Archiving a live broadcast

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2

Before you can archive content, you must enable an archive data writer plug-in on the broadcast publishing point. After the plug-in is enabled, you can either start archiving manually or you can configure the archive data writer plug-in to begin archiving content automatically when the publishing point starts. In either case, archiving stops when the publishing point stops.

A new archive file is created each time you start archiving. If the content source for a publishing point is a playlist, each media element in the playlist is archived to a unique file. If you create a broadcast publishing point by using the Add Publishing Point Wizard, you are given the option of creating an archive of the broadcast, which enables the WMS Archive Data Writer plug-in with the default settings.

If you enable a wrapper playlist for a broadcast publishing point and then enable the WMS Archive plug-in for that publishing point, the files referenced by the wrapper playlist are not included in the archive file. However, if you distribute the stream to a remote publishing point and enable the WMS Archive plug-in on the remote publishing point, the files referenced by the wrapper playlist on the original publishing point are archived.

Content is archived in the same manner that it is streamed to a client. In other words, when you play archived content, it will play back the same way it did for the client during the original broadcast.

If you want to create more than one archive of your broadcast, you can enable additional archive data writer plug-ins. Ensure that you have sufficient storage space on the drive on which you are saving your archive files. The WMS Archive Data Writer plug-in will stop archiving and post a warning message to the troubleshooting list if there is less than 60 megabytes (MB) of free disk space in the archive location. After the required free disk space is available, you can manually restart the plug-in. If the content is a server-side playlist, the archive file created for the current playlist element will be closed. When the required free disk space is available, the archive plug-in will begin archiving the next item in the playlist.

Windows Media Services includes the WMS Archive Data Writer plug-in. You can also create a custom archive data writer plug-in by using the Windows Media Services SDK.

By default, archive files created by Windows Media Services are indexed when the archive is stopped. However, if the broadcast is extremely long, the file will not be indexed. Windows Media Services has the following file indexing limits:

  • Single stream. If the broadcast consists of a single stream, Windows Media Services will only create an index if the broadcast is less than 146 hours (approximately 6 days).

  • Multiple streams. If Windows Media Services is broadcasting a multiple-bit-rate (MBR) stream, each stream consumes a portion of the broadcast time. For example, a MBR stream that supports three different bit rates consumes 72 hours of broadcast time each day. If a broadcast contains multiple streams, Windows Media Services will only create an index if the total duration of the broadcast is less 218 hours (approximately 9 days). In the previous three stream example, Windows Media Services would create an index only if the content is less than 72 hours (3 days) in length.

To archive content

  1. In the console tree, click the broadcast publishing point for which you want to archive content.

  2. Click the Properties tab.

  3. In Category, click Archiving.

  4. If you have not already done so, configure and enable the WMS Archive Data Writer plug-in.

  5. To start archiving manually, in the details pane, click the Source tab, and then click the Start archiving button.


The server does not use your user account to access folders and other resources; it uses the Network Service account by default. If you are saving files to a location other than %systemdrive%\WMPub and its subdirectories, make sure that the Network Service account has read and write permissions for the folder. If the Network Service account does not have permissions for a folder, the server will not be able to save files to it. For more information about rights and permissions, see About rights.
The WMS Archive Data Writer plug-in cannot be enabled or disabled while the publishing point is streaming content. If you want to archive your broadcast, you must enable the archiving plug-in before you start your publishing point.

See Also


About Play While Archiving