Rich Persaud noticed my frustration with link-addressable AV content and has adapted his RPXP tool for through-the-web use. So for example, this URL links to the five-minute RealVideo clip from BloggerCon that I quoted back in October.
Cool! Of course, these are still treacherous waters. For example, success with that previous URL varies according to platform (Windows, Mac) and browser (Mozilla, IE, Safari). Additional complications arise because QuickTime and Real want to fight over the SMIL mime-type.
Here's more pain. I thought I'd illustrate the Windows media feature by clipping from the Don Box / Chris Anderson XAML Christmas special on MSDNTV. To do that, I need the URL of the stream. Good luck digging it out of MSDNTV's page, though. I persevered and found it by inspecting HTTP headers, so already 99.9% of the population gets left behind. Then I used Rich's service to form this URL which I hoped would clip thirty seconds from the stream. But no, the stream URL buried in this presentation isn't an mms://...asf, but rather an http://...asx, which I'll bet Rich's service could handle but currently seems not to.
Note too that since the line between streaming and progressive downloading has become quite blurry of late, it's possible to confuse yourself and others. For example, having once watched the Windows Media video that Graham Glass mentioned on his weblog today, I can use this link to clip just thirty seconds, from two minutes in, which is probably as much of Sony's dancing robots as a person can handle first thing in the morning. But although that clip appears to work for me, it's only because the requested clip is cached. It won't work for you until the movie is also cached on your side.
Coincidentally, I had a conversation with Macromedia yesterday about the just-announced Flash video streaming service, which embeds the Flash Communication Server in a content distribution network. The current pitch seems geared toward using video for brand marketing (see the new gallery), but painless hassle-free AV would certainly also be a huge enabler for the more spontaneous kinds of citation and collaboration that I've been trying to achieve.
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2003/12/19.html#a872