Why Vital Stream?

Talking to a fellow contractor out in Cali, and he asked if there is any major benefit to Vital Stream. I, like many Flasher’s I’m sure, heard the press release but didn’t really bat much of an eye. I guess because we really didn’t see how it was applicable to what we do in our day to day work. Not all of us, sure, but most I would think.

This was my first real reading of what it really “is” and through my reading, I somewhat quantified the why’s and hopefully some of the hows in my response. If I’m wrong or misguided, please clarify. My response below:


I’d sum it up in one sentence as “Simplified and affordable Flash video deployment.”

Typically, peeps in the pR0n industry will setup boxes at backbone hubs which are insanely fast, and have a plethora of bandwidth. Since they are physically right next to it, it’s cheap too. Since everyone doesn’t have such a luxury, you have to setup your site by renting one of these beasts. My guess that’s the first thing it accomplishes; Macromedia has a benchmark a vendor/ISP has to meet in order to “be on board as a provider”.

Secondly, Flashcom administration is a royal pain in the ass. At least 40% of all questions on the Flashcom list over a year have been dealing with admin issues; from “why is the server choking a 2gig p4, 2gig RAM, RAID-array box?” or “How can I see what the user’s bandwidth is to charge them?” Stuff like that. My guess is, from Macromedia’s experience with Breeze, and using Flashcom in house to build their own product, they saw a need to make it easy for companies to deploy. So, they’ve probably updated their backend for ease of administration.

Thirdly, Real & Quicktime have being doing this forever. They have proprietary, insanely expensive hardware/software solutions that do effectively the same thing and are advertised as “optimized for streaming Real video”. There is a market for companies who wish to deploy a LOT of video, both external and internal. Since Flash is so ubiquitious, it’s only a natural step. Superbowl.com and other sites who experience tons of video downloads/streaming I’m sure use systems like that.

Finally, it’s merely furthering the Flash Player’s ubiquity. Since a lot of Macromedia’s business model is based around the Flash Player, this only furthers it’s spread now that servers are “optimized to deliver content for it”. People go, wow, let’s deploy some Flash.. hey, anyone know a Flash developer to build this shiot?” So, it’s good all around, bad for competitors, hehe.

…it’s cool because it’s not just for computers, but for where the heck the Flash player goes; computer, PDA, laptop, Phone, set-top-box, etc.

So, yeah, I think it’s got major benefit, but not mainly to small time developers, more so to companines that have video streaming needs that far exceed that average Joe. Both short term and long term.

4 Replies to “Why Vital Stream?”

  1. I checked out the VitalStream website,
    sux a bit they don’t even tell you the price of the service,
    3 packs offered but no price, will they decide, as they say in French “? la t?te du client”, that is, on a per-request basis how much they charge..? :-(

  2. I think the gent I was talking to out in Cali was asking more along the lines of, “Will this benefit my clients? Is this worth my time to investigate its abilities?”

    There are certain things that Macromedia has done that aren’t. The Firefly components of the past, for example, were such a “thing” that I didn’t have to do much but read blogs vs. download myself and play. However, they didn’t do anything for me, because at the time I was using Remoting, thus, they meant little to my client(s) at the time.

    That kind of thing, not does it have value. Yeah, the event itself has intrinsic value, but how does it apply to “me”.

  3. The good thing about Vital Stream is that they have geographically dispursed servers. This doesnt mean much in serving web pages, because people will wait for a webpage to stream in. There isn’t a noticable difference. The reason that Real and others do it, and no MM is doing it with outside vendors is the same reason… performance. If you are closer to a server your stream is going to be faster. This means a lot when you are expecting to see streamed video. Another good point, is like web serving, you don’t have to admin your own box. Someone else deals with the headaches and you get a # to call and harass them.

    The thing about Vital stream, if I remember my reading correctly, it isn’t necessarily affordable unless you have bank.

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