The Register had an article (http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/1/11322.html) detailing an Apple/Realnetworks collaboration. While the cooperation of two of Microsoft's rivals is not that noteworthy, I was impressed by the idea put forth in the tagline for the story: "But streaming media still needs its Apache".
This set me thinking. Most geeks would not dispute that at the server end, the availability of gratis and libre applications have driven the growth of the internet. (the client end is whole different kettle of fish). Streaming media has, imho been slow to take off compared to the internet as a whole. Could this be because of a lack of a free streaming media server and tools? (discounting icecast...).
If a set of good, free tools for encoding real, quicktime or asf were available, I'd imagine that a lot more people would start producing A/V content.
The register mentioned MPEG4 in it's story. This standard will hopefully be open and freely available. Maybe great(er) things are ahead for streaming media?