Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Brave New World of "Flash Only"

Wow how time flies!

August 1st is just over a week away, and we're already excited to transition the NML to an Adobe Flash player.

At 12:01 AM on August 1st, 2009, the NML will retire it's Windows Media Player and Microsoft Silverlight servers, and offer only an Adobe Flash player.

Since October of 2008, the NML has been streaming in all 3 available formats. Many have called and written about the various ways they've been able to easily upgrade older computers.

The change from WMP to Flash is welcomed, especially by our friends and colleagues who work on Mac's. Now, the NML will "just work" on Mac's! No more Flip4Mac. No more crazy WMP Plug-In's!

We're also working extensively with the folks that maintain EZ-Proxy to ensure continuous access. Should you encounter any of those infamous Gremlins in the system, please don't hesitate to call or write to us!


Here's an e-mail clarifying many of the recent questions!

Hi Sam, Richard, and all,

We've actually just finished re-encoding all of the old AAC (flash) files. The issue currently / previously, is the encoding.

"FM-Quality" (20 KBP/S)- were playing through the Flash player, as "Near-CD".
"Near CD" (64 KBP/S)- were playing through the Flash player, as "CD" quality.
"CD Quality" (128 KBP/S)- were not playing through the Flash Player. These were being streamed at 192 KBP/S.

Just recently we here in Nashville received more files to test from our colleagues doing to actual encoding, and have finally sorted everything out. In fact, I'll be working with them later this evening on the final details, so that once August 1 comes around, there won't be any Sound Quality issues.


A few people have also written in regarding EZProxy. We've been rewriting all of our back end code to work with EZProxy. Also, the folks at EZProxy have adjusted a few settings regarding how the NML works through the servers.

Here's a bit from an e-mail with Chris Zager, a technical designer at EZProxy:

"I can alter EZProxy in any way required to hand the user off to your service. This would eliminate the proxying component, and uses EZproxy just for the authentication component. From my perspective, this is ideal as it eliminates any of these side-effects and also reduces network bandwidth requirements since the media does not have to pass through the university network."

Please keep the questions and comments coming! They are crucial to ensuring that everyone is happy!

Stay Classy!


1 comment:

  1. I see that you seem not to have gone ahead with this, which is rather a relief. On my Mac, at least, the music streamed through Silverlight sounds much better than through Flash.