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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.
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.
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