After a publishing point has been created and configured,
clients can connect to the publishing point and stream content. A
client locates the content by using the URL of the publishing
point, which a client can acquire by using one of the following
Direct connection. A client program, such as Windows
Media Player, can connect to a unicast publishing point directly by
using the URL of the publishing point. For example, in Windows
Media Player, a user can type the URL in the Open URL dialog box. A
URL consists of the protocol type, server or domain name, and
publishing point name. If the publishing point sources a directory
of files, you can also specify a particular file name. For example,
the URL mms://my_server/my_pub_pt/my_file.wmv streams the file
My_File.wmv in the publishing point My_Pub_Pt on the server
My_Server using either the MMS protocol or a protocol
that was selected by the server using protocol rollover logic. For
more information on protocol rollover, see How protocol rollover works.
If are using an embedded Player in a Web page, you
specify the publishing point URL as the source for the Windows
Media Player ActiveX® control. For more information about using the
Windows Media Player ActiveX control, see the Windows Media Player
SDK at the Microsoft Web site. For more information
about publishing point URLs, see Client URL reference.
Announcement file. A client can connect to the URL of a
publishing point by opening an announcement file, which is a
Windows Media metafile with an .asx file name extension.
Announcement files are most often used to provide access to
streaming media content from a Web page link. When the user clicks
the link, the browser downloads and reads the announcement file.
Then the browser opens the Player and accesses the URL.
Announcement files should be used instead of direct links in Web
pages, because many browsers cannot access streaming media content
directly. For more information, see About announcements.
Multicast information file. A client can connect to a
multicast stream by reading a multicast information file. Because a
client does not connect directly to a server to receive a multicast
broadcast, multicast information files are used to provide clients
with all the necessary connection and stream information, also
known as header information. Often an announcement file is used to
distribute the multicast information file. For example, a Web page
link can point to an announcement, which contains the URL of the
multicast information file. For more information, see About multicast information
When a publishing point is started, you should test the stream
to make sure your configuration is working as expected. For more
information, see Testing a
Multicast streaming and the WMS Multicast Data
Writer plug-in are available only if Windows Media Services 9
Series is running on the following editions of the operating
system: Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition and Windows Server
2003, Datacenter Edition. If you are running Windows Server 2003,
Standard Edition, these features are not supported.