Audio and video bitstreams can be very large, and take a long time to download, even on a fairly fast network. Yet users have been conditioned to expect nearly instant access to them on other services. How can we provide these voluminous documents in a way that makes them pleasant to use?
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Flash video callouts
Flash video can apparently act much like HTML, including relative links to external resources such as images and soundfiles. The existing HTML-management code (primary bitstream etc.) might be extensible to cover this situation.
Flash's .flv file format allows for a progressive download of video data, which provides a sometimes acceptable alternative to streaming servers for smaller files.
Wrapper document pointing to a streaming service
I've experimented briefly with storing as one bitstream of a DSpace item a minimal SMIL wrapper which points to the content on a streaming service. Like so:
For preservation purposes, it would be good to deposit a copy of the material in DSpace itself as well. That way you have a "slow" copy associated with metadata, and a "fast" copy that streaming clients can access quickly.
DSpace 1.5 XMLUI and Progressive FLV Video Download
This experiment is described on the DSpace 1.5 XMLUI FLV Video Progressive Download page.