Darwin Streaming Server: Lessons Learned

I spent a couple of days messing around with Darwin Streaming Server, the open source port of Apple’s Quicktime Streaming Server. Here’s what I learned from my poking and prodding of Darwin installed on a Redhat Linux box:

  1. Darwin streams over port 7070 by default. There’s an option to have it stream over :80, but since Apache also uses :80 to serve web pages the two servers will conflict if you’re planning on running them on the same box.
  2. Darwin will stream .mov and .mp4 files, but the movies must be hinted. I’m not sure how one goes about hinting an .mp4 file; I assume you can add such hints via Final Cut Pro.
  3. Darwin will not stream individual MP3s, but it will stream MP3s as part of a playlist. The Quicktime Streaming Server under Mac OS Server may appear to stream individual files, but in reality it just pretends to do that by by creating playlists for each individual file. You could do the same with DSS, but it’s cumbersome via the web interface; it’s likely something you’d want to script. On a related note, there is “muse” add-on for Icecast (another open source streaming server) but it has the same playlist limitation; there’s no streaming of individual files outside of a play list.
  4. There’s no upload interface for DSS; everything needs to be copied to the server via scp or ftp. The easiest way around this limitation would be to write an upload script to get the files to the server, and then either manually add the uploaded files to a playlist through the admin interface, or further extend the script to create the lists upon upload.
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