Quantcast
"The scores are relatively low because Web surfers are used to flipping on the TV or listening to audio CDs. By setting a very high bar, it gives the industry something to drive forward to."
—Matt Parks, Keynote Systems

STREAMING MEDIA STILL SUCKS, STUDY SAYS

While Improvements Have Been Made, No One Is Confusing Their Computer For A TV Just Yet
A new study confirms what anyone who streams porn…er…that is, multimedia entertainment on the Web already knows: video and audio downloads Web suck.

Keynote Systems, an Internet consultant group, measured the quality of live audio and video streaming at 20 popular Web sites. According to Reuters, the company found that the sites averaged a 1.87 score—sadly on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 represented near-DVD, broadcast quality.

The top broadcaster in the study was MTV Interactive, with a 3.46 out of 10. Other high-rated sites were Barnesandnoble.com for audio e-commerce, Philadelphia's WUSL-FM 99 for broadcast radio and CNBC.com for financial audio.

Keynote admits the scale is slightly stacked against Webcasters, as the highest score possible was around a 6.0, roughly the same quality as a home video. But streaming video clips generally don't fill up much more than one-quarter of a computer screen and frequently pause and start again under their own power.

"That annoys the hell out of people," said Keynote's Matt Parks. "The scores are relatively low because Web surfers are used to flipping on the TV or listening to audio CDs. By setting a very high bar, it gives the industry something to drive forward to."

While Internet service providers are busily laying fiber-optic cable, most industry experts expect widespread use of broadband connections by 2004. But what is holding back the quality isn't just the lack of broadband. Bottlenecks also occur at the server end or somewhere along the pipeline.

But Keynote stated that, even considering those facts, the Web's responsiveness had improved over the last couple years: where a single page from an average American Web site formerly took around seven seconds to download, now it took only about three seconds.

But any porn fan could have told you that.

BIG RED'S BIG THREE
How's this for a power trio? (10/26a)
HITS LIST, FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Grammy-themed, just like our latest print magazine. (10/26a)
NEAR TRUTHS: ROLLING IN
THE STREAMS
Audiences embrace Adele regardless of the platform. (10/26a)
KAREN KWAK TO LEAD
WARNER A&R
Aaron's latest hire. (10/26a)
ON THE COVER:
OLIVIA RODRIGO
Can you hear the Grammy buzz? (10/26a)
ADELE ADELE ADELE
Adele; Adele Adele?
ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE
A... dele?
ADELE ADELE
Adele Adele; Adele.
ADELE ADELE ADELE ADELE
(Adele.)
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)