Mingzhe Li, Mark Claypool, Robert Kinicki and James Nichols
Despite the growth in multimedia, there have been few studies that focus on characterizing streaming audio and video stored on the Web. This investigation used a customized Web crawler to traverse 17 million Web pages from diverse geographic locations and identify nearly 30,000 streaming audio and video clips available for analysis. Using custom-built extraction tools, these streaming media objects were analyzed to determine attributes such as media type, encoding format, playout duration, bitrate, resolution, and codec. The streaming media content encountered is dominated by proprietary audio and video formats with the top four commercial products being RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, MP3 and QuickTime. The distribution of the stored playout durations of streaming audio and video clips are long-tailed. More than half of the streaming media clips encountered are video, encoded primarily for broadband connections and at resolutions considerably smaller than the resolutions of typical monitors.