Audio & Video Streaming is the rage these days. There's almost instant gratification with this technology as it's no longer necessary to wait for lengthy files to download before enjoying. The movers and shakers include:
TrueSpeech This format is bundled with Windows95, a strategy almost sure to guarantee it's survival in the crowded audio-streaming market. Support for both Windows and Mac with free encryption software enabling easy audio publishing for anyone on the web.
Real Audio One of the first players and unquestionably the deepest entrenched with countless sites supporting the format. Pricey server-side software is necessary for high-volume audio publishing.
Internet Wave Another excellent streaming format which allows free audio publishing. From the folks who produce the popular IPhone software.
Streamworks The Xing Corporation provides both real-time audio and video with this creative product.
VDOLive is another new entrant to the audio/video streaming market. Former executives of the DSP Group (TrueSpeech) offer an interesting product with a slick graphical front end. Tricky to install and configure, but worth the effort.
Internet Telephone Products
have begun to make considerable waves within the Internet community and beyond as users see an opportunity to circumvent long-distance tolls. Products are sprouting like mushrooms in the dark and include:
Internet Phone by Vocaltec. This popular product uses Internet Wave audio-streaming technology and is the undisputed front-runner in the Internet Phone race with over half a million registered users. Currently only available in a Windows platform.
WebPhone produced by the Internet Telephone Company (catchy, huh?) employees TrueSpeech audio-streaming and features an extremely attractive and functional GUI (Graphical User Interface). In addition, Web Phone offers multiple-line capability and voice mail. Another Windows-only product at present.
Freevue Telecommunications Network is a recent entrant to the I-Phone field. Their free software boasts both audio and video capability with up to 10 frames-per-minute video on standard 28.8 connections.
Resources and suggested reading on the topic of audio and video on the net include:
Net Watch - A weekly web zine with 'perspective on enabling technologies.' Read about the promising Free World Dialup project. Jeff Pulver's site is quite nicely done.
Hertz Technology - This site also looks at new and exciting developments which push the envelope of the Net. Convenient downloading of the programs mentioned.