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Media on demand

It is tempting to think of unifying the interactive multimedia applications that this book has mostly been about, with the multimedia system that is the World Wide Web. However, the paradigms of use and protocols are very very different. The Web is very much a browser's paradise, whilst the applications we have been concentrating on are much more active. This is shown by the design of user interfaces to a large degree, and attempts to force conferencing applications into the straight-jacket of a web browser, whilst very tempting, are mis-guided.

An important aspect of the web that makes it scalable is that (like DNS) it is largely a ``read only'' database. This means that while it might be tempting to think of it as a repository for media, for the type of interactive systems we are interested in here, it may not be so suitable.

In this chapter, we present the components of a more suitable system for media recording and playback on demand.