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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Stand on a bridge before the cavern of night / Darkness alive with possibility / Nose to this wind full of twinkling lights / Trying to catch the scent of what's coming to be (in this...)
— Bruce Cockburn, World of Wonders
October 12, 2004
CBC’s new streaming format

The CBC, in their infinite wisdom, has changed their choice of streaming media formats.

In 1996 I purchased a RealMedia server and was - I think - the second customer in Canada for Real; the first was CBC. While Real’s format was revolutionary at the time, it also required expensive dedicated servers to provide reasonable throughput. An HTTP streaming option was available for those who didn’t need much capacity, but this was never widely used or announced.

Ditching Real was a good thing, but why would CBC choose Microsoft’s Windows Media Player?

The CBC has essentially switched from one expensive proprietary technology to another: why not switch to streaming MP3 files?

The Windows Media files offer reasonable quality - certainly better and more reliable than the old Real format - so much so that I often listen to it instead of the crappy AM signal that we get here in Vancouver for CBC Radio One (why it’s still on AM is an issue for another day.) Streaming MP3 would have eliminated the requirement for a proprietary server technology and allowed me to listen using whatever technology I choose, instead of being dependent on Windows Media Player.

What’s going to happen when Microsoft stops making Windows Media Player for the Mac. It will happen one day, and CBC will be facing the same dilemma again.

So I’m begging the CBC to move to open source technologies; our world will be a better place for it, and our tax dollars won’t be going to Redmond, Washington.

Posted by skooter at 8:49 AM This entry is filed under Technology.

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