[vlc-devel] will streaming protocols survive OR will http become the protocol of choice?!

Marc E. Fiuczynski mef at CS.Princeton.EDU
Tue Jan 29 20:29:29 CET 2008


I've been playing a bit with VLC using both the client and server 
components of RTSP, and am excited to see the recent submitted patches 
on supporting client-side RTMP.  I'm just curious what the developers of 
VLC consider the longevity of (legacy) RT*P streaming protocols.  It 
seems that one can do everything (except multicast) via HTTP.  
Specifically, the perceived benefits of streaming protocols (e.g., RTSP, 
RTMP) are to the best of my knowledge:

1) security (users cannot easily save a stream to disk)

2) trick play (seek to arbitrary points)

3) lower bandwidth utilization

None of those benefits hold any more, as one can now:

1) easily save streams to disk using various media players,

2) trick play is now supported either through the use of HTTP range 
queries or on the server side via a CGI (see youtube), and

3) http servers designed for delivering multimedia "just in time" 
(versus ASAP bulk downloads) in ways that mirrors what streaming 
protocols (again a simple experiment with youtube reveals that they pace 
the outgoing data delivery).

Very curious about your take on the longevity of RT*P protocols.


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