OK – you’ve got it all together. The video is ready to download and play, it’s tested, we’ve watched it, the flash works (or Quicktime or whatever vintage you prefer). We watch customers watch it over and over. Things are going great. Then, someone somewhere tries to download it over the web, and it fails. The refresh button is hit over and over, it continues to fail, and that disappointed person just gives up. Why didn’t it play?
Looking over the logs today provides a window into just how difficult it is to provide 24/7 perfect video streaming to any type of computer anywhere. These problems vex the biggest and smallest vendor because they are based on architectural flaws so fundamental that these occasional failures are impossible to guard against.