Akamai today said it would provide adaptive bit-rate streaming to deliver video content from web sites to the Apple iPhone 3G and devices running the iPhone OS 3.0 operating system. Basically, using adaptive bit-rate streaming means folks can watch streaming video on their iPhones or iPod Touches with fewer stops and starts. Adaptive streaming adjusts the video content to a lower or higher bit rate, depending on how robust the web connection is. Akamai offers a similar service for Microsoft’s Silverlight for video on PCs. Adobe Flash and Move Networks also offer adaptive bit-rate streaming, although Adobe uses a proprietary method that requires special servers.
Apple and Akamai are bringing the service to the mobile world, which will be great for dealing with the many variances in mobile data connections, and will provide for smoother video delivery over dodgy networks. Videos can run in the Safari browser, so they don’t even require a special app that AT&T, the carrier that provides service for the iPhone in the U.S., might try to block. For more details on this, check out the awesome story Liz did about HTTP video on the iPhone or her in-depth look at adaptive bit-rate streaming over at our subscription site, GigaOM Pro. For pretty video streaming, check out Apple and Akamai’s show-and-tell site.