The internet is a wildly different place now than it was 20 years ago, but if there’s one thing that’s still the same, it’s the frustration that comes with seeing the word “Buffering” pop up during video playback. Content Delivery Network Akamai, one of the companies that helps deliver content from all kinds of services to our homes, is hoping to make that go away with their new Media Acceleration service.
No one entity has control over the internet (for now), and that means that when you go to download or stream something, there are a whole bunch of ways that connection can fail. Netflix, Akamai, your ISP, any backbone providers that might be in there – they can all contribute to a poor experience or a slow download.
Akamai’s Media Acceleration hopes to compensate for that. Vimeo has been testing the service since December and has seen an “marked increase” in playback according to Vimeo’s engineering VP Naren Venktaraman. The service promises to optimize data delivery to keep streaming rolling along smoothly.
Huge game downloads will improve, too
Akamai says this isn’t relegated just to video, either. Game companies like Microsoft and Sony can use it to speed up those gigantic game downloads we’re having to get used to. Akamai even thinks the service could reduce overall network congestion once adoption of the service reaches critical mass.
Those of us on the viewing end don’t have to do anything. Those companies have to integrate the service into their apps and browser environments, and we’ll see the benefits. If you live in a remote part of the mountains and get your internet over a satellite connection, this might not fix the base problem, but everyday users should see less hitching and slowdown in downloads if it works as promised. Those big companies will likely be quick to adopt the service, as it will make for happier customers.