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Blasts From the Past: A Decade (Almost) of StreamingMedia.com Headlines

Think HD streaming is a relatively recent phenomenon? Think again; it was first attempted in 1999. That was just one of the reminders that everything old is new again that we stumbled across while searching the StreamingMedia.com archives. As part of our 10th anniversary celebration, we wanted to take a look back at the events that have brought us to where we are today. Sadly, the archives from 1998 are no longer available, but we found plenty of news items from 1999 to 2008 that should give industry veterans cause for satisfaction—so many of the dreams they began pursuing almost 10 years ago have come true.

Sure, there were missteps, and the dearth of content from 2002 is a reminder of just how quickly things can turn sour in an emerging industry. For the most part, though, the headlines and story excerpts that follow will seem familiar even to those who weren’t there. So take a look at how far we’ve come—and how ahead of their time some of the early pioneers were. (Authors of bylined articles are indicated at the end of each item; apologies to any authors whose work appears uncredited here—it was also uncredited in the original posting.)—Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen

Feb. 23.
Viacom to Establish New Internet Division

The creators of Nickelodeon, MTV, and VH1—leading kids and music brands around the world—today announced plans to build the ultimate online destinations for kids and music fans. MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom, Inc., will create two new online destinations. With the working title "Project Nozzle," Nickelodeon will create the web’s first kids-only online service, including a registered community, and, with the working title "The Buggles Project," MTV and VH1 will create the ultimate online music destination featuring customizable entertainment, information, community services, and ecommerce.

March 2
Porsche Launches Online Interactive Learning for Dealers

Porsche Cars North America, Inc. recently launched an interactive website that ties all of its dealers together via the internet. The endeavor is designed to improve communication with dealers and thereby provide better service to Porsche’s customers. Complete with a reference library, video collection, chat rooms, and links with Porsche engineers, the website replaces all of the company’s print and video training and reference materials.

April 22
Broadcast.com and I3S Team to Offer High-Speed Delivery of Streaming Media Content to I3S’s BroadbandNow! Subscribers

Broadcast.com and I3S, Inc. today announced an agreement which allows for the delivery of selected Broadcast.com video programming to I3S’s BroadbandNow! customers. I3S’s BroadbandNow! offers high-speed internet services and multimedia content to apartment communities nationwide. "Working with broadband providers such as I3S allows us to continue to scale our network by adding additional distribution channels for our broadband content," said Mark Cuban, president and chairman of Broadcast.com.

April 20
Windows Media Technologies 4.0

Microsoft announced the release of its updated streaming media platform called Windows Media Technologies 4.0 at the spring Internet World show in Los Angeles. The system was unleashed with Microsoft’s usual media blitz at the House of Blues, featuring musician Mick Fleetwood. Microsoft also had the support of more than 60 hardware, software, and content providers. The main thrust of the release, however, was the unveiling of its new audio compression codec, called MS Audio 4.0. This advanced codec can deliver FM-quality audio at speeds of 20Kbps and can compress files better than the popular MP3 codec. Even more important, Microsoft addressed the problem of piracy, building a back-end digital rights management system, something MP3 currently doesn’t have. —José Alvear

May 25
Macromedia Director to Support Streaming MP3 and QuickTime 4

Macromedia, Inc. today announced that Director 7, the standard for creating and delivering powerful multimedia, has been updated with additional standards support and stability improvements. The enhanced Director 7.02 features superb sound with streaming MP3 and DirectSound support, QuickTime 4 video streaming, enhanced font embedding, and new support for Macromedia Flash 4 that provides developers with increased programmatic control to deliver better interactivity for end users.

July 21
Apple Introduces QuickTime TV

Apple introduced QuickTime TV (QTV), a high-quality network for web-based video and audio. QTV will use Akamai Technologies’ streaming media delivery service to deliver content from leading providers using Apple’s QuickTime Streaming Server software. Content providers on the QTV network include ABC News, Disney, ESPN, The Knitting Factory, RollingStone.com, VH1, and Virgin Radio. They join existing content from BBC WORLD, Bloomberg, FOX News Online, FOX Sports Online, HBO, NPR, WGBH Boston, and The Weather Channel.

Sept. 7
Sonic Foundry Releases Stream Anywhere

Sonic Foundry, Inc., a developer and marketer of media authoring tools for the Windows platform, announced the release of Stream Anywhere, its all-in-one media authoring tool for converting audio and video for web streaming applications. Stream Anywhere allows web developers to prepare audio, video, and synchronized metadata for distribution over the internet.

Sept. 13
Sam Donaldson to Host Live, Internet-Only News Show on ABCNEWS.com

As part of a new multiyear deal with ABC News, Sam Donaldson will anchor a live, internet-only, video news program called "SamDonaldson@ABCNEWS.com" that will air three times a week on ABCNEWS.com. Says Mr. Donaldson, "I’m looking forward to getting out in the country and reporting on the issues that are important to our audience and interesting to me, but I’m probably most excited by this new program with ABCNEWS.com."

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