Google and Youtube seems to have miscalculated the needs of Indian cricket fans. The IPL channel at YouTube failed the viewers. It might have failed to service the viewers duo technical problems.
When I tried to watch the game, all I could see was a blue screen which talks about technical problems. May be I was one among the 8 lakh viewers expected to watch the game over the Internet and got the bluescreen of youtube death
Even now what I see is the bluescreen and not the highlights or the match videos.
The problem seems to have been one of sheer scale. It takes months for highly popular videos to get a million hits in youtube. IPL, on the other hand, was at 0.9 million simultaneous viewers, leading to ‘break off’ problems for a large number of users. Some, however, continued to watch the transmission uninterrupted.
An update through Google Buzz by Varun Singh indicates that Youtube is serving the videos from a single IP Address. We might need to see how the Google is going to scale up the infrastructure and systems to support the user needs in the coming days.
Update: The analysis byVarun Singh about the way YouTube delivers the IPL Video extracted from his Google Buzz
Session setup is over HTTP, but parsing through the wireshark traces, I have to go through a lot of trash… dropbox, wakoopa, tweetdeck, and chrome extensions… aargh… I switched most of them off…but this maybe a bit tedious.
Transport is clearly TCP, I was wondering if it was P2P or something smart, however all the RTMP packets (carrying Audio and perhaps also Video ) come from one source, 184.108.40.206 (http://whatismyipaddress.com/staticpages/index.php/lookup-results) which shows akamai, I maybe wrong with the analysis but lets go ahead.
RTMP has 3 parts… Audio, Video and PING. Perhaps ping is to check latency etc. tooltip on the youtube shows a constant value of 500kbps bitrate and a variable 5 digit bandwidth param (will have to see if these values are sent back or some how calculated)
Audio is simple, its fixed packet, 1024 bits, wireshark helps in this as it can parse this header. header is 4 bytes contains id and TS.
Video is complicated, wireshark too messes with this… maybe will use PCAP instead or tcp dump. i have some initial data, now that the stream is down or unavailable I will have to do the hacking tomorrow. probably even setup something.
If someone has some insight, drop me a note… now I am off to drink beer and have fun… large scale IP based live video deployments can wait for tomorrow. (:)