Netscape to beta test streaming server

Netscape is beginning a private beta test of a streaming server, according to a company official.

Netscape is beginning a private beta test of a streaming server, according to a company official.

The server, code-named "Salmon", will be beta tested by major entertainment companies that already use Netscape's Web servers, says Michael Po, director of Live Media at Netscape. He was speaking during the Talking Net show here this week. The client, code-named "Trout", will be a plug-in for the Navigator browser.

The server will stream audio and synchronised multimedia over the Internet, Po says. Along with it, Netscape has developed a proxy server to transmit User Datagram Protocol (UDP) traffic. Since it transmits data uninterrupted, UDP is well suited for streaming audio, according to Po.

Eventually, Po says, Netscape will add Secure Sockets Layer encryption to the server. Netscape will test security enhancements on the streaming server before implementing them in real-time services, Po says. "The reason we're doing it with the streaming server first instead of real-time is because this adds latency," Po says. "The best area to do it is in applications where latency doesn't mean anything."

Progressive Networks, makers of RealAudio streaming audio server and browser plug-in, will use Netscape's protocol formats so Netscape clients can connect to RealAudio servers, Po says. The companies will also share codecs, he says.

Netscape does not view the streaming server as competing with Progressive Networks, a Netscape partner, Po says. But, he says, "there's a certain amount of base functionality you need to add to make this a real collaborative platform."

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