3 kommentarer lørdag 14. mars 2009

To Move or not to move

Yesterday it was kickofftime of the potentially most bandwidth consuming service we have ever launched. Together with 100% football, VG released a new player to the norwegian flash/windowsmedia dominated marked, the MovePlayer.

The player is being developed by MoveNetworks in Utah, and has a large amounts of the web-tv market in USA, for customers like ABC, Fox, Espn and even Oprah :)

So why did we go for something completely new to the norwegian market?
The choices were originally few. Flash based or Microsoft based(Windowsmedia/silverlight).
But luckily Ketil from Bt had been doing his homework. He had seen the Moveplayer at work. I must say i was sceptial at first, but the more more i dug into this new technology, the more I loved it.

So how does it work?

The Move technology is abit different than ordinary streaming.
First, lets have a look at the content delivery servers. Its a web server. Period.
Apache, Lighty, Ngnix, hell even IIS.

The web was desiged for delivering lots of small files and thats what Move does. The content is split up into thousands of small files, and again into files containing the same content, but at a different bitrate.

So whats the advantage?

First of all, its instant, no buffering or waiting.
Here is how: The player contacts the webserver and asks for the files with a small bitrate for that piece of content. As it starts to play, it gradually pick up files with a larger bitrate. That is why the picture is normally not very optimal at first, but if you give it some seconds, the picture will be as optimal as your own bandwidth and CPU permits you.

Wait, CPU and own bandwith?
Yes, the player detects the amount of free bandwidth you have available and starts downloading the correct bitrate to fill your line. So if you`re already downloading stuff or watching something else that fills your line, your quality in the MovePlayer will suffer.
Same thing with CPU. If your cpu is not powefull enough, or bogged down in other stuff, the player will reduce the quality.
But in any cases, you`ll still get an image. It will not stop to buffer up again. Personally I prefer lower quality than a stream that buffers.

Another advatage is that the content is cacheable. If you are an ISP, large company or of another reason want to save bandwidth, set up a httpcache(that supports the Range Header), and voila!

Today is the first great test, lots of matches. Im confident we'll ride the storm, but it will be interesting. Yesterday vglive.no had 11000 hits per second, im looking forward to see how high we can go :)

And to all of you Linux people out there, sorry. You can try to install windows firefox with wine, and then install the moveplayer. I got it to work on one pc, not the other one.. We can just hope Move will create a player for us, but the last time i spoke to them.. i wouldnt hold my breath.

. .

0 kommentarer søndag 3. august 2008

Like mentioned in earlier post, my son seems to have a much greater progress than i.
On Wednesday, he did 20, an increase of 666% since Monday. If i were to follow him, i should have done 333... which i didn't. 61 pushups on Wednesday, and 62 on Friday. Jr continues his way to the top and did 30. I predict he will pass me in 3 weeks.

And my colleagues continues, in 6 weeks, vg.no will have the fittest development team alive :)

0 kommentarer mandag 28. juli 2008

Today my colleagues at work, presented me with a challenge they are all doing.
The 100 pushup challenge.

So today, my 8 year old son and i started on week one, he followed the up to 5 pushups coloumn, and i did the "more than 10" coloumn.

The results were as follows:
we both completed up to level 4, and at level 5, he did 3, i did 50.

So will we be able to do one hundered pushups in five weeks?
i dont know, but im sure my son will have greater progress than i.

And as long as i beat the developers at work, im happy :)

0 kommentarer fredag 27. juni 2008

Today i looked into where im going for a vacation this summer. (yes i know, should have done it months ago)

My kid wants to go to Legoland, so hey, lets see how much the fare is for the cruise to Denmark.
I logged on to Colorlines web site, and typed in the dates for travel, and clicked "next"

"Sorry the ship is full at the times selected"

Why do you even allow me to select those dates?
Why dont you do a prefetch of all avalible dates, and cache the result for, say one minute, or five. Im sure your database can handle that.

So after selecting and deselecting different times, i eventually found a suitable date.
Ok, lets see if they have a package, with hotel included.

Yes they do, they even have Legoland packages, i'd like to see the prices on the whole package, they have approx 10 different hotels to choose from.

"sorry, to order a package, please call us at XXXXXX"

So much for the help yourself service.
After about a 5 minute queue on the phone, they present us the deals. Of which none are presented at the web page. WTF?

Oh fsck this, lets look into alternatives.
I go to sommarlands website. I think anyway. Why do some people think that everything has to start with www? sommarland.no gives a "Under construction" page, which is cute..
301 is your friend sommarland.

But hey lets add www, and see where we end up. They are hosted by a site in spain!! Why not choose the moon?

So all people who have project out there, dont cut the corners, just a little more work, or find something else to do. Crappy webservices makes me angry