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A Review of HTTP Live Streaming Andrew Fecheyr-Lippens (andrew@fecheyr.be)

Abstract In this paper we describe Apple’s new HTTP Live Streaming specification and compare it with two incumbent streaming technologies, RTP/RTSP and Adobe Flash Media Streaming. We tested the efficiency of the client and server implementations and highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each competing technologies while discussing their sweet spots.

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Table of Contents 1. Introduction to streaming media

3

On-demand vs live streaming

3

2. Popular solutions

5

RTP/RTSP Adobe Flash Media Streaming Server

5 5

3. Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming

7

HTTP Streaming Architecture Server Components Media Segment Files Distribution Components Client Component Using HTTP Live Streaming Session Types Content Protection Caching and Delivery Protocols Stream Alternatives Failover Protection

7 9 10 11 11 12 12 13 14 14 15

4. Critical Comparison

16

Ease of Setup HTTP Live Streaming - Apple tools HTTP Live Streaming - Open Source tools RTP/RTSP - Darwin Streaming Server Compatibility Implementation performance Client implementation Server performance Features Ease of Distribution Cost

16 17 17 18 19 20 20 22 25 26 27

5. Conclusion

28

6. Appendices

30

Appendix 1 - Index file generated by Apple tool Appendix 2 - Configuration file for the O.S. toolchain Appendix 3 - Index files generated by O.S. toolchain Appendix 4 - Web server access log Appendix 5 - Akamai HD for iPhone architecture Appendix 6 - CPU Load and Memory usage script Appendix 7 - Server Performance testing data

7. References

30 31 32 33 34 35 36

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1.Introduction to streaming media In the early 1990s consumer-grade personal computers became powerful enough to display video and playback audio. These early forms of computer media were usually delivered over non-streaming channels, by playing it back from CD-ROMs or by downloading a digital file from a remote web server and saving it to a local hard drive on the end user's computer. The latter can be referred to as “download-and-then-play� (Kurose & Ross [1]). Back then the main challenge for network delivery of media was the conflict between media size and bandwidth limit of the network. During the early 2000s the internet saw a booming increase in network bandwidth. Together with better media compression algorithms and more powerful personal computer systems streaming delivery of media had become possible. The term streaming is used to describe a method of relaying data over a computer network as a steady continuous stream, allowing playback to proceed while subsequent data is being received. This is in contrast with download-and-then-play, where playback starts after the data has completely been downloaded. Instant playback is the main advantage of streaming delivery as the user no longer has to wait until the download is completed, which can take hours over slow connections.

On-demand vs live streaming There are two classes of streaming media: on-demand streaming and live streaming. In the former case the media has been previously recorded and compressed. The media files are stored at the server and delivered to one or multiple receivers when requested (on-demand). Thousands of sites provide streaming of stored audio and video today, including Microsoft Video, YouTube, Vimeo and CNN. With live streaming on the other hand the media is captured, compressed and transmitted on the fly. Live streaming requires a significant amount of computing resources and often specific hardware support. Streaming media offers the client the same functionality as a traditional VCR: pause, rewind, fast forwarding and indexing through the content. Of course fast-forwarding is only possible when streaming stored media.

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Andrew Fecheyr-Lippens

Cumulative Data >

A Review of HTTP Live Streaming

Constant bitrate transmission

Receiving stream fragments

Video playout at client

Playback Buffer

Variable Network Delay

Playback Delay

Elapsed Time >

Cumulative Data >

Fig 1. On-demand streaming (stored video) Live media recording

Compression Buffer

Transmission Delay

Variable Network Delay

Constant bitrate transmission

Receiving stream fragments

Video playout at client

Playback Buffer

Playback Delay

Elapsed Time >

Fig 2. Live streaming

Figure 1 depicts the streaming of stored video. The vertical axis is the cumulative data transferred while the horizontal axis represents elapsed time. The leftmost stepped line represents the transmission in a constant bitrate. Due to network jitter (variations in network delay) the transmitted packets (or stream fragments) arrive at the client unevenly. To diminish these effects of networkinduced jitter, a buffer is used and playback is delayed. The diagram for live streaming (figure 2) adds an extra stepped line, which represents the capturing and recording of the live event. This audio/video input needs to be compressed on the fly and transmitted to listening clients. A compression buffer is used in order to achieve this, causing a transmission delay. The following steps and delay types are equal to those for streaming stored video.

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2.Popular solutions Two solutions that are heavily deployed in the marketplace today are RTP/RTSP and the Adobe Flash Media Streaming Server. We introduce both only briefly as a more thorough discussion of the underlying technologies is out of the scope of this paper.

RTP/RTSP The Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), originally developed by Netscape and Real in the late '90s, is a network control protocol used to control streaming media servers. The protocol is used to establish and control media sessions between end points. Clients of media servers issue VCR-like commands, such as play and pause, to facilitate real-time control of playback of media files from the server. RTSP was published as RFC 2326 in 1998[5]. The transmission of streaming data itself is not a task of the RTSP protocol. Most RTSP servers use the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) for media stream delivery, however some vendors implement proprietary transport protocols. The RTSP server from RealNetworks, for example, also features RealNetworks' proprietary RDT stream transport. One of the drawbacks of RTSP is that by default it runs on a port (554) which is often blocked by firewalls. This problem is especially common with home Internet gateways.

Adobe Flash Media Streaming Server Flash Media Server (FMS) is a proprietary data and media server from Adobe Systems (originally a Macromedia product). It can be use to stream video-on-demand and live video. The world’s largest video website, YouTube, uses it to stream videos on demand. The Flash Media Server works as a central hub with Flash based applications connecting to it using the Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP). The server can send and receive data to and from the connected users who have the Flash Player installed.

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There are a few downsides to using this solution: • The Flash Media Streaming Server is proprietary and costs $995[7]. • Users need to have the Flash Player installed. The impact of this problem has been reduced as the majority of internet users have downloaded the player over time. • The Flash Player suffers from bad implementations on some platforms. Especially Linux and Mac OS have buggy implementations that causes high CPU load and thus drain batteries faster. This was the reason for Apple to exclude the Flash Player in it’s mobile iPhone and iPod Touch devices.

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3.Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming Apple originally developed HTTP Live Streaming to allow content providers to send live or prerecorded audio and video to Apple’s iPhone and/or iPod Touch using an ordinary Web server. They later included the same playback functionality in their QuickTime desktop media player. Playback requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later on iPhone or iPod touch and QuickTime X on the desktop. The HTTP Live Streaming specification is an IETF Internet-Draft. The third version of the IETF InternetDraft can be found online at tools.ietf.org1. This chapter will introduce the HTTP Streaming Architecture: how the technology works, what formats are supported, what you need on the server, and what clients are available. Afterwards another section will describe how to set up live broadcast or video on demand sessions, how to implement encryption and authentication, and how to set up alternate bandwidth streams. This chapter borrows heavily from Apple’s documentation[2].

HTTP Streaming Architecture Conceptually, HTTP Live Streaming consists of three parts: the server component, the distribution component, and the client software. • The server component is responsible for taking input streams of media and encoding them digitally, encapsulating them in a format suitable for delivery, and preparing the encapsulated media for distribution. • The distribution component consists of standard web servers. They are responsible for accepting client requests and delivering prepared media and associated resources to the client. For largescale distribution, edge networks or other content delivery networks can also be used. • The client software is responsible for determining the appropriate media to request, downloading those resources, and then reassembling them so that the media can be presented to the user in a continuous stream. The iPhone includes built-in client software: the media player, which is automatically launched when Safari encounters an <OBJECT> or <VIDEO> tag with a URL whose MIME type is one that the

1

http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-pantos-http-live-streaming-02 7


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media player supports. The media player can also be launched from custom iPhone applications using the media player framework. QuickTime X can also play HTTP Live Streams, enabling playback on the desktop. Developers can use the QuickTime framework to create desktop applications that play HTTP Live Streams. The QuickTime plug-in allows you to embedded streams in websites for playback through a browser without writing any application code. In a typical configuration, a hardware encoder takes audio-video input and turns it into an MPEG-2 Transport Stream, which is then broken into a series of short media files by a software stream segmenter. These files are placed on a web server. The segmenter also creates and maintains an index file containing a list of the media files. The URL of the index file is published on the web server. Client software reads the index, then requests the listed media files in order and displays them without any pauses or gaps between segments. An example of a simple HTTP streaming configuration is shown in Figure 3. Server media encoder

Distribution stream segmenter

Index file

MPEG 2 transport stream

A/V input

.ts

HTTP

Client

Fig 3. The HTTP Live Streaming Architecture

Input can be live or from a prerecorded source. It is typically encoded into an MPEG-2 Transport Stream by off-the-shelf hardware. The MPEG2 stream is then broken into segments and saved as a

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series of one or more .ts media files. This is typically accomplished using a software tool such as the Apple stream segmenter. Audio-only streams can be a series of MPEG elementary audio files formatted as either AAC with ADTS headers or MP3. The segmenter also creates an index file. The index file contains a list of media files and metadata. The index file is in .M3U8 format. The URL of the index file is accessed by clients, which then request the indexed .ts files in sequence.

Server Components The server requires a media encoder, which can be off-the-shelf hardware, and a way to break the encoded media into segments and save them as files, which can be software such as the media stream segmenter provided by Apple (available in beta for download from the Apple Developer Connection member download site 2).

Media Encoder The media encoder takes a real-time signal from an audio-video device, encodes the media, and encapsulates it for delivery. Currently, the supported format is MPEG-2 Transport Streams for audiovideo, or MPEG elementary streams for audio. The encoder delivers an MPEG-2 Transport Stream over the local network to the stream segmenter. The protocol specification is capable of accommodating other formats, but only MPEG-2 video streams (with H.264 video and AAC audio) or MPEG elementary audio streams (in AAC format with HTDS headers or in MP3 format) are supported at this time. It is important to note that the video encoder should not change stream settings — such as video dimensions or codec type — in the midst of encoding a stream.

Stream Segmenter The stream segmenter is a process — typically software — that reads the Transport Stream from the local network and divides it into a series of small media files of equal duration. Even though each segment is in a separate file, video files are made from a continuous stream which can be reconstructed seamlessly.

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The segmenter also creates an index file containing references to the individual media files. Each time the segmenter completes a new media file, the index file is updated. The index is used to track the availability and location of the media files. The segmenter may also encrypt each media segment and create a key file as part of the process. Media segments are saved as .ts files (MPEG-2 streams) and index files are saved as .M3U8 files, an extension of the .m3u format used for MP3 playlists. Because the index file format is an extension of the .m3u file format, and because the system also supports .mp3 audio media files, the client software may also be compatible with typical MP3 playlists used for streaming Internet radio. Here is a very simple example of an .M3U8 file a segmenter might produce if the entire stream were contained in three unencrypted 10-second media files: #EXTM3U #EXT-X-MEDIA-SEQUENCE:0 #EXT-X-TARGETDURATION:10 #EXTINF:10, http://media.example.com/segment1.ts #EXTINF:10, http://media.example.com/segment2.ts #EXTINF:10, http://media.example.com/segment3.ts #EXT-X-ENDLIST

The index file may also contain URLs for encryption key files or alternate index files for different bandwidths. For details of the index file format, see the IETF Internet-Draft of the HTTP Live Streaming specification[3].

Media Segment Files The media segment files are normally produced by the stream segmenter, based on input from the encoder, and consist of a series of .ts files containing segments of an MPEG-2 Transport Stream. For an audio-only broadcast, the segmenter can produce MPEG elementary audio streams containing either AAC audio with ADTS headers or MP3 audio. Alternatively, it is possible to create the .M3U8 file and the media segment files independently, provided they conform the published specification. For audio-only broadcasts, for example, you could create an .M38U file using a text editor, listing a series of existing .MP3 files.

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Distribution Components The distribution system is a web server or a web caching system that delivers the media files and index files to the client over HTTP. No custom server modules are required to deliver the content, and typically very little configuration is needed on the web server. Recommended configuration is typically limited to specifying MIME-type associations for .M3U8 files and .ts files. File extension

MIME type

.M3U8

application/x-mpegURL

.ts

video/MP2T

Table 1. Recommended MIME-type configuration

Tuning time-to-live (TTL) values for .M3U8 files may also be necessary to achieve desired caching behavior for downstream web caches, as these files are frequently overwritten, and the latest version should be downloaded for each request.

Client Component The client software begins by fetching the index file, based on a URL identifying the stream. The index file in turn specifies the location of the available media files, decryption keys, and any alternate streams available. For the selected stream, the client downloads each available media file in sequence. Each file contains a consecutive segment of the stream. Once it has a sufficient amount of data downloaded, the client begins presenting the reassembled stream to the user. The client is responsible for fetching any decryption keys, authenticating or presenting a user interface to allow authentication, and decrypting media files as needed. This process continues until the client encounters the #EXT-X-ENDLIST tag in the index file. If no #EXT-X-ENDLIST tag is encountered, the index file is part of an ongoing broadcast. The client loads a new version of the index file periodically. The client looks for new media files and encryption keys in the updated index and adds these URLs to its queue.

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Using HTTP Live Streaming Session Types The HTTP Live Streaming protocol supports live broadcast sessions and video on demand (VOD) sessions. For live sessions, as new media files are created and made available the index file is updated. The updated index file includes the new media files; older files are typically removed. The updated index file presents a moving window into a continuous stream. Figure 4 shows a graphical representation of what is called a “Sliding Window Playlist” in the IETF Draft[3]. Whenever a new segment is ready, the index file is updated to include the newest segment and to remove the oldest one. This way the index file always contains the x latest segments. Apple recommends that x be larger than 3 so that the client can pause, resume and rewind for at least the duration of 3 segments (30 seconds by default). Index file window

k

k+1

k+2

k+3

k+4

k+5

k+6

Fig 4. Index file of a live session, updated for every new segment.

For VOD sessions, media files are available representing the entire duration of the presentation. The index file is static and contains a complete list of all files created since the beginning of the presentation. This kind of session allows the client full access to the entire program. It is possible to create a live broadcast of an event that is instantly available for video on demand. To convert a live broadcast to VOD, do not remove the old media files from the server or delete their URLs from the index file, and add an #EXT-X-ENDLIST tag to the index when the broadcast ends. This allows clients to join the broadcast late and still see the entire event. It also allows an event to be archived for rebroadcast with no additional time or effort. VOD can also be used to deliver “canned” media. It is typically more efficient to deliver such media as a single QuickTime movie or MPEG-4 file, but HTTP Live Streaming offers some advantages, such as support for media encryption and dynamic switching between streams of different data rates in response to changing connection speeds. (QuickTime also supports multiple-data-rate

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movies using progressive download, but QuickTime movies do not support dynamically switching between data rates in mid-movie.)

Content Protection Media files containing stream segments may be individually encrypted. When encryption is employed, references to the corresponding key files appear in the index file so that the client can retrieve the keys for decryption. When a key file is listed in the index file, the key file contains a cipher key that must be used to decrypt subsequent media files listed in the index file. Currently HTTP Live Streaming supports AES-128 encryption using 16-octet keys. The format of the key file is a packed array of these 16 octets in binary format. The media stream segmenter available from Apple provides encryption and supports three modes for configuring encryption. 1. The first mode allows you to specify a path to an existing key file on disk. In this mode the segmenter inserts the URL of the existing key file in the index file. It encrypts all media files using this key. 2. The second mode instructs the segmenter to generate a random key file, save it in a specified location, and reference it in the index file. All media files are encrypted using this randomly generated key. 3. The third mode instructs the segmenter to generate a random key file, save it in a specified location, reference it in the index file, and then regenerate and reference a new key file every n files. This mode is referred to as key rotation. Each group of n files is encrypted using a different key. All media files may be encrypted using the same key, or new keys may be required at intervals. The theoretical limit is one key per media file, but because each media key adds a file request and transfer to the overhead for presenting the following media segments, changing to a new key periodically is less likely to impact system performance than changing keys for each segment. Key files can be served using either HTTP or HTTPS. You may also choose to protect the delivery of the key files using your own session-based authentication scheme.

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Caching and Delivery Protocols HTTPS is commonly used to deliver key files. It may also be used to deliver the content files and index files, but this is not recommended when scalability is important, since HTTPS requests often bypass web server caches, causing all content requests to be routed through your server and defeating the purpose of edge network distribution systems. For this very reason, however, it is important to make sure that any content delivery network you use understands that the .M3U8 index files are not to be cached for longer than one media segment duration.

Stream Alternatives Index files may reference alternate streams of content. References can be used to support delivery of multiple streams of the same content with varying quality levels for different bandwidths or devices. The client software uses heuristics to determine appropriate times to switch between the alternates. Currently, these heuristics are based on recent trends in measured network throughput. The index file points to alternate streams of media by including a specially tagged list of other index files, as illustrated in Figure 5.

Index file

Alt. A Index file

.ts

Alt. B Index file

.ts

Alt. C Index file

.ts

Fig 5. Alternate streams

Note that the client may choose to change to an alternate stream at any time, such as when a mobile device enters or leaves a WiFi hotspot.

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Failover Protection If your playlist contains alternate streams, they can not only operate as bandwidth or device alternates, but as failure fallbacks. Starting with iPhone OS 3.1, if the client is unable to reload the index file for a stream (due to a 404 error, for example), the client attempts to switch to an alternate stream. In the event of an index load failure on one stream, the client chooses the highest bandwidth alternate stream that the network connection supports. If there are multiple alternates at the same bandwidth, the client chooses among them in the order listed in the playlist. You can use this feature to provide redundant streams that will allow media to reach clients even in the event of severe local failures, such as a server crashing or a content distributor node going down. To implement failover protection, create a stream, or multiple alternate bandwidth streams, and generate a playlist file as you normally would. Then create a parallel stream, or set of streams, on a separate server or content distribution service. Add the list of backup streams to the playlist file, so that the backup stream at each bandwidth is listed after the primary stream. For example, if the primary stream comes from server ALPHA, and the backup stream is on server BETA, your playlist file might look something like this: #EXTM3U #EXT-X-STREAM-INF:PROGRAM-ID=1, BANDWIDTH=200000 http://ALPHA.mycompany.com/lo/prog_index.m3u8 #EXT-X-STREAM-INF:PROGRAM-ID=1, BANDWIDTH=200000 http://BETA.mycompany.com/lo/prog_index.m3u8 #EXT-X-STREAM-INF:PROGRAM-ID=1, BANDWIDTH=500000 http://ALPHA.mycompany.com/md/prog_index.m3u8 #EXT-X-STREAM-INF:PROGRAM-ID=1, BANDWIDTH=500000 http://BETA.mycompany.com/md/prog_index.m3u8

Note that the backup streams are intermixed with the primary streams in the playlist, with the backup at each bandwidth listed after the primary for that bandwidth. You are not limited to a single backup stream set. In the example above, ALPHA and BETA could be followed by GAMMA, for instance. Similarly, you need not provide a complete parallel set of streams. You could provide a single low-bandwidth stream on a backup server, for example. 15


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4.Critical Comparison Now that the HTTP Live Streaming protocol by Apple has been explained we can examine how it compares to two currently popular solutions: RTP/RTSP and Flash Media Streaming. For the tests I used a video clip from the 2009 documentary "Objectified" about industrial design. The clip shows an interview of Jonathan Ive and has the following characteristics: Filename

jonathan_ive_design.mp4

Video Codec

H.264

Audio Codec

AAC

Dimensions

480 × 270

Duration

0:05:50

Filesize

24,6 MB Table 2. Source video characteristics

I built a test website at http://streaming_test.andrewsblog.org that streams the same video using the three different technologies. Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming has two entries: one created using Apple’s tools and one created with an experimental open source toolchain. I did not buy a license for Adobe’s Flash Media Streaming Server so the flash version of the video is simply embedded from YouTube. The source code of the test website is available online on github3.

Ease of Setup I will briefly describe the steps taken to setup the videos for streaming using HTTP Live Streaming with Apple’s developer tools and an experimental open source toolchain as well as using RTP/RTSP with the Darwin Streaming Server. Unfortunately the Adobe Flash Media Streaming Server could not be tested as the server software is proprietary and costs $995.

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HTTP Live Streaming - Apple tools After installing Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming developer tools4 we only needed one command to convert the source video to a suitable format and segment it. mediafilesegmenter -t 10 -f t_10/ jonathan_ive_design.mp4

The first parameter (-t | -target-duration) is the desired duration of each segment. I chose 10 seconds because that is the default. The second parameter (-f | -file-base) is the directory to store the media and index files. The command took only 3 seconds on a 1.8Ghz Macbook as no transcoding had to be done. Appendix 1 contains the index file generated by the tool. The above command created the index file at path t_10/prog_index.m3u8 and all 36 segments at path t_10/fileSequenceX.ts with X from 0 to 35. Embedding the stream into an html file is incredibly easy with the HTML5 <video> tag: <video src='t_10/prog_index.m3u8' controls='on'> Video tag not supported </video>

Because the segments and the index file are standard HTTP objects ready to be served by any web server, there is nothing more to do if you already have one. Apache, nginx, IIS, lighttpd, etc all work out of the box without the need for a special module or specific configuration. The setup was really easy, the tools provided by Apple are well documented and all in all it took less than 5 minutes to put the stream online.

HTTP Live Streaming - Open Source tools One downside of the tools Apple offers is that they only work on Apple’s platform. It might be possible to port them to Linux/BSD but that hasn’t been done to date. One open source developer, Carson McDonald[4], has built an open source toolchain around FFMpeg, ruby and libavformat that does everything and more than Apple’s tools. The project is available online on github5 under the GPLv2 license.

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I used this toolchain on a FreeBSD system to built a multirate stream with 3 quality levels at bitrates of 128kbps, 386kbps and 512kbps. The configuration file used for the toolchain is included in Appendix 2 and the resulting index files in Appendix 3. Using this toolchain took a little longer than Apple’s tool as it had to transcode the input video in 3 different bitrates. Nevertheless, setting up the video for streaming only took about 15 minutes. For more information visit the developers project page6.

RTP/RTSP - Darwin Streaming Server Installing the open source Darwin Streaming Server (DSS) on FreeBSD is staight forward with the portinstall or pkg_add command.

To configure the server I had to create a user with the qtpasswd command and add the user to the admin group in /usr/local/etc/streaming/qtgroups. When the server is started a Setup Assistant Wizard is available though a web interface on port 1220. The assistant suggested to setup streaming on port 80 to stream through firewalls. However, this might interfere with any web servers installed. I needed to bind the web server to one IP address and DSS to another. The biggest issue however was that media files have to be “hinted” in order to be streamable by DSS over RTSP. I had to install the toolkit from MPEG4IP project7 in order to hint the source video. Installing that package on FreeBSD took 20 minutes. “Hinting” the .mp4 file required these 2 commands: mp4creator -hint=1 jonathan_ive_design.mp4 mp4creator -hint=2 jonathan_ive_design.mp4

Embedding the stream into our test website was harder, and doesn’t work with FireFox so a link to open the stream with an external player was added. Time to setup the video stream: ~1,5 hour

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Compatibility One of the compatibility issues that originally impeded the growth of RTSP was the fact that it runs on a port number (554) which is often blocked by consumer firewalls. Most RTSP servers offer the functionality to tunnel RTSP communication over the same port as HTTP (port 80). We setup DSS to use this function to minimize firewall issues. For the same reason, the communication protocol of the Flash Media Streaming Server, RTMP, is encapsulated within HTTP requests. HTTP Live Streaming natively runs on the HTTP port and thus has no firewall issues. This is one of the main motives why Apple developed the protocol for it’s mobile internet devices. We opened the test website ( http://streaming_test.andrewsblog.org ) with several different browsers on 3 separate platforms and tested if each of the technologies worked. The results are displayed in Table 3. HTTP Live Streaming

RTP/RTSP

Flash Media

Safari 4.0.4, MacOS 10.6.2

yes

yes

yes

FireFox 3.5.7, MacOS 10.6.2

external player

external player

yes

Chrome 4.0.249, MacOS 10.6.2

external player

external player

yes

FireFox 3.5,Vista SP1

no

external player

yes

IExplorer 8,Vista SP1

no

external player

yes

iPhone 3.1.2

yes

no

redirected*

* YouTube automatically sends an alternative HTTP Live Stream to iPhone users. Table 3. Compatibility test

It is clear that the winner of this test is Flash Media, as it could be played in every situation. Important to note here is that YouTube chooses to offer HTTP Live Streams for iPhone visitors. Because of this, the HTTP Live Streaming technology suddenly gained a huge installed base, as all the video’s on YouTube are also available through this streaming technology. However, HTTP Live Streaming still suffers from lacking adoption on the desktop. Hopefully this will change when it becomes an official IETF standard in the near future. Until broad support for Apple’s new technology is a fact, the “fall-through” mechanism of HTML5 can be used: If the video tag

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is not recognized, the browser will attempt to render the next child tag. This is extremely useful, allowing a runtime like Flash to handle playback on browsers that do not yet support HTML 5 video playback. The video tag can also fall-through across multiple sources, in the event that a browser does not support a particular file format or compression. The HTML 5 specification defines the syntax for the video tag, but it is up to the browser which media formats to support. The code for this example is available on page 9 of Akamai’s HD for iPhone Encoding Best Practices[10].

Implementation performance Client implementation To give an idea of the quality of the server and client implementation of each technology, we measured the cpu load and memory usage of the server and the client. We ran our tests on a 43 month old MacBook running the latest version of Mac OS (10.6.2). The machine sports a dual core 1.8Ghz processor and 2GB of Memory. A small script was written to sample the cpu load and memory usage reported by the unix ps command. The full source of the Ruby script is included in Appendix 6. The script takes 3 samples per seconds for a total of 120 samples and reports the average cpu load in percentage, the standard deviation and the minimum and maximum. It does the same for memory usage, in MegaBytes. First we tested the client implementations. We played the embedded video clips with version 4.0.4 of the native Safari browser. The idle memory usage of this browser is 37,71MB. We also tested the video streams in the external player QuickTime X 10.0, which has an idle memory usage of 6,93 MB. The results are shown in Table 4. HTTP Live Streaming

RTP/RTSP**

Flash Media

CPU Load (%) Embedded

48,26 ± 2,32 [42,70 - 54,70]

14,30 ± 1,27 [11,40 - 17,70]

78,02 ± 3,32 [71,10 - 90,80]

Memory usage (MB) Embedded

63,97 ± 0,57 [63,26 - 65,32]

52,70 ± 0,82 [50,23 - 53,45]

95,04 ± 1,81 [93,20 - 98,68]

CPU Load (%) External Player*

15,10 ± 1,82 [11,60 - 19,40]

13,49 ± 1,02 [11,60 - 16,50]

86,44 ± 4,20 [75,20 - 97,80]

Memory usage (MB) External Player*

49,86 ± 0,55 [49,13 - 50,82]

28,92 ± 0,85 [26,96 - 30,14]

98 ± 1,29 [96,70 - 101,84]

Table 4. Client CPU Load and Memory usage 20


A Review of HTTP Live Streaming

Andrew Fecheyr-Lippens

* The external player is Quicktime X 10.0 for HTTP Live Streaming and RTP/RTSP and is youtube.com (through the Safari browser) for Flash Media. By default youtube scales the 480x270 video to 850x480. ** When streaming a RTP/RTSP video, a part of the decoding seems to be done by a separate process named vdecoder. This process was also sampled and its usage is shown in Table 5. When comparing the three implementations, these figures should be added to those in Table 4 for RTP/RTSP. CPU Load (%) vdecoder

7,34 ± 1,18 [4,80 - 10,30]

Memory usage (MB) 2,86 ± 0,00 [2,86 - 2,87]

Table 5. Vdecoder CPU Load and Memory usage

We noticed that the CPU Load for HTTP Live Streaming was a lot higher when embedded in a webpage (48%) compared to running in the external player (15%). We had an intuition that this might be caused by suboptimal code due to the support in Safari being very young. So we downloaded the nightly developer build of Safari8 to test our hypothesis. It seems like we were right. The embedded HTTP Live Stream in revision r53677 (22 january 2010) caused an average cpu load of only 16,94% ± 1,75%, a number much closer to what can be expected. HTTP Live Streaming RTP/RTSP

16,94% 15,10% 21,64% 21,28% 78,02% 86,44%

Flash Media

Fig 6. Average Client CPU Load (blue is embedded ; green is external player)

Comparing the numbers becomes a lot clearer when plotting them on a bar chart. Figure 6 clearly shows that the client implementation of the new streaming protocol is the most efficient. The difference with RTP/RTSP, the runner up in this test, is not that large. But what did surprise us is Flash Media’s terrible score. Adobe is notorious for it’s subpar implementations of the Flash Player on platforms other than Microsoft Windows and this test clearly points this out. The effect of this

8

Downloadable at http://nightly.webkit.org 21


A Review of HTTP Live Streaming

Andrew Fecheyr-Lippens

inefficient implementation on battery life is the reason why Apple removed support for Flash in its mobile Safari browser used on the iPhone. HTTP Live Streaming RTP/RTSP

49,86MB 28,92MB

63,97MB

52,70MB 95,04MB 98,00MB

Flash Media Fig 7. Average Memory Usage (blue is embedded ; green is external player)

The graph of average memory usage is less useful as it depends too much on the amount of video cached. The longer the video had been playing the higher the memory usage. We include it here in figure 7 just for completeness.

Server performance Testing the server implementations requires a different approach. When running a streaming server the cpu load is not the most interesting metric. The most interesting metric is the number of concurrent users the server can support. Tests were run on the machine serving the testing website9. This machine is a Virtual Private Server with 128MB of memory and one cpu slice on a Intel Xeon E5520 CPU running at 2,26 GHz. The operating system is FreeBSD 7.2. Nginx (0.7.64) is the web server used to serve the video segments of the HTTP Live Stream. The open source Darwin Streaming Server (6.0.3) is used to serve the RTP/RTSP stream. The Adobe Flash Media Streaming Server was not tested because of license fees. We used the StreamingLoadTool included in the DSS package to stress test the RTP/RTSP server and the apache ab tool to stress test the web server serving the HTTP Live Streaming files. Another more powerful server played the role of client for these stress tests. This “client” ran both stress testing tools. Both the “client” and the server are connected to the internet using 100mbps links.

9

http://streaming_test.andrewsblog.org 22


A Review of HTTP Live Streaming

Andrew Fecheyr-Lippens

DSS Performance 50

Success Failed

Streams

40

Errors

30 20 10 0

0

20

40

60

80

100

Concurency

Fig 8. Darwin Streaming Server Concurrency Testing

The StreamingLoadTool reports the number of successful streams as well as streams that failed to complete correctly. Streams that die or cannot not even start are reported as errors. In the graph on figure 8 we can see that the Server has no problem serving up to 20 concurrent streams. The maximum number of successful streams was attained at a concurrency of 50. At that point 38 streams finish successfully and 12 streams fail to finish correctly. When we stress test the server with a concurrency of 60 and higher, we noticed the the CPU Load stayed at 100%. This causes streams to die with an error as shown by the red line in the graph. The network connection was not the bottleneck as the server only managed to push out 55 Mbps. The table in Appendix 7 shows the all the collected data. Next we stress tested the web server serving the HTTP Live Stream segments. No specific stress testing tools were found for HTTP Live Streaming so we sticked to the popular ApacheBench benchmarking tool ab. The bottleneck for serving up the streams will not be the 1,1KB playlist file but rather the 1,0-1,3MB video segments. What is important for the clients streaming the video is that the request time for fetching each segment is less than the duration of the segment. This way the data input rate is higher than the output and buffers won’t underrun. To test this, we monitored the “mean request time” output of the benchmark tool and checked how many requests took longer than the duration of the segment (10 seconds in our case). Both numbers are represented on the graph in Figure 9. We used this command: (-c is the concurrency and -n the number of requests, we chose 2 requests per concurrent user).

23


A Review of HTTP Live Streaming

Andrew Fecheyr-Lippens

ab -c 130 -n 260 -e out.csv \ http://streaming_test.andrewsblog.org/t_10/fileSequence2.ts

Nginx performance 15000

100%

Requests > 10s

12500 75% 10000 7500

50%

5000 25%

Requests out of time

Mean request time (ms)

Mean

2500 0

10

30

50

70

90

110

130

0%

Concurrency

Fig 9. Nginx Request times

The graph shows that the Nginx web server can serve up to 80 concurrent streams without any problem. When serving 90 concurrent stream, 1% of all requests take longer than the video duration, so buffer underruns may occur. However, the mean request time is still less than the video duration so there is no â&#x20AC;&#x153;structuralâ&#x20AC;? problem, there should be no consistent buffer underruns. When serving 140 concurrent streams, the saturation is too high and the mean request time goes over 10.000ms, causing systematic buffer underruns for all connected users. The bottleneck when serving the streams segments is probably the network connection as it was serving data at 88 Mbps, rather close to the theoretical maximum of 100 Mbps. Also the CPU Load barely touched 90% and swap memory was untouched. The second table on Appendix 7 shows the collected data. To wind up the server test, we can conclude that serving segments through a generic web server over HTTP is more efficient than using a RTP/RTSP Streaming Server. The web server, nginx, started to saturate at 80 concurrent users and maxed out at 130. The Darwin Streaming Server on the other hand started to saturate around 20 concurrent streams and maxed out at 38 successful streams.

24


A Review of HTTP Live Streaming

Andrew Fecheyr-Lippens

Furthermore, we noticed that the network connection was the bottleneck for the web server while the CPU was the bottleneck for the Darwin Streaming Server.

Features HTTP Live Streaming offers alternate streams with different bitrates. The client automatically switches to the optimal bitrate based on network conditions for a smooth quality playback experience. For streaming media to mobile devices with different types of network connections this is a killer feature. It is sometimes referred to as “Adaptive Bitrate”. During the testing of the OS toolchain stream the switching of bitrates was clear in the video quality and was recorded in the web server access logs. I encourage you to checkout an excerpt of that logfile in Appendix 4. The Akamai recommended bitrates used for encoding are included in Appendix 5 as a reference. Some RTSP streaming servers offer a similar “bit rate adaption” for 3GPP files10. The newest version of Adobe’s Flash Media Streaming Server (3.5) might offer an equivalent solution called “Dynamic Streaming”11. Video encryption and authentication over HTTPS are two other features of HTTP Live Streaming of great value to content providers who want to protect their source of income. Authentication can also be built into RTSP and Flash servers. The newest version of Adobe’s Flash Media Streaming Server offers encrypted H.264 streaming and encrypted Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMPE). All three protocols offer VCR like functionality, such as play/pause and time-shifting seek. While testing we found that the RTSP Stream from DSS was the most responsive to seeking. The HTTP Live Stream suffered from a noticeable delay because a full 10 second segment needs to be downloaded before playback can resume. This delay can be significantly reduced by using shorter segments. The specification draft allows segment durations with a minimum of 1 second. The tradeoff here is a higher overhead, as more segments need to be requested. Seeking though YouTube video’s causes variable delays, which are sometimes better than the HTTP Live Stream and sometimes worse.

10 11

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/streamingserver/ http://www.adobe.com/products/flashmediastreaming/features/ 25


A Review of HTTP Live Streaming

Andrew Fecheyr-Lippens

Ease of Distribution One of the main advantages of HTTP Live Streaming is the fact that all parts that need to be transferred are standard HTTP objects. These objects can be cached by proxy servers without any modification. Because of this Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) can distribute HTTP Live Streams just as they would distribute other HTTP objects such as images or html pages. Akamai, the world’s leading CDN, has built a specific solution for media delivery to the iPhone platform using HTTP Live Streaming[8]. But also the smaller pay-as-you-go CDN’s, such as Amazon’s Cloudfront service, can be used without a problem. In fact, the open source toolchain used to setup the 2nd stream has the ability to upload segments directly to Amazon’s S3 Storage and use Amazon’s Cloudfront CDN. Figure 10 shows a diagram of the dataflow from an article of the developer[9].

Fig 10. Opensource Toolchain with Amazon’s Cloudfront CDN

As a consequence, everyone can deploy a live or on-demand stream on top of a worldwide CDN in a very cost effective way. The author of the article calculated the cost and concluded the following: “For 100 streams of 5 minutes worth of video you would be looking at something around 20 cents”[9] In other words: for every $1 you can stream a total of 2500 minutes12 from any of the 14 edge locations of Amazon’s global CDN. Figure 11 shows these 14 edge locations on a world map.

12

( 100 streams x 5 minutes ) / 0.20 dollar 26


A Review of HTTP Live Streaming

Andrew Fecheyr-Lippens

Fig 11. Amazonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cloudfront CDN Servers

Cost We previously mentioned that Adobeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Flash Media Streaming Server has a licence fee of $995. There is, however, a reverse engineered open source project called Red513 which aims to produce a feature-complete implementation written in Java. HTTP Live Streaming and RTSP are open protocols and thus can be used without paying license fees. Both have open source tools and/or servers available for free.

13

http://www.osflash.org/red5 27


A Review of HTTP Live Streaming

Andrew Fecheyr-Lippens

5.Conclusion Apple identified what it considers a few issues with standard streaming, which generally uses the Real Time Streaming Protocol. The biggest issue with RTSP is that the protocol or its necessary ports may be blocked by routers or firewall settings, preventing a device from accessing the stream. HTTP, being the standard protocol for the Web, is generally accessible. Furthermore, no special server is required other than a standard HTTP server, which is more widely supported in content distribution networks. In addition, more expertise in optimizing HTTP delivery is generally available than for RTSP. Enter HTTP Live Streaming. The basic mechanics involve using software on the server to break an MPEG-2 transport stream into small chunks saved as separate files, and an extension to the .m3u playlist specification to tell the client where to get the files that make up the complete stream. The media player client merely downloads and plays the small chunks in the order specified in the playlist, and in the case of a live stream, periodically refreshes the playlist to see if there have been any new chunks added to the stream. The new streaming protocol supports adaptive bitrates and automatically switches to the optimal bitrate based on network conditions for a smooth quality playback experience. The protocol also provides for media encryption and user authentication over HTTPS, allowing publishers to protect their work. Currently the standard is an Internet-Draft, and we have yet to see any evidence that others are ready to jump on Apple's bandwagon. But given the issues Apple has identified with RTSP, the proprietary nature of other common solutions, and the inclusion of support for encrypted streams, it has potential to appeal to a wide variety of content providers. In this paper we have tested and compared the proposed standard alongside two popular and widely used technologies. We deployed the three streaming technologies on a publicly accessible website14 and compared the setup difficulty, the features and costs of each alternative. We also mentioned Content Distribution Networks and the role and impact of the simplified distribution of standard HTTP objects. The findings of our comparison are summarized in the table on the following page.

14

http://streaming_test.andrewsblog.org 28


A Review of HTTP Live Streaming

Andrew Fecheyr-Lippens

HTTP Live Streaming

RTP/RTSP

Flash Media

Protocol Type

Standard

Standard

Proprietary

Server Cost

Free

Free

$995

Ease of setup

Very easy

Okay

Unknown

Compatibility

Low

Using plugins

Very high

Client Implementation

Great (especially for embedded devices)

Good

High CPU load on some platforms

Server Implementation

Generic web server, Network bound

Streaming server, CPU bound

Proprietary or reversed engineered

Variable bitrates

Built in

Some servers

Only latest version

Encryption

Built in

Unknown

~ Server version

Authentication

Possible by protecting the key files

Through custom module[11]

Unknown

Built in Failover

Yes

No

No

Seek delay

Depends on segments duration and bitrate

< 2 seconds

4-10 seconds

Ease of distribution

Very easy

Possible

Possible

When to use?

Embedded devices

Low latency

Highest compatibility

As a result we can conclude that each technology has its merits and pitfalls. HTTP Live Streaming is a young protocol that proves its value in embedded devices and is noteworthy for its simplicity. Deployment and distribution are remarkably easy and might open up video streaming to a much wider audience. Standardization and further adaption by other vendors and the open source community could boost the importance of this protocol in the upcoming HTML5 specification. Adobe Flash is a good solution â&#x20AC;&#x201D; popularized by YouTube â&#x20AC;&#x201D; for embedding videos in a webpage when worried about client compatibility. Because of this broad compatibility it is also a good candidate as a fallback technology for any of the other two protocols. Nevertheless, the proprietary nature and the lack of adoption in the mobile market are two important disadvantages. RTSP remains a flexible solution for latency sensitive live or on-demand streaming. Tunneling over HTTP, as implemented in several streaming servers,has alleviated its biggest issue. The protocol allows streaming different formats to a wide variety of devices but is more of a hassle to setup and distribute.

29


6.Appendices Appendix 1 - Index file generated by Apple tool The contents of the prog_index.m3u8 index file generated by mediafilesegmenter: #EXTM3U #EXT-X-TARGETDURATION:10 #EXT-X-MEDIA-SEQUENCE:0 #EXTINF:10, fileSequence0.ts #EXTINF:10, fileSequence1.ts #EXTINF:10, fileSequence2.ts #EXTINF:10, fileSequence3.ts #EXTINF:10, fileSequence4.ts #EXTINF:10, fileSequence5.ts #EXTINF:10, [...] #EXTINF:10, fileSequence32.ts #EXTINF:10, fileSequence33.ts #EXTINF:10, fileSequence34.ts #EXTINF:1, fileSequence35.ts #EXT-X-ENDLIST

30


Appendix 2 - Configuration file for the O.S. toolchain Configuration file for the Open Source toolchain (in YAML format), items changed from the default value are highlighted in green. temp_dir: '/tmp/' segment_prefix: 'os_sample' index_prefix: 'os_stream' # type of logging: STDOUT, FILE log_type: 'STDOUT' log_level: 'DEBUG' # where the origin video is going to come from input_location: 'jonathan_ive_design.mp4' # segment length in seconds segment_length: 10 # this is the URL where the stream (ts) files will end up url_prefix: "" # this command is used for multirate encodings and is what pushes the encoders source_command: 'cat %s' # This is the location of the segmenter segmenter_binary: './live_segmenter' # the encoding profile to use encoding_profile: [ 'ep_128k', 'ep_386k', 'ep_512k' ] # The upload profile to use transfer_profile: 'copy_dev' # Encoding profiles ep_128k: ffmpeg_command: "ffmpeg -er 4 -y -i %s -f mpegts -acodec libmp3lame -ar 48000 -ab 64k -s 480x270 -vcodec libx264 -b 128k -flags +loop -cmp +chroma -partitions +parti4x4+partp8x8+partb8x8 -subq 5 -trellis 1 -refs 1 -coder 0 -me_range 16 -keyint_min 25 -sc_threshold 40 -i_qfactor 0.71 -bt 128k -maxrate 128k -bufsize 128k -rc_eq 'blurCplx^(1-qComp)' -qcomp 0.6 -qmin 10 -qmax 51 -qdiff 4 -level 30 -aspect 480:270 -g 30 -async 2 - | %s %s %s %s %s" bandwidth: 128000 ep_386k: ffmpeg_command: "ffmpeg -er 4 -y -i %s -f mpegts -acodec libmp3lame -ar 48000 -ab 64k -s 480x270 -vcodec libx264 -b 386k -flags +loop -cmp +chroma -partitions +parti4x4+partp8x8+partb8x8 -subq 5 -trellis 1 -refs 1 -coder 0 -me_range 16 -keyint_min 25 -sc_threshold 40 -i_qfactor 0.71 -bt 386k -maxrate 386k -bufsize 386k -rc_eq 'blurCplx^(1-qComp)' -qcomp 0.6 -qmin 10 -qmax 51 -qdiff 4 -level 30 -aspect 480:270 -g 30 -async 2 - | %s %s %s %s %s" bandwidth: 386000 ep_512k: ffmpeg_command: "ffmpeg -er 4 -y -i %s -f mpegts -acodec libmp3lame -ar 48000 -ab 64k -s 480x270 -vcodec libx264 -b 512k -flags +loop -cmp +chroma -partitions +parti4x4+partp8x8+partb8x8 -subq 5 -trellis 1 -refs 1 -coder 0 -me_range 16 -keyint_min 25 -sc_threshold 40 -i_qfactor 0.71 -bt 512k -maxrate 512k -bufsize 512k -rc_eq 'blurCplx^(1-qComp)' -qcomp 0.6 -qmin 10 -qmax 51 -qdiff 4 -level 30 -aspect 480:270 -g 30 -async 2 - | %s %s %s %s %s" bandwidth: 512000 copy_dev: transfer_type: 'copy' directory: '/var/www/vps.bedesign.be/http_live/os_10'

31


Appendix 3 - Index files generated by O.S. toolchain Master index file pointing to 3 alternative streams with different bitrates (128k, 386k and 512k) #EXTM3U #EXT-X-STREAM-INF:PROGRAM-ID=1,BANDWIDTH=128000 os_stream_ep_128k.m3u8 #EXT-X-STREAM-INF:PROGRAM-ID=1,BANDWIDTH=386000 os_stream_ep_386k.m3u8 #EXT-X-STREAM-INF:PROGRAM-ID=1,BANDWIDTH=512000 os_stream_ep_512k.m3u8 File os_10/os_stream_multi.m3u8

Index file of the 386k alternate stream (similar to the index file in Appendix 1) #EXTM3U #EXT-X-TARGETDURATION:10 #EXT-X-MEDIA-SEQUENCE:1 #EXTINF:10 os_sample_ep_386k-00001.ts #EXTINF:10 os_sample_ep_386k-00002.ts #EXTINF:10 os_sample_ep_386k-00003.ts #EXTINF:10 os_sample_ep_386k-00004.ts [...] #EXTINF:10 os_sample_ep_386k-00032.ts #EXTINF:10 os_sample_ep_386k-00033.ts #EXTINF:10 os_sample_ep_386k-00034.ts #EXT-X-ENDLIST File os_10/os_stream_ep_386k.m3u8

32


Appendix 4 - Web server access log An excerpt of the access log of the web server demonstrating the switch in requested bitrate. 88.16.217.147 - [19/Jan/2010:00:09:03] "GET /http_live_oss HTTP/1.1" 200 2036 88.16.217.147 - [19/Jan/2010:00:09:05] "GET /os_10/os_stream_multi.m3u8 HTTP/1.1" 200 221 88.16.217.147 - [19/Jan/2010:00:09:05] "GET /os_10/os_stream_ep_128k.m3u8 HTTP/1.1" 200 1325 88.16.217.147 - [19/Jan/2010:00:09:09] "GET /os_10/os_sample_ep_128k-00001.ts HTTP/1.1" 200 446312 88.16.217.147 - [19/Jan/2010:00:09:12] "GET /os_10/os_sample_ep_128k-00002.ts HTTP/1.1" 200 504780 88.16.217.147 - [19/Jan/2010:00:09:15] "GET /os_10/os_sample_ep_128k-00003.ts HTTP/1.1" 200 500080 88.16.217.147 - [19/Jan/2010:00:09:16] "GET /os_10/os_stream_ep_512k.m3u8 HTTP/1.1" 200 1363 88.16.217.147 - [19/Jan/2010:00:09:26] "GET /os_10/os_sample_ep_512k-00003.ts HTTP/1.1" 200 1370896 88.16.217.147 - [19/Jan/2010:00:09:33] "GET /os_10/os_sample_ep_512k-00004.ts HTTP/1.1" 200 1168984 88.16.217.147 - [19/Jan/2010:00:09:41] "GET /os_10/os_sample_ep_512k-00005.ts HTTP/1.1" 200 1193988

As can be seen from this excerpt, the client media player first requests the master index file (os_stream_multi.m3u8), parses it and requests the 1st stream alternative index file (128kbps) (os_stream_ep_128k.m3u8). After playing the first 2 segments, the player switches to a higher bitrate alternative (512kbps), requests the index (os_stream_ep_512k.m3u8) and the segments starting from segment 3. An interactive video demonstrating this progressive enhancement is available on YouTube 1.

1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teKAyN0qZVY 33


Appendix 5 - Akamai HD for iPhone architecture The architecture of Akamaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s HD for iPhone solution[10].

Recommended encoding bitrates depending on network connection (page 7 of [10])

34


Appendix 6 - CPU Load and Memory usage script ps_avg.rb script: # processname to check as $1, number of samples as $2 # eg: ruby ps_avg.rb safari 100 process_name = ARGV[0] sample_count = ARGV[1] || 120 samples_per_seconds = 3 sleep_time = (1/samples_per_seconds.to_f) puts "Sampling: #{process_name}, taking #{sample_count} samples (#{samples_per_seconds} per second)" ## Expand the Enumerable module with Basic statistics module Enumerable # sum of an array of numbers def sum return self.inject(0){|acc,i|acc +i} end # average of an array of numbers def average return self.sum/self.length.to_f end # variance of an array of numbers def sample_variance avg=self.average sum=self.inject(0){|acc,i|acc +(i-avg)**2} return(1/self.length.to_f*sum) end # standard deviation of an array of numbers def standard_deviation return Math.sqrt(self.sample_variance) end end ## close module Enumerable ## Print floats with 2 decimals class Float def to_s sprintf("%.2f", self) end end ## Method that does the fetching of cpu load and mem usage ## Tested on MacOS X and FreeBSD. The regexp might need tweaking for Linux def get_cpu_and_mem(pname) output = `ps uxa` regexp = /[a-z]+\s+[0-9]+\s+([0-9,\.]+)\s+[0-9,\.]+\s+\d+\s+(\d+)/ lines = output.split("\n").select{ |x| x.downcase.include?(pname.downcase) && !x.include?("ruby") } lines.collect do |line| line.scan(regexp).first.collect{ |x| x.gsub(',','.').to_f } end.inject([0,0]){ |x,sum| [x[0] + sum[0],x[1] + sum[1]] } end ## Loop for sample_count times and gather the samples in the samples array samples = {:cpu => [], :mem => []} sample_count.to_i.times do cpu, mem = get_cpu_and_mem(process_name) samples[:cpu] << cpu samples[:mem] << mem/1024.0 sleep sleep_time end def print_stats(array,name) print "Average #{name}: #{array.average}\t" print "StdDev: #{array.standard_deviation}\t" puts "Range: #{array.min} - #{array.max}" end print_stats(samples[:cpu],"cpu load (%)") print_stats(samples[:mem],"mem use (MB)")

35


Appendix 7 - Server Performance testing data DSS Concurrency CPU Load Success Errors Failed Mbps 10

30-50

10

0

0

10

20

50-70

20

0

0

20

25

55-85

22

0

3

26

30

80-93

25

0

5

31

35

85-98

29

0

6

35

40

90-99

32

0

8

40

45

98-100

37

0

8

44

50

99-100

38

0

12

49

55

100

37

0

18

53

60

100

36

5

19

51

65

100

37

8

20

53

70

100

38

8

24

55

75

100

34

11

30

49

100

100

30

23

47

53

Nginx Concurrency

mean ms

requests < 10s requests > 10s

KB/s

Mbps

10

1153

100%

0%

8478

66,2

20

1536

100%

0%

10691

83,5

30

2289

100%

0%

10940

85,5

40

3100

100%

0%

11228

87,7

50

3808

100%

0%

11238

87,8

60

4601

100%

0%

11248

87,9

70

5444

100%

0%

11258

88,0

80

6151

100%

0%

11258

88,0

90

6850

99%

1%

11258

88,0

100

7605

95%

5%

11258

88,0

110

8432

87%

13%

11258

88,0

120

9096

73%

27%

11258

88,0

130

9901

52%

48%

11280

88,1

140

11342

23%

77%

11285

88,2

36


7.References [1] James F. Kurose, Keith W. Ross, 2009. Computer Networking: A Top Down Approach: 5th edition. Addison Wesley, Chapter 7. [2] Apple Inc., 2009. HTTP Live Streaming Overview. PDF available online at: http://developer.apple.com/iphone/library/documentation/NetworkingInternet/Conceptual/ StreamingMediaGuide [3] Roger Pantos, 2009, Apple Inc. HTTP Live Streaming: draft-pantos-http-live-streaming-02. Online PDF: http://tools.ietf.org/pdf/draft-pantos-http-live-streaming-02.pdf [4] Carson McDonald, 2009, HTTP Live Video Stream Segmenter and Distributor, http://www.ioncannon.net/projects/http-live-video-stream-segmenter-and-distributor/ [5] H. Schulzrinne, Real Time Streaming Protocol, RFC 2326, http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2326 [6] Real Time Streaming Protocol, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_Time_Streaming_Protocol [7] Adobe, Flash Media Streaming Server 3.5, http://www.adobe.com/products/flashmediastreaming/ [8] Akamai, Akamai HD for iPhone, http://www.akamai.com/html/solutions/iphone.html [9] Carson McDonald, iPhone Windowed HTTP Live Streaming Using Amazon S3 and Cloudfront Proof of Concept, http://www.ioncannon.net/programming/475/iphone-windowed-http-livestreaming-using-amazon-s3-and-cloudfront-proof-of-concept/ [10] Akamai, Akamai HD for iPhone Encoding Best Practices, http://www.akamai.com/dl/akamai/iphone_wp.pdf [11] Koushik Biswas, Darwin Streaming Server 6.0.3 - setup, customization, plugin and module development, http://www.codeproject.com/KB/audio-video/DarwinSS_on_Linux.aspx [12] Ars Technica, Apple proposes HTTP streaming feature as IETF standard, http://arstechnica.com/ web/news/2009/07/apple-proposes-http-streaming-feature-as-a-protocol-standard.ars

37

A Review of HTTP Live Streaming  

In this paper we describe Apple’s new HTTP Live Streaming specification and compare it with two incumbent streaming technologies, RTP/RTSP a...

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