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Chapter 12. Real Media > RealSystem vs. QuickTime

RealSystem vs. QuickTime

QuickTime and the RealSystem both have the capability to display streaming video, streaming audio, and vector animation. It's logical, then, to consider both technologies for creating and displaying diverse types of animation and media. Here are some creation and delivery considerations:

  • Content creation. A much wider variety of QuickTime-compatible applications are available for QuickTime than specifically for RealMedia. The RealEncoder functions as a QuickTime codec, however, which means that any application that can create QuickTime movies can also create RealAudio and RealVideo. Setting up RealMedia to work with the RealServers is more difficult than incorporating QuickTime into HTML pages, but the problem is not insurmountable. RealPublisher makes the task much easier by providing wizards that allow you to select video, audio, and animation files and then specify the HTML page to which to add these files. The tool also manages the position of files and the relative URLs needed to make real video work on a RealServer.

  • Servers. RealServers provide highly scalable performance for a price. Dedicated servers can be set up to provide streaming media to anywhere from 60 to many thousands of users simultaneously. These servers have the advantages of secure media delivery, support for commerce features (such as displaying and tracking advertising), and high performance. QuickTime, on the other hand, can be stored on any standard HTTP or FTP server and requires no special facility for playback. QuickTime is limited to about 60 simultaneous users from a standard Web server. RealMedia, similarly, can be delivered from a standard Web server, with similar limitations to those of QuickTime in this environment. RealServer is the only viable option, however, if you want to deliver live video to large numbers of users on the Web. In addition, RealServers' security features allow you to limit playback to users who have a password or to lock video so that it can't be saved to the user's disk, for example.

  • Players. The QuickTime plug-in and the RealPlayer are both extremely popular cross-platform playback engines. The RealPlayer handles audio, video, and animation (in Flash format), whereas the QuickTime plug-in offers video, audio, and vector animation (in QuickTime vector format), as well as support for a vast number of still-image formats.


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