Thanks for the mail David, very informative.. Really were looking at
some way to convert the real stream on the fly, back to my mission in
life then :-)

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT)
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT)] On Behalf Of David
Sent: 25 November 2003 11:10
To: SlimDevices Discussion
Subject: [OT] [slim] UK Radio 4

[everything I say here is already public knowledge]

On Fri, Nov 21, 2003 at 07:39:51PM +0000, Oscar Marsh wrote:
> See the most recent posting on this page, from January of this year,
> for the reason why the BBC are staying with RealAudio:
> "...until we get more staff, we won't be able to dedicate any time

> getting the [ogg-based] streams up."

Between August and October of last year, BBC Internet Services lost half
its staff, most of whom quit or moved elsewhere in the BBC because they
could not stomach working with the new mismanagement. I was one of
them, although not involved in the ogg trials myself.

I believe that some of the engineers involved are now working on oggish
things in BBC R&D - an entirely seperate group - but Internet Services
are *still* having trouble recruiting staff so I don't expect to see
anything appearing in public in the foreseeable future.

> Maybe there is still a team at the BBC committed to getting non-real
> streams going, with the right amount of cash.

There are several hurdles to overcome:

rights management: the BBC does not have full rights to all its
programme output, and while it may have rights to stream stuff in Real
Audio (and it doesn't always have that), streaming some programmes in
ogg may need contract changes. It's a pretty damned low priority for
the people in programme commissioning who can make that happen,
especially for changes to existing contracts. Additionally, Real Audio
(and Windows Media, which they also do) have DRM stuff, which Ogg
doesn't. Some rights owners - eg the IOC - require this, and
additionally impose other restrictions like "you can only stream to
people in countries X Y and Z". Getting stuff like that sorted out is
more important than supporting the three weirdoes in the whole world
who want ogg ;-)

archive: they have a metric shitload of content already in Real format.
Replacing Real with Ogg just ain't gonna happen, so ...

running in parallel: is necessary, but requires more staff effort. It
doesn't matter how good your automation is (and it's very good indeed),
things *will* go wrong, and there will always be weird edge-cases which
need manual intervention.

hardware: is expensive. BBC Internet Services operates on a VERY
limited budget. Encoding the same audio stream in different ways
requires hardware investment which, given that Real is "good enough"
will be a low priority.

> But this is weird,
> because I remember reading in NTK that the open source-loving, .ogg
> using, geeky-type streaming group at the BBC internet department were
> moved out of their offices to make way for the RealMedia-based web
> streaming team a while ago during a bout of streamlining measures.

That's not quite right. Internet Services was doing lots and lots and
lots of Real stuff, plus some Windows Media, plus Ogg. Then, someone
had the wonderful idea of buying Intel's Streaming Media Services group,
for no good reason that I can see. [chokes back bile and vitriol-filled
rant] We were to be merged with them, and so both groups were moved to a
shiny new facility (well, it was new anyway, so they got it half right).
Needless to say, it didn't work quite as manglement expected.

> You can write to oggfeedback (AT) bbc (DOT) if you'd like to see some
> development in providing a less proprietary method of receiving BBC
> content online- I don't know if that address is still manned by a
> human, but I'm sure it'll be redirected to someone important.

I'm loathe to hand out email addresses in a public forum, but if you
contact me off-list I can point you at one of the relevant people,
although given all the above, I don't think anything you say will do
anything more than give the engineers a nice warm "someone loves me"
feeling :-)

David Cantrell | Reprobate |

It requires zero configuration once you're configured properly
-- pudge, talking about Rendezvous (zeroconf) in Jagwyre