If you have VPS and you want to stream audio files or video files — either .mp4 or .flv — you’ll need to set up a streaming server. An audio or video streaming server delivers media files to anyone who wants to see them on the Internet. Streaming is different from the process known as “progressive downloading” because with streaming, a person viewing your site can skip ahead to any part of a file right away, without having to wait for the entire file to download. (With streaming, there’s no buffering, and we all know how buffering can get on a lot of people’s nerves.) Streaming servers also keep your files safe and secure, and they don’t use up too much bandwidth, either.
If you want to set up and audio or video streaming server on your VPS, all you have to do is buy and install server software. There are many brands of this software available, but among the leading options are Adobe Flash Media, Apple DSS and Wowza. It can be expensive to buy this software outright–a thousand dollars isn’t uncommon–but if you run a small business you will most likely find that you more than make your money back in terms of attracting new customers through exciting media content. And with a VPS streaming server you’re able to control all aspects of this content, which isn’t the case with, say, a shared hosting plan.
Let’s use Adobe FMS as an example. To install this software on your VPS, simply download what’s called a “development license,” a document which will offer you step-by-step instructions through the entire setup process. Thus, the setup is fast and easy. And once you have your audio/video streaming server set up, all you have to do is take the audio or video files that you already have and save them in the application folder. By the way, you’ll need to encode all your media files. Browsers tend to want to download media files, and not stream those files, unless you have created what are known as “metafiles” for them.
Another option for a streaming server is to rent a VPS account from someone who has already set up such a server on that account. This person will have paid the full amount for that streaming server, which means this VPS account is sure to be more expensive than a VPS account normally would be.