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Chapter 5. Managing Streams > Stream Enhancements and Limitations

5.9. Stream Enhancements and Limitations

Macromedia has been improving the streaming capability of FlashCom and the ability of the Flash Player to play streams. FlashCom 1.5 introduced the ability to stream MP3 files, and Flash Player 7 introduced the ability to progressively download and play streams from a web server, a feature not covered here as it does not rely on FlashCom (refer to the Preface). Some of the many other small improvements are covered in this section.

5.9.1. Server-Side send( ) Enhancements

FlashCom 1.5.2 fixed a problem with adding send( ) methods to a stream on the server. Whenever a server-side Stream object was used to send a method request within a stream, any subscribers to the live stream received the request just after it was sent. However, when a recorded stream was played back, any messages generated on the server all played back either at the beginning of the stream or in blocks during playback. The reason for the requests being received out of sync was that the stream time was determined by the publishing client and not by the server-side Stream object. The publishing client's NetStream sent a timestamp when audio or video was attached to the stream and whenever send( ) was called. The server-side Stream object could not determine the precise stream time when it inserted a method request, so the time of the request was set to the timestamp of the last message in the stream. The problem was resolved in FlashCom 1.5.2 by having the server keep track of stream time and adjusting the time difference for each send( ) method added to the stream. While the change may seem like a small one, it makes possible developing server-side recordings of chats and other applications. See Chapter 15 for more information.


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