CNN NewsPass

UPDATED - 04/07/03 Well hells bells now everything is just fine. That is odd, minor details. Back to watching the videos from the war in Iraq. This service is well woth th $5 a month (or $40 for a year subscriton).
I signed up for the $5 a month CNN NewsPass last month, the 27th to be exact. I have been quite happy with it. I can watch video from CNN, CNN SI, and CNN Money. Today though I am having some issues with the service. Some rather irritating issues. I have only had to sign on once and that was on the 27th. I am going to assume they use a cookie for the web browser and/or the media player (the default being RealOne). It is interesting to note that the CNN RealOne NewsPass is available in Raal Media, Windows Media, AND QuickTime, but I will get to that in a moment. In RealOne player I had to login today, fine, no problem. Once I do and watch ONE video it seems that my session is up. Because if I want to watch another CNN video I am prompted to login again. EVERY SINCE TIME I want to watch another video in RealOne player. Im sorry but I have better things to waste my time doing then signing on 20+ times to watch the new videos today. In RealOne player if you go to the CNN video preferences window and choose Windows Media or QuickTime (my favorite, but that is another article all together) you can Quit the RealOne player (then close the RealOne MessageCenter cuz that pops up when you quit RealOne). The next time you click a video link in the web browser instead of launching RealOne player you get a popup window in your browser. It is my experience that using Windows Media takes forever and a day to load anything, and there is no loading screen of any kind. CNN is running a QuickTime Streaming Server (QTSS) - I can tell because I have a lot of experience running QTSS myself - and the QuickTimes load the fastest and play the best. Windows Media video and audio quality is good. Its a lot better than Rea Media. I just do not understand the long long wait to load the file. I cannot watch with Windows Media or QuickTime right now. It pops up that popup to play the media, then imidiatly loads another page asking me to login. So I do (this is not in RealOne player). The web page tells me I have logged in. So I close this popup and click a link for video. I get the same thing, asking me to login again which I do and it tells me I am logged in sucessfuly. This RealOne player and browser behavior happens the same exact way on Mac OS X and in Windows XP. I dont get it. I emailed CNN we'll see if I get any kind of response. So much for watching the latest video at CNN.com. It is interesting to note that CNN does not use QTSS for the actual live video events on the site. Such as the live view of Baghdad or the live briefings they broadcast. This baffles me since they do offer QuickTime content for all their non live video. I have had the opertunity to work with all 3 servers, QTSS, RM's Server and WM's Server both unicast and multicast. WM is just a bitch to admin IMO. the RM Server is not that bad, it is better than WM. I have had the most experience with QTSS and I prefer it. For the University (BGSU Digital Vidoe & Audio Initiative) I have setup or helped setup live streaming radio stations, (one of which originally was streamed in RM and the quality and dropout was horrid) as well as many other live and non live events. The model for pricing that apple uses is also nice - they dont charge. Both WM and RM files cost money per stream. so QTSS is a much cheaper solution. And for those that will bitch that the cost of Apple hardware is an issue, there is such a thing as Darwin Streaming Server that can be run on an x86 box.

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