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Where to Host?

Will you be streaming to a lot (more than 50) concurrent users? If so, don’t do this locally. Typical broadband home and office connections are shared by other ISP subscribers and are subject to wild bandwidth fluctuations, especially on Friday night. In addition, purchasing a more reliable network connection, such as a T1, is prohibitively expensive for a simple network. Co-location and content delivery network (CDN) companies offer a reliable solution for securing the necessary bandwidth. Co-location means leasing physical space and bandwidth at an ISP and placing your own server computer on their network. A CDN is a third-party service that charges to host live and on-demand audio streams as well as other content.

Are you streaming on-demand files only? If so, you have the option of using HTTP/Progressive on-demand streaming with a simple Web server instead of real-time streaming. You might already be paying for a limited amount of disk space and Web bandwidth as part of your existing Internet access. Check with your ISP to find out how much space and bandwidth you have available. As noted in Chapter 1, “Introduction to Streaming Audio”, there are a few limitations when streaming with HTTP/Progressive, but it’s a less expensive solution.


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