Streaming AAC test results.

The streaming AAC tests had several aims:

  1. See how easy it would be to get Ambisonic playback directly out of a web page.
  2. Determine the quality of the AAC compression
  3. See how well Amazon S3 (network file serving service) could stream files
  4. See how expensive Amazon S3 would be.

The test has generally been very positive.

  1. Many people reported very good results, although a few people had problems installing Quicktime 7 (in firefox)
  2. AAC compression quality had only positive comments
  3. Amazon S3 had _no_ problems streaming the files

Over the period of around 1 month, there were

  • 520 listens.
  • 43 MB of data was stored at Amazon S3, which cost me a total of USD 0.01
  • 1.625 GB of data transferred cost me USD 0.30

Storing the complete contents of Ambisonia.com as AAC (lets say 3GB) on Amazon’s servers would cost me around USD 0.30 per month,  not very much at all.

But the cost of streaming will be considerably more significant… Ofcourse, I have no real way of knowing how many streams there will be. One issue is that if people get used to streaming from the browser, then everytime they want to listen to the piece, they would have to come back to the browser, and I’d be paying each time. Perhaps that is good for advertising.

Lets say each piece gets listened to once a day … that would represent a total transfer of 90GB per month, which would cost USD16.20 per month. That’swould actually add up quickly, and be a bit of a weight on me (including the cost of the machine, the ISP, etc.).

Currently I am making around USD10 /month in Google advertising.  So Google advertising will not cover the streaming costs. It is possible, however, that since people will be visiting pages more often, there will be an increase in Google advertising revenue. I’d hazard a bet that I will be able to come close to covering the cost of the streaming.

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