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Video streaming via VB app

Posted on 2007-08-01
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One of my clients has the following scenario:

He wants to set up his classes on video so that the students can view them online (not live, just the recorded video and it may be just as a user on his network rather than on an actual web site).  I have a VB app that will allow you to watch videos on Windows Media Player.  He also wants to restrict the usage to one viewing per student, which can easily be controlled by my app.  Students will get a password when they sign up for the course and they then have 6 months to watch the videos.

How do we make this work with a remote workstation where the student dials in, logs into the system and then watches the video?  My biggest concern is that the video is going to a remote desktop that is essentially a dumb terminal.  What do we need to require of the users ion order to make this work?
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Question by:gburditt
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sakuya_su earned 1336 total points
ID: 19614714
the very first thing that came to my mind is the Licensing mechanism that come with WMV format files.. I always find them nasty as they track how many times something has been viewed, and can also stop play back. a search on DRM would show you how to go about that..

But the down side to that is it does cost you money, i think its like a monthly license fee or something.

Now, without making your own Muxers and decoders, there is not alot of things you can do to stop it.. I mean if you are just streaming video, someone could easily just save that right off, and without things like DRM, you can play that back anytime you want.

This should explain to you in a more structured way:
http://all-streaming-media.com/streaming-media-faq/faq-protect-streaming-video.htm
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by:sakuya_su
sakuya_su earned 1336 total points
ID: 19614736
Now one thing I can think of, is downloading the entire file, then ask for a exclusive File Lock on that file so nothing else will be able to access it at all apart from your own process, then play it back within your application (with a embeded player, etc). Then once its completed playing, delete the file, remove the lock.

Now I do not know how a File Lock is done on Visual Basic, but in C++ you can create one by doing:

fh=open("FILENAME", O_WRONLY | O_CREAT | O_EXCL);

//You need the old <io.h> header
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by:cool12399
cool12399 earned 664 total points
ID: 21754073
Well, technically speaking a very skilled student can get the video no matter what, for later viewing (including simply looking at cache files, etc).

But to prevent the 'average' user, its an easy solution. Use a webbrowser control to navigate to a 'hidden' website/webpage on the guys website, and on the guys website end, simply track how many times the video has been downloaded. If it has been downloaded more than once, simply print a message that says 'sorry bud, you've already seen this video!'. And of course if you want, you can clean up the cache yourself once the software exits, etc.
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