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Archiving content

When you use a broadcast publishing point to stream content, you can archive the content to a file. (The archiving feature is not available for on-demand publishing points.) Archiving is useful when you are streaming content that is not already recorded—for example, a stream from an encoder. The content is archived to a file as it streams. The archive file enables you to make the content available for on-demand requests or rebroadcast. You can either wait until the broadcast is over to make the archived content available or you can use the Play While Archiving feature to allow clients to stream the archived content, even as the server continues to archive streaming content to the file.

Before you can archive content, you must enable an archive data writer plug-in on the broadcast publishing point. After the plug-in is enabled, you can either start archiving manually or you can configure the archive data writer plug-in to begin archiving content automatically when the publishing point starts. In either case, archiving stops when the publishing point stops.

A new archive file is created each time you start archiving. If the content source for a publishing point is a playlist, each media element in the playlist is archived to a unique file. If you create a broadcast publishing point by using the Add Publishing Point Wizard, you are given the option of creating an archive of the broadcast, which enables the WMS Archive Data Writer plug-in with the default settings.

If you enable a wrapper playlist for a broadcast publishing point and then enable the WMS Archive plug-in for that publishing point, the files referenced by the wrapper playlist are not included in the archive file. However, if you distribute the stream to a remote publishing point and enable the WMS Archive plug-in on the remote publishing point, the files referenced by the wrapper playlist on the original publishing point are archived.

Content is archived in the same manner that it is streamed to a client. In other words, when you play archived content, it will play back the same way it did for the client during the original broadcast.

If you want to create more than one archive of your broadcast, you can enable additional archive data writer plug-ins. Ensure that you have sufficient storage space on the drive on which you are saving your archive files. The WMS Archive Data Writer plug-in will stop archiving and post a warning message to the troubleshooting list if there is less than 60 megabytes (MB) of free disk space in the archive location. Once the required free disk space is available, you can manually restart the plug-in. If the content is a server-side playlist, the archive file created for the current playlist element will be closed. When the required free disk space is available, the archive plug-in will begin archiving the next item in the playlist.

Windows Media Services includes the WMS Archive Data Writer plug-in. You can also create a custom archive data writer plug-in by using the Windows Media Services SDK, which can be downloaded from the Windows Media SDK Components page at the Microsoft Web site.

By default, archive files created by Windows Media Services are indexed when the archive is stopped. However, if the broadcast is extremely long, the file will not be indexed. Windows Media Services has the following file indexing limits:

Content that is not indexed by Windows Media Services can still be indexed using other indexing tools, such as Windows Media File Editor. Windows Media File Editor is available for download from the Microsoft Web site.

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