Enterprise Media Communications Strategies


About Us


Streaming Media
Articles & Tutorials

Workshops & Seminars


NEW! Check out
Media & Learning Technology Weblog
Discussing streaming media technology, content and digital asset management, instructional & educational technology

Streaming Media/SMIL Authoring Tutorials and Articles by Larry Bouthillier

If you'd like to see articles on certain topics that are not covered here, send us a note and tell us about it.  Or better yet, have us write for you!  learningAPI.com writing services can inform, excite and motivate your staff and your customers - whether it's tutorials, white papers, or product documentation.


  • Flash Powers Comcast.net's Innovative Video Browser  (StreamingMedia.com May 2004)
    • When Comcast.net needed a way to bring easy, interactive video to its broadband customers, it turned to Macromedia's Flash. The team's mission: "The challenge was to create a new video application, which combined browse, search, playback, and customization in an easy to use interface. It had to be as simple as channel surfing on the TV."  Comcast's innovative solution is The Fan.

  • Product Review: A Bandwidth Simulator for Testing Streaming Media  (StreamingMedia.com April 2004)
    • Sitting comfortably on our company networks, it can be hard to imitate the way 76% of American households view streaming content – via dialup. This week we look at a tool that helps you test your streaming content by simulating low bandwidth connections.

  • RealProducer 10 Competes On Features, Codecs  (StreamingMedia.com April 2004)
    • As you might expect, the latest encoding tool from RealNetworks offers great new codecs for audio and video. There are also some helpful features that can make your encoding process more flexible and more efficient. We'll take a look at what's new in the RealProducer Plus 10 preview release.

  • Creating Windows Media Download Packages  (StreamingMedia.com March 2004)
    • Windows Media download packages bundle up an entire playlist, a collection of media files, and a custom border into one downloadable file. With a single click, the Windows Media Player will unpackage the contents, add the playlist to its Media Library, and begin playback of your program.

  • The Windows Media ActiveX Control – Not Just for Internet Explorer Anymore  (StreamingMedia.com March 2004)  
    • Embedding Windows Media player in a Web page can be challenging. A Rubik's cube puzzle of version-madness takes over if you try making it work for every browser. Now, the Mozilla/Netscape team has built ActiveX support for Windows Media directly into their latest browsers. Here's how to sniff for browser support for Windows Media, and embed your video for everyone.

  • VCR's for Streaming  (StreamingMedia.com March 2004)  
    • Streaming media is a great way to receive multimedia over the Internet. But it doesn't help you much when you're on a plane, in traffic, or sitting in your ice-fishing hut in Minnesota. There's help available - StreamDown and SDP are utilities that can record streaming media programs, letting you watch or listen at your convenience.

  • The MPEG Video Standards – from 1 to 21  (StreamingMedia.com February 2004)  
    • There's more to MPEG than just audio and video compression. There are five MPEG standards–MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, MPEG7, and MPEG21–spanning all aspects of compressing, authoring, identifying, and delivering multimedia. Here's a quick look at each one and where it fits in the digital media landscape.

  • Screen Recording – An Enterprise Approach to Streaming Media Publishing  (StreamingMedia.com January 2004)  
    • For software training, demos, or even traditional Powerpoint slideshows, a narrated screen recording can be a simple and effective way to get your point across. In the second part of our look at screen recorders, we'll look at the industrial-strength Screenwatch & see how it handles presentation authoring for educational institutions & the enterprise.

  • Screen Recorders for Streaming  (StreamingMedia.com January 2004)  
    • With visual communication over the Internet an essential business and educational tool, screen recording can provide a simple means to create presentations of software demos, data walk-throughs, or even traditional slideshows. Let's face it, nothing beats the "Show me, don't tell me!" approach of a narrated screen recording.


  • Interactive MPEG4 – Who Will Lead the Way?  (StreamingMedia.com December 2003)  
    • The MPEG4 standard for interactive video has facets that shine brightly and attract attention, enthusiasm, and investment. Both the Web and the broadcast industries are salivating over the possibilities of a standards-based solution for the authoring and delivery of rich media content. But there's a difference in the approach each industry takes to drive adoption. A few companies are looking for the middle ground.

  • Creating Interactive Video With MPEG4  (StreamingMedia.com November 2003)  [MPEG4 example video and sample XMT/SMIL source code listing]
    • After a long build-up, MPEG4 is finally roaring out of the gates. Read on for a look at the frontier of MPEG4 video - interactive video capabilities that will leave you oohing and ahhing. We'll look at the basics, then walk through a complete XMT/SMIL code example that shows how it's done.

  • A Look at Higher Ed Streaming - Univeristy of Cincinnati Case Study  (StreamingMedia.com November 2003)
    • Streaming media has become an integral part of the communications toolset at the University of Cincinnati. What started in 1999 as an experiment in streaming technology has transformed the classroom environment and expanded the reach of the school's academic and public service programs.

  • How To Brand Your Video With A Watermark  (StreamingMedia.com October 2003) [example watermarked video and sample SMIL code listing]
    • Inconspicuously floating over the bottom-right corner of a video, a watermark logo provides viewers with instant recognition of the program's source, even as it builds further brand awareness. We'll show you how you can grace your videos with an interactive watermark that brands your content and drives traffic to your Web site.

  • Creative Commons Licensing for Digital Media  (StreamingMedia.com October 2003) [Creative Commons rich media license/verification page example]
    • Isn't the phrase "copyright restrictions" a misnomer? Restricting the use of a work is just one side of what copyright law can do for those who create and distribute content. After all, most of us create in the hope that our work will be seen, quoted, and talked about - as well as purchased. The Creative Commons (CC) project gives content creators a rich toolset for applying carefully-crafted copyright protections to their work. Read on to learn whether CC can help you, and how to tag your audio and video projects with a CC license.

  • Hinting for Quicktime and MPEG4  (StreamingMedia.com October 2003)
    • Quicktime and MPEG4 files must be “hinted” before they can be streamed.  We'll take a look at what hinting is and why you have to do it (and when you don't).

  • Microsoft Opens Windows Media 9 Codec to SMPTE  (StreamingMedia.com September 2003)
    • Microsoft recently submitted its WM9 codec to SMPTE for consideration as an official standard. Is it bold move or desperate measure in an effort to make Windows Media the standard for video compression in consumer electronics and broadcasting equipment?

  • Streaming Media Metafiles: When And How To Use Them   (StreamingMedia.com August 2003)
    • Streaming metafiles - .ram files, .asx files and Quicktime Reference Movies - can be both a hassle and a powerful feature of streaming media systems. We’ll explore why you need them, when you don’t, and how they can do more for you than you may think.

  • Streaming Media Metafiles Part Two: ASX Files  (StreamingMedia.com August 2003)
    • Streaming metafiles give you control over the presentation and delivery of your streaming media content. In this article, we continue our look at the basics of metafiles with an overview of the Windows Media ASX format.

  • Streaming Media Metafiles Part Three: Quicktime  (StreamingMedia.com August 2003)
    • QuickTime offers a variety of ways to connect your users with your streaming media content. This tutorial looks at three text-based metafile formats for streaming QuickTime movies.

  • Streaming vs. Downloading: Understanding the Differences   (Streamingmedia.comJuly 2003)
    • One of the most frequently asked questions about delivering online video is "What's the difference between streaming video and downloading video?" Let's face it, as a user clicking a video link on a web page, you often won't know which method you're using, unless you poke around a little. But streaming and downloading are distinct methods of delivery, each with its own benefits and limitations. We'll take a look at the difference between the two methods, and make some suggestions about when you should choose one or the other for your projects.

  • Detecting Streaming Media Players and Client Connection Speed -- (source code and examples) (Streamingmedia.com February 2003)
    • In this slimmed-down version of last-year's article, we get right to the heart of how to create the code that will let you determine which players your users have installed, and what bandwidth they have available on their Internet connection to stream your content.


  • RealOne Enterprise Deployment White Paper (RealNetworks.com June 2002)
    • The RealONE player has an Enterprise version designed especially for corporate streaming media deployments. See how the RealONE Desktop Manager gives you unprecedented power to effectively manage your enterprise media deployment and provide your users with the very best streaming media experience.


  • Layouts in SMIL -- (Source code and examples) (Streamingmedia.com April 2001)
    • The visual layout of your streaming media presentations can be controlled by the SMIL language, or with RealPlayer and your browser, by HTML. Learn basic layout structures and how to use HTML with SMIL to control the layout of complex integrated designs that include HTML and elements of dynamic content.

  • Using RealSystems' Event Streams -- (Source code and examples) (Streamingmedia.com May 2001)
    • You can tie other kinds of web content to the timeline of your streaming video presentation, which allows you to create complex and personalized experiences for your viewers. This article will teach you several ways, including one "secret" undocumented way using SMIL, to add events to your streaming media. You'll also learn how to use callback handlers to insert complex data into your media stream.

  • Corporate Streaming with RealSystem iQ (Print version (600kB pdf file) - Streaming Media Magazine July/August 2001)
    • If you're planning to deploy an enterprise streaming media system, and hope to keep your CEO smiling and staff headaches to a minimum, RealSystem iQ might be the solution you've been looking for. We'll take you through building a distributed video server infrastructure step-by-step.

  • Encoding with Scripts (Streamingmedia.com August 2001)
    • Take advantage of the command-line capabilities of the major video encoders. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to set up scripts to achieve a more scalable and efficient encoding process.

  • Detecting Streaming Media Players and Client Connection Speed -- (source code and examples) (Streamingmedia.com October/November 2001)
    • Serving your users well starts with knowing their player capabilities. In this three-part series, you'll learn how to detect your users' media players and internet connection speed, let them choose their preferred player, and honor their player choice.


  • SMIL Synchronized Multimedia Tutorial   (WebTechniques September 1998)
    • With the introduction of Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL, pronounced smile), Web multimedia creators have a new tool set for building time-based, streaming multimedia presentations that combine audio, video, images, and text. This tutorial article and demo will show you how to create compelling streaming multimedia content using SMIL.

  • Dynamic Metafiles - Streaming Media Management and Personalization (WebTechniques December 1999)
    • Part of the power of streaming media over traditional broadcast media is the ability to provide the "killer feature" that the web is so uniquely able to provide -- personalized, direct access to the exact content the user is searching for, on-demand. With a basic content management system, you can let your users search your video database, play the clips that they find, bookmark interesting video segments, and save clips in personal collections or playlists. This article describes how to build a streaming video management system using server-side Java and JSP. Learn how to manage your RealServer, Quicktime Streaming Server, or other streaming media system content while giving your users new ways to use streaming media.