Flash for Android.

Regardless of intent, the stream is Apple's first live stream of one of its events in several years. It routinely offered streams in the past but stopped partly due to the load, which saw tens of thousands of simultaneous viewers, but also due to the advent of high-quality on-demand streams and podcasts. Most of its special events have been made available as downloads or streams the same day as they took place.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. pt123

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    why snow leopard?

    I thought HTML5 was web standard. Why would snow leopard be required?

  1. Henriok

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    Video-support

    HTML5 just states the way video is embedded in pages, the web browser must still support the format, codecs and such on its own. Snow Leopard is required for QuickTime X and Safari 4.

    I wonder if Chrome and Safari for Windows will do aswell.. Those are the only candidates for further support than what is sated.

  1. Mike Richardson

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    bull

    This is bull. Why do you need Snow Leopard to stream a damn H.264 video? Old G4s with Tiger could stream H.264 with QuickTime just fine. So could old PCs with QuickTime or VLC.

  1. kageryu

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    Not bull.

    HTML Adaptive Streaming isn't a single H.264 video.

    It actually works by having an initial .m3u8 playlist that your browser and quicktime plugin have to know how to interpret, which includes information about multiple parallel streams available at different bitrates. That's how the viewing client knows which stream to select based on available bandwidth -- and which ones to switch to when network performance goes up or down. Those streams then consist of an index file, listing a bazillion short time segment files -- usually ten seconds per segment -- which are sequentially downloaded and played. The index file is refreshed continuously throughout the live stream until the event ends, when a "event's over, you only need to load this once" tag is added to it.

    This has massive benefits over a single-file stream.. if you want to jump ahead to 20m 32sec, you click that point on the progress bar, and you only have to wait for the time segment at 20m 30sec - 40sec to load before your video starts playing. The subsequent timesegments continue to download in the background before you finish watching the previous timesegment. If your network performance drops to the point that there is a risk the next ts file won't download before the current one finishes, Quicktime drops to a lower bitrate stream, and you might see a degradation in quality, but NOT a pause in the video. When your network performance improves, it upgrades back to the higher stream. This is a big improvement over older streams where you see the video start to stutter, close that stream, and go open a lower bitrate one and wait for it to reconnect. Also, you can convert a stream file to a video on demand replay in a matter of minutes once the replay is done.

    Add in content delivery networks like Akamai, the ability for the initial playlist to contain information about multiple parallel servers, and the fact that this all happens over port 80, and it's a pretty kickass solution... which requires a lot of functionality on the client end that just doesn't exist in older versions of Quicktime.

    http://developer.apple.com/iphone/library/documentation/networkinginternet/conceptual/streamingmediaguide/introduction/introduction.htm

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    Wait!

    So, Apple espouses the 'openness' of HTML 5 and how great it is with video and much better than Adobe flash.

    Then they disprove their entire argument by having a streamed HTML 5 video, you still need a video plug-in, and it only works on a few platforms.

    Oh, I know. Apple's all about the future. It isn't about who can see it now, it's how, 5 years from now, people will be talking about how Apple led the way into streaming video over HTML5.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    Re: Not bull

    Add in content delivery networks like Akamai, the ability for the initial playlist to contain information about multiple parallel servers, and the fact that this all happens over port 80, and it's a pretty kickass solution... which requires a lot of functionality on the client end that just doesn't exist in older versions of Quicktime.

    And here I thought Apple's push for video over HTML5 was how it was all built-in to the browser and you had no need for plug-ins. If we needed plug-ins, using Flash would offer more benefit to users, since more could see it.

    .. if you want to jump ahead to 20m 32sec, you click that point on the progress bar, and you only have to wait for the time segment at 20m 30sec - 40sec to load before your video starts playing

    Um, this is a live stream. There is no 'jumping ahead'.

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