Measuring the Reliability and Quality of Website Media
As our world moves more and more into the digital realm, the need for enhanced forms of content becomes ever important. Modern Internet users demand not only easy-to-digest written content, but also visual content in the form of streaming media. In fact, all industries are feeling the influence of streaming media within their enterprises. While streaming media, in the form of video, audio or images, is an essential component to attract and retain visitors, it’s the performance and stability of this content that’s truly important, says the website WebHostingBuddy.com.
Website Monitoring for Streaming Content
The notion of using monitoring software to safeguard the stability and functionality of a website is nothing new. In fact, many websites that host streaming content currently utilize a performance monitoring solution in some fashion. While older monitoring solutions may not provide the necessary features and capabilities of monitoring streaming content (source), the latest releases of the most popular monitoring solutions are capable of isolating media and monitoring it for performance and functionality.
If you’re interested in applying this level of protection and monitoring of your enterprise, there are several features you must ensure your monitoring solution provides, which include:
- Variety of Supports Streams – Because the type of media used in websites can greatly vary, it’s imperative a monitoring solution be capable of monitoring the most popular multicast streams, such as: Quick Time, MPEG Files, Internet Radio, Windows Media, Real Audio and a Stock Market Ticker.
- Continuous Monitoring – Some monitoring solutions only check streaming media files periodically throughout the day. While somewhat effective, for maximum control over your media stability, it’s imperative that your monitoring solution be capable of providing continuous monitoring of high value streams, such as imported video or audio files.
- Variety of Detection Capabilities – Streaming media files are some of the most dynamic forms of visual content a website can host. Because of this, there are several unique detection capabilities a monitoring software must include. Necessary levels of detection include:
- Black Screen or Static Video
- Dead-Air or Loss of Audio
- Missing media streams (audio and video)
- Data packet loss
- Changes in bandwidth usage
- Automatic Alerts – Much like any other monitoring element, the alert options within a streaming media monitoring solution is imperative for its overall effectiveness. Because of this, it’s imperative that your monitoring solution provides automatic alerts should bandwidth usage dip or rises above its pre-set thresholds (baseline). Make sure that the monitoring tool is able to send alerts via a variety of platforms. For example, email alerts for non-critical errors or SMS/Phone alerts for critical errors (such as a complete loss of media). Another vital alarm feature is repeated alarms should an alert go unattended to for longer than 15 to 20 minutes. This is imperative for critical errors or issues.