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Monday, 18 January 2010 13:14

Windows Media streams at LCA: Pfeiffer to the rescue

Live streaming of sessions from the 11th Australian national Linux conference was organised today for the first time in the event's history, but it almost turned out to be an embarrassment.

The organisers had delegated the work to an external source and the streaming was done in Windows Media format - a proprietary format.

However, the organisers were spared the embarrassment of having the video stream of a free software conference broadcast in a proprietary format due to some quick thinking on the part of Silvia Pfeiffer , a senior member of the Sydney Linux User Group.

According to a blog post by Pfeiffer, though the company that was given the work is an open source outfit, most of its customers use Flash or Windows media software. Hence the streaming is done in the proprietary Windows Media format.

Pfeiffer, who organised the Foundations of Open Media Software workshop in Wellington in the week before the conference, got the assistance of a few people from the group and arranged for transcoding of the video from a proprietary format to the open Ogg Theora/Vorbis format.

"It involved setting up Icecast streams for each room's video stream. Since there is no access to the raw video stream, there is a need to transcode the video from proprietary codecs to the open Ogg Theora/Vorbis format," Pfeiffer wrote.

All the video streams can now be viewed on this page during the conference hours.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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