Apple’s HTTP Video Steaming Finally Active With New iPhone OS

By Partho, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

apple_streaming_iphoneApple upgraded the iPhone operating system with much ballyhoo in June, announcing some prominent inclusions like search and copy & paste. It time to deliver the claims, and the Cupertino computer seems to delivering the promises. One of the behind-the-scene upgrades that the iPhone OS was supposed to offer was the HTTP video streaming. There is less discussion over the vital feature, as it is yet to show up in the iPhone users’ daily experiences. What remains to be understood is that the feature can revolutionize the way we perceive and use mobile video.

With HTTP streaming publishers can offer better video experience to the users through adaptive streaming techniques. Other services such as Microsoft, Adobe Systems, Move Networks, and Swarmcast already offer traditional proprietary real-time streaming protocol, instead of sending bulk of video over standard HTTP. The stream adjusts itself automatically to the highest quality, as the  viewer receives the video. In case the connectivity goes low, it substitutes the lower-quality stream without interruption or buffering. This fall, Apple is expected to introduce HTTP streaming in Apple computers with the release of Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Fortunately, it’s live on the iPhones.

Since Apple disclosed the HTTP streaming plans recently in the beginning of June, not much content is available for the format yet. Given that, Apple had let the plan to two encoding companies, Inlet Technologies and Envivio who plan to prepare solutions for content providers.

The most exciting part of Apple’s HTTP streaming is that it is available via the iPhone’s Safari browser, without having to download any application. Inlet as well as Envivio have prepared demonstration sites, which you can access to see video sharpen to adjust to your connection in real time. In both the sites you can view live-streaming, high-quality video, fast-loading in QuickTime directly from the mobile browser.  At present, anyone who enables the technology is free to run it on 3G or Wi-Fi.

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