Academic Computing (Netcast's parent) makes use of a wide variety of computers to accomplish its goals of servicing the academic community of USF. Windows dominates the PC market, and Apple has a strong presence in most schools, so support for those platforms has been readily available.
Linux, traditionally used as workstations in scientific and programming fields (or as a network server), has recently become more popular as an alternative operating system for home computers, and is gaining ground fast with the technically-savvy.
We like Tux the Penguin around here, and are constantly working on solutions to make our sites more friendly to him. So, with that said, we have tested and prepared some instructions on how to get your open-source machine to play our video streams.
Some users of Mac OS X may be surprised to find that they are actually running a refined version of UNIX, the OS that Linus Torvalds used as a model for Linux. If it can be done for UNIX, it can be done for Linux.
NSC Multicast Files
There is one issue that will remain unresolved, however: You would normally not be able to view live broadcast streams in multicast mode from this site. This is because of the fact that Windows Media Server encrypts the header file (the NSC File) that synchronizes your player to a live multicast.
For the time being, provisions have been installed into the live feed pages that will allow you to view under multicast. Users will get automatic playback inside the web page. Windows users will get a mixed stream that attempts multicast first, then drops down toe unicast. Linux and Apple users will get unicast only, to prevent the player from throwing an error. Unicast works 99.9% of the time for all users, but places a tremendous load on the server, which can result in choppy video and possible service drop-out. It is because of this that we will limit the number of Unicast connections to the server.
Now that the high-tech stuff is aside, let's run through the steps we have used to get Windows Media to play nicely with our little penguin.
This series of steps was created for the user who is still new to Linux - Seasoned Linux users will recognize the commands and may have alternate methods for accomplishing the same ends.