At QuickTime Live! in Beverly Hills, Calif., Apple today released
QuickTime Streaming Server 4, (QTSS) the latest version of its free streaming media server. Optimized from the ground up to work with Mac OS X Server on a Power Mac G4, it’ll work on older Macs, too. It’s also available as the open-source Darwin Streaming Server, and works on Windows NT/2000, Solaris, and Linux.
The new iteration of the server software provides the ability to server ISO-compliant MPEG-4 files to any similarly compliant MPEG-4 client, including any MPEG-4 enabled device that supports playback of such content over IP.
It can serve on-demand and live MPEG-4 streams, and reflect playlists of MPEG-4 files too. QTSS 4 can also serve up standard MP3 files for the first time using Icecast-compatible protocols via HTTP. Server admins can build a playlist of MP3 files using an easy-to-use interface, serving them up to popular MP3 clients (including Apple’s own iTunes).
“Skip protection” for MPEG-4 files is also now part of QTSS 4. The feature uses excess bandwidth to buffer data ahead faster than realtime on the client machine. That way, when packets are lost (or bandwidth dips), only the lost packets of information need to be retransmitted. This results in a smoother, higher quality stream.
QTSS 4 also features a friendly user interface that makes it easier for users to configure general settings, monitor usage, view logs, manage bandwidth, and relay streams between servers. It’s Web based, too, so you can administer your QuickTime Streaming Server from wherever you want.
The software also features a plug-in architecture that lets you tweak the server with custom capabilities that aren’t yet available.
To use QuickTime Streaming Server 4, you’ll need to have one of the following systems: Macintosh Server G4, Power Mac G4, Power Mac G4 Cube, iMac, Macintosh Server G3, or Power Macintosh G3. Apple says you’ll also need to have Mac OS X Server version 10.1 or later; 128MB RAM and 1GB hard disk space; Operating system fault tolerance requires a Macintosh Server G4 or a “QuickSilver” Power Mac G4 released in January 2001 or later.