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Light Up the Web: Microsoft Silverlight Streaming by Windows Live : Page 2

Microsoft Silverlight Streaming offers free and inexpensive hosting services that make exposing your video and audio content as easy as pie.


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Silverlight Streaming
Microsoft has a software and service strategy and this is where the Silverlight Streaming by Windows Live service comes in to play; developers can deploy their Silverlight applications and rich media "in the cloud," leveraging Microsoft's high performance, high availability content distribution network.

While the product is in pre-release, storage and delivery is free up to 4 GB of content, with outbound streaming speeds up to 700 Kbps. After release, developers will have continued use of the service with up to 1 million minutes of free video streaming at 700 Kpbs per site per month. That should be more than enough for testing or small applications. Those who need more can get unlimited streaming for free by accepting advertising or, for a nominal fee, without advertising.

To get started, sign up for a free Silverlight streaming account. You will need a Windows Live ID. If you don't have one, you can create a new Windows Live ID for free.

Uploading Content
Your content resides on Microsoft's Windows Live servers, so you need to move your Hello World sample to the Silverlight Streaming Service.

First create a simple manifest.xml file that describes the constituent parts of your Silverlight Streaming application:

<SilverlightApp> <version>1.0</version> <source>Hello.xaml</source> </SilverlightApp>

For this simple example, you no longer need the default.html or JavaScript files. You just need to create a Hello.zip file that contains manifest.xml and Hello.xaml.

Make sure that your manifest file appears in the top-level root of the zip file—zipping the parent directory is a common error and will not work!
On Windows, select all the files (using multiple select), right-click and select Send To Compressed (zipped) folder. You can use any of the popular ZIP-format compression programs, but you need to make sure that the manifest file appears in the top-level root of the zip file—zipping the parent directory is a common error and will not work!

Log in to Silverlight Streaming at http://silverlight.live.com using your Windows Live ID and click Manage Applications. Select Upload a Silverlight Application, specify a name (Hello) and browse for your Hello.zip file. Click Upload (see Figure 2). Silverlight Streaming uploads your file.

 
Figure 2. Uploading Content: Uploading your application to Silverlight Streaming is simple: just upload a zip file containing the content and a manifest.
 
Figure 3. Sample HTML and JavaScript: After you upload your application, the site creates test links and sample code automatically.
 
Figure 4. Testing Uploaded Content: Click the Launch Application Test Page to run your application.
Depending on your connection speed and the size of the content, uploading may take a while. If all goes well, you will see a page that allows you to test your application. You will also be given sample HTML and JavaScript that you can cut and paste into your own web site to run the application (see Figure 3).

To test your application, click the Launch Application Test Page link (see Figure 4).

You can also provide a link so others can run your application in an IFRAME. The URL to run your application will look similar to this:

 
Figure 5. Running In an IFRAME: You can let other web pages invoke your application from within an IFRAME. The application runs using an obfuscated URL.

http://silverlight.services.live.com/ invoke/accountId/appName/iframe.html

In the preceding URL, accountId is your Silverlight Streaming numeric account identifier and appName is the name of your application (in this case, it would be Hello). You can find out your accountId by clicking the Manage Account link. The IFRAME invoker redirects the IFRAME to an obfuscated URL as shown in Figure 5.

That's a quick overview of how to get a hosted Silverlight application running, but what happened to the rich multimedia? One of the easiest ways to get started with Silverlight video and audio is by using Expression Encoder.



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