Part 1 of… ?
Lots of people find that they need to stream a little video at one time or another. It’s a part of the whole Web 2.0 thing of user-created content. Unfortunately, all of the free services come burdened with advertising, some of which may directly conflict with the information the person is trying to convey (i.e. A beer company pre-rolling before a prohibitionist church service’s stream). On the other side, many of the pay services are prohibitively expensive when one wants to broadcast something for a few minutes or a couple of hours now and then.
I personally found myself in this very situation. I had a need for a roughly 1-hour broadcast on a weekly basis to a few people. I didn’t want to deal with ads, and even the cheapest pay services were ridiculously high monthly rates (I should qualify this – If one were to stream a LOT, the pay services are quite reasonable from a per-minute-of-streaming standpoint). I was also having a rough time getting and staying connected with our solution of choice at the time, which caused me to look even harder.
What to do?
After some research, I learned about Adobe’s Flash Media Live Encoder and Flash Media Streaming Server. Both of which just happened to be free to use for the number of people who would be involved. The “Development Server” license allows for up to 10 RTMP clients, which is more than enough. This series will also explore RTMFP, which is the next step, and also allows up to 50 clients in the “Development Server” license.
Knowing that, I had to figure out a way to host it. I had played around with Amazon’s EC2 previously (because I’m a huge nerd and that type of stuff is entertaining for me, deal with it), and investigated if it was feasible. Sure enough, it wasn’t just feasible, it was relatively easy and inexpensive to do, provided one knows what they’re doing.
That’s why this article is here. I’ve come up with a solution, and I’ve been using it for a while. Now it’s time to share that information with the rest of the world.