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Friday, May 15, 2009

Darwin Streaming Server - streaming 3GP, QuickTime and MPEG-4 for Mobile Devices

Darwin Streaming Server (DSS), is the first open sourced RTP/RTSP streaming server. It was released March 16, 1999 and is a fully featured RTSP/RTP media streaming server capable of streaming a variety of media types including H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, MPEG-4 Part 2 and 3GP.

Developed by Apple, it is the open source equivalent of QuickTime Streaming Server, and is based on its code.

The initial DSS source code release compiled only on Mac OS X, but external developers quickly ported the code to Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris[1], Tru64 Unix, Mac OS 9 and Windows.

Source code is available as a release download or as development code via CVS.

Akamai uses DSS, exclusively, for streaming QuickTime and MPEG-4 content. The mobile version of the video sharing site YouTube uses DSS to stream its mobile videos in 3GP format using the H.263/AMR codec.

While sharing the same code base as QuickTime Streaming Server, Darwin Streaming Server is an open source project intended for developers who need to stream QuickTime and MPEG-4 media on alternative platforms such as Windows, Linux, and Solaris, or those developers who need to extend and/or modify the existing streaming server code to fit their needs. Darwin Streaming Server is only supported by the open source community and is not eligible for technical support from Apple. Apple hosts a number of email discussion lists for Darwin Streaming Server users and developers to share ideas and discuss deployment scenarios.

QuickTime Streaming Server (QTSS) is Apple’s commercial streaming server delivered as part of Mac OS X Server. QTSS provides users with enhanced administration and media management tools as a result of the tight integration with Mac OS X Server; these tools are not available as part of the open source project. Technical support is available for QTSS as part of the AppleCare support plans provided for Mac OS X Server and Xserve.

Both DSS and QTSS are built on a core server that provides state of the art quality of service features with Skip protection and Instant-On, and support for the latest digital media standards, MPEG-4 and 3GPP.

Darwin Streaming Server is available as a free download under the Apple Public Source License.

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