Finding Windows Media Services

Finding Windows Media Services

Post by V2lsbGlhbS » Fri, 15 Oct 2004 13:11:11


I kinda sorta hadda idea that Microsoft provided software for streaming audio
and video but I didn't know where to find it. Given the attention paid (or
not paid) by Microsoft toward publicizing the benefits of its products, I
knew more about the Helix server than about Windows Media Services (WMS). I
stumbled over WMS by accident. It turns out, as apparently everybody but me
knew, that WMS is a feature of Windows 2003 Server. I happened to have a
folder of MP3 files and was able, by chance, to use the WMS Wizard to create
a PublishingPoint that worked first crack out of the box. Since then, I've
created three more PublishingPoints on my LAN. I think the Wizard is better
than nothing but it explains nothing. I counted at least 25 steps to create
a rudimentary "play all the files in this folder in a loop and make me a Web
page" process. The help text is prolix and geared to the minds of those who
wrote it, not to the minds of the customers who may use WMS. It appears that
WMS does not broadcast WAV files but it does broadcast MP3 files. "That's
odd," I thought. That it is possible to set up a PublishingPoint to
broadcast a set of MP3 files in a folder repeatedly is very impressive. I'd
like to see words to that effect. I'd like to have a better understanding of
the context in which WMS came about, the problems it was created to solve
(other than we need the money so we wrote the code). For example, under what
circumstances is unicast a better choice than multicast and under what
circumstances is multicast not technically feasible? I have had several
instances where the automatically built web page, the one with Windows Media
Player embedded within, starts to play and, before a sound peeps out, quits
as if some kind of "error" condition aborted the process. The stream was
playing nicely on a different computer on the subnet. The limit on the
number of streams was huge. It would be nice if some diagnostic message
indicated the nature of the problem. I thought maybe it was a violation of
some security parameter. I configured a plain vanilla user and tried him out
for test purposes with no problem. Maybe the domain local user works whereas
the SAM local user does not. Without a proper message, I'm somewhat at a
loss. The mms:// URL when launched from Start/Run opens Windows Media Player
which reports "the specified protocol is not supported." Well, at least I
received a message. Not a helpful message, but it is a start.
--
William McIlroy