Apple have announced that they will be live streaming their video of the September media event across the web. This exciting news has somewhat been dulled however by the fact that the stream appears to be only viewable on OS X 10.6 or an iOS device, such as the iPad, Touch and iPhone.
The reason for this is due to Apple using a new streaming technology called HTTP Live Streaming which was introduced with Apple’s Snow Leopard Quicktime X and iOS 3.0. This protocol has been proposed as a new standard, however Apple are one of a handful of companies who have adopted it. This means that the video looks to be currently limited to the devices mentioned above.
While many people will be saying it is an intentional move by Apple, the technology actually does offer benefits because there are no router and firewall issues as the stream is transfered over standard HTTP protocols.
If you are desperate to watch the Keynote and are using a PC, there is some help at hand, in the shape of VLC Player. The HTTP Live stream protocol is based on very standard technologies, provided within an MPEG2 playlist (m3u file) that is added to as the stream plays. These standard playlists will load in VLC for both Macintosh and Windows.
You simply copy this link http://devimages.apple.com/iphone/samples/bipbop/gear1/prog_index.m3u8 into the open source/network URL link within VLC player. The only downside to this methodology is that VLC player won’t know that more of the stream will be continually updated so you will have to manually reload the playlist to get new segments. It’s not a great workaround but it should work.