XDMA (Xing Distributed Media Architecture) is a network architecture for multicast streaming media transmissions. Streaming media enables live viewing of a transmission as compared to processes that require that files be completely transferred to the user's computer before their data can be viewed. Unlike prior network architectures, XDMA enables low-cost multiple access. In general, multimedia network architectures have required point-to-point connections and complex server programming, which made the multicasting of streaming media impractical, if not impossible.
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XDMA was developed by Xing Technology, producers of the first MPEG software encoders and decoders. Xing was purchased by RealNetworks in 1999; the Seattle-based company's RealPlayer Plus and Microsoft's Windows Media Player are the two leading players of streaming media. The XDMA architecture supports live, on-demand multimedia transmission to multiple users over local area networks (LANs) or wide area networks (WANs) - such as the Internet - without requiring the use of file system applications such as Novell's NetWare or Sun Microsystem's Network File System (NFS). Because it is built on international standards such as TCP/IP and MPEG, XDMA is easily integrated into existing infrastructures.