by August 1, 2000 0 comments

NetWare 5.1–the latest NetWare upgrade–has a component
called Multimedia Server. This adds multimedia-streaming capabilities to your
NetWare server, and you can use it to stream RM (RealMedia), MP3, and WAV files.
You can thus use your server as a jukebox from where clients can play songs,
stream multimedia tutorial files, or store and display audio/video presentations
over your network. Here, we’ll explain how to have a multimedia server up and
running.

Configuring the server

When you install NetWare 5.1 afresh, the multimedia server
comes up as an option. You can add it here, or later after everything’s set
up. For this, you’ll need your NetWare 5.1 installation CD. Adding new
components in NetWare has become easier with the new GUI front-end. Choose
Install from the Start menu bar, and a list of all uninstalled components pops
up. Now, you just need to click any component you want to set up.

When you choose Multimedia Server, another component–the
NetWare Web Manager–also gets selected. This is a Web-based administration
utility for several NetWare 5.1 components, which lets you administer these
components using a Web browser.

After the multimedia server is installed, go to the server
console and type "media" to start the service. If you have
insufficient resources on your server, such as a slow processor, or less memory,
you can give the command "protect media". This loads the server in
limited memory space, which also limits its functionality.

The multimedia server is now ready for some action.

By default, all files you want to stream over your network are placed in the
SYS:\PUBLIC\MEDIACONTENT directory. If you’d like to change this location,
open the Media.cfg file in the SYS:\ETC directory. You can also limit the number
of clients who can use this service to any number between 1 and 50. After making
changes in this file, you have to unload (use the command "umedia" to
unload the server) and load the multimedia server for the changes to take
effect. Copy

all files you want to stream into this directory.

The client

You need RealPlayer G2, version 6 or above, to use the
multimedia server. The player is freely downloadable from www.real.com. To play
MP3 and WAV files, you need to install DirectShow 6.x. The streaming takes place
using a protocol called RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol), which is meant to
stream multimedia over IP networks.

To open a file using RealPlayer, choose Open Location, and
type the following:

 

rtsp://server_name/filename

 

Here, server_name is the name or IP address of your NetWare
server and filename is the name of the file you want to play. One drawback here
is that you have to know the name of the file you want streamed–RealPlayer
doesn’t give you a list of files to choose from. If you go to file location
and double click on one, it won’t be streamed through RTSP. So, you have to
type the name of the file in RealPlayer.

One way out is to create playlists. To do this, create a text
file containing all the files you want to play as follows:

rtsp://server_name/FILE1.MP3

rtsp://server_name/FILE2.WAV

rtsp://server_name/FILE10.RM

Save this file with any extension and it will work. You can
create multiple playlists like this.

It takes about five seconds to start streaming a file that
you select. When you play a WAV or MP3 file for the first time, RealPlayer will
automatically prompt you to download a 68 kB plug-in, without which it won’t
play the file.

Happy listening.

Sachin Makhija and Sanjay Majumdar

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