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nomadph

[web] Youtube-like website

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anyone here knows what is needed (server hardware) for this? what are some ways to save on bandwidth? (i know you need a lot of diskspace/bandwidth...anyone know exact hardware, line, etc. needed?) thanks.

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First of all, this probably belongs in the Web Development forum (don't repost it; if the moderators feel that it should be in that forum, they will move it). Secondly, since YouTube (and Google Video, for that matter) already exist, why make another one?

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You mean a site that can handle the traffic of Youtube or Google Video? You're talking about lots and lots and lots and lots of money.

I've was curious about their infrastructure at one point, and someone on some forum said that youtube is running on several hundred large servers with gbps connectivity, in several geographically strategic locations. I think the same people mentioned a $1M+/month figure for bandwidth alone.

Take it for what it's worth.

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anyone knows the setup/servers/bandwidth of such a site?

i know there are existing ones out there already...i'm not creating one...i'm looking at how they manage to do it and how to make it save bandwidth...

thanks.

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Quote:
Original post by nomadph
i see, caching...how does one go about caching videos? where is it cached?

thanks!


If there's any caching going on then it's with proxy servers. That doesn't lower the bandwidth though, it just spreads the load.

As for servers/bandwidth: Just do a calculation. x visitors times y video's per visitor times z Mb per video + 10% (site overhead) = guesstimate of bandwith. Do the same for hard drive space. If you do the video-to-flash transcoding on a different server then it doesn't need to be extremely fast. You will need tons of RAM though.

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Streaming flash could be smaller if your videos are actually just simple animations. Otherwise, you probably want H.264 compressed video, which currently seems to be the best all-around low-bitrate codec (and an open standard to boot, unlike Windows Media Video)

Regarding the server set-up, chances are it looks like any other co-location facility:


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Quote:
Original post by nomadph
i see, caching...how does one go about caching videos? where is it cached?

thanks!
You should probably read up on the HTTP specification. Caching is done at the transport layer, which in this case is HTTP 1.0 / 1.1

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by nomadph
hi, does the caching in the transport layer cache video data also or just the HTML pages? thanks!


Everything that is marked as cacheable. However this only works if the same file is downloaded again from a different computer on same subnetwork and it only saves money for the viewer's company. Youtube doesn't do much cacheing, just blits every file to the network with fast connections and big servers. The video quality reduction is done to conserve bandwith, storage space and allows users on slower links to view the content. They use a very simple but effective solution: static video files with a database generated html frontend and a clever player that handles the controls, saves the video to disk for easy rewind, starts showing it while it's being downloaded and asks for the ads shown after the videos. You can't seek by seeking on the server without downloading and there is no continue download support.

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Quote:
Original post by nomadph
ok thanks to all who've replied.

what would your suggestion(s) be on saving bandwidth for such an endeavour?

thanks. :)


Just recompress the videos on the server, and use streaming so that the users needn't download the whole files if they don't watch the whole files. There's not much more you can do.

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i see. do you guys know any tool that would allow real-time conversion of video while it is being uploaded?

(ie, while user is uploading a video file, it is being converted to flash .flv file format).

preferably free/open-source.

thanks!

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You will need to do the video processing after the upload. What your asking for is fairly specific, so if you can't find anything on Google then you are probably out of luck. Macromedia/Adobe's server software is is Flash Media Servers http://www.adobe.com/products/flashmediaserver/ but it doesnt appear to do encoding. The have a service called Flash Video Streaming Service, which handles encoding and delivery http://www.adobe.com/products/flashcom/fvss/.

You don't have to necessarily use Flash. The people who created DivX have an ActiveX plugin. Take a look at http://www.stage6.com/. I'm sure you could easily create a script that encodes videos to DivX.

Edit: The fact is that if you are worried about bandwidth costs then you probably can't afford it. I don't know of any video site that is breaking even, let alone making a profit. Like someone said above, YouTube is burning through a million dollars a month. If you have a killer idea then you are looking at a similar situation before you can consider make a profit.

It would be possible with the help of some venture capital, but video services are a dime a dozen these days. Think seriously of what is required your end. What would you do if you do start raking in traffic? Could you handle it? Perhaps you need to rethink the exact solution you are after. Lots of sites act as aggregators. Take a look at http://www.videosift.com. Something like that would cost almost nothing to set up and run.

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Use ffmpeg on a server you have shell access to. See this thread of mine. Works great. Note that you should either pay for an mp3 encoding license or find a server in a place where the mp3 patent (or software patents in general) are invalid.

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