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Hinting For Quicktime And MPEG4

For example, hinting is an extra step that you have to do to a QuickTime movie before you can deliver it using true streaming (see Streaming vs. Downloading Video: Understanding The Differences). Let’s take a look at what hinting does and why QuickTime needs it while other streaming formats do not.

Separating media content from its delivery method
Streaming media is a real time operation – a precise number of bits delivered on a precise timeline. Streaming media servers like the Darwin Streaming Server and Helix Universal server (two popular ways to stream QuickTime) are designed to understand the structure and bitrates of the media files they deliver and send out the bits in a carefully controlled flow.

If you’re working with RealVideo or Windows Media files, these files are already structured specifically for streaming. The server can read the data rate and some information about how the file should be broken into network packets right from the video file itself. Of course, if you introduce a new codec or video format, the server usually will need to be updated with a plugin so that it knows how to read the new type.

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