A software decoder for MPEG-l video was integrated into a continuous media playback system that supports synchronized playing of audio and video data stored on a file server. The MPEG-1 video playback system supports forward and backward play at variable speeds and random positioning. Sending and receiving side heuristics are described that adapt to frame drops due to network load and the available decoding capacity of the client workstation.
A series of experiments show that the playback system adds a small overhead to the stand alone software decoder and that playback is smooth when all frames or very few frames can be decoded. Between these extremes, the system behaves reasonably but can still be improved.