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What kind of server is used by sites like Pandora or Last.fm to serve media files?

I am assuming they would have something other than webserver for storing and serving media files... what are some of the scalable solutions..

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 27 '10 at 23:21

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I just got a Tomcat error page while browsing on last.fm :D –  Gumbo Jul 27 '10 at 22:40
You cannot serve files over the web without a webserver. –  Byron Whitlock Jul 27 '10 at 22:44

3 Answers 3

The most obvious is VideoLan. Cross platform, and free (not just a video player, there's a server here too!): http://www.videolan.org/

Although I've never looked at firefly, but it looks like it may well be a cross platform solution: http://www.fireflymediaserver.org/

while umedia's software is aimed more at the video market, I'm sure it can do MP3 streaming too: http://www.umediaserver.net/

There's a whole list of available alternatives that I hope will satisfy your needs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_streaming_media_systems

have fun!

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No clue what those specific sites use but the two standard solutions have been a streaming server such as Flash Media Server which uses RTMP or a psuedo-streaming server which uses HTTP with LightTPD or Apache. A streaming server allows you to securely serve media files without local cache. It also allows built in seeking. Pseudo-streaming allows clients to locally cache files which provides a longer term buffer. You have to build in the seeking yourself.

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Pandora uses Apache:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2010 22:51:22 GMT
Server: Apache
Content-Length: 1750551
Cache-Control: no-cache, no-store, must-revalidate, max-age=-1
Pragma: no-cache, no-store
Expires: -1
Connection: close
Content-Type: application/octet-stream
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