By mike
7 March 2012

The media player is the client device that actually initiates the contact with the server requesting activation of the web radio transmission.  A media player is a standard feature of current operating systems, whether it is a Windows Media Player, or a QuickTime player for MAC Users.  Despite the advantage that Microsoft gains with this ubiquitous delivery of their media player, competing media players have established a significant presence in the marketplace, and we will consider several of the available media players.
Since my original publication in 2004, there has been significant developments within the media player framework, expanding the utility well beyond what I analyze here for Web Radio.  It is virtually impossible to separate out the ability to handle video as well through the media player, and in several available video formats.
In addition to the intense integration of video capabilities, there has been a parallel development in mobility through the increased demand for mobility for all media types through the use of iPhones, iPads, Android based  smart phones and tablets, plus additional mobile formats.  This is not new information in 2012, we are all well aware of these developments, and many of us are using these players on our devices every day.
So in an attempt to update the information I provided on the media players, I will address their capabilities to play and stream video, as well as applications to mobile devices, which may extend beyond the requirements of Web Radio, but will be interesting to consider anyway.
This excerpt from a Press release from Real Networks in 2010, gives a good idea of the diversity of the media players currently used in the network.
RealNetworks’ Updated Helix Media Delivery Platform Streams Any Media Type to Any Player and Device

Universal platform supports broadest audience reach to any playback environment including Flash, iPhone, iPad, Silverlight

Seattle (4/14/2010) – Original date of publication.
Downloaded 03/06/2012 from Streaming  An excerpt from this press release follows.   (Bolding to highlight is mine).
To see the complete press release, please refer to Appendix C.
Real’s Helix Platform provides the tools to create, deliver, monitor, monetize, organize and play digital media.  The latest update includes support for Flash, MP4/H.264, Silverlight, Windows Media and QuickTime on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry and Symbian devices, creating a truly universal platform.
“Real’s Helix Platform sets the industry standard, providing consumers with the highest quality digital media experience,” said Kari Kailamaki, vice president for Helix, RealNetworks.  “Our latest update makes Helix Platform the most reliable, universal and cost-effective solution for any media and any playback environment across all devices, including PCs, mobile phones and internet-connected TVs.”

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