I am actually doing a university project based on this subject. My goal is to build a website that will help users (such as yourself) find out all they need to know to implement quality streaming media solutions. I'm in the early stages but if you (or any one else) is interested I would be grateful of your input.
At the moment though I can recommend a couple of great books
This one by David Austerberry - I've also noticed that there's an update to this edition:
Im new to streaming video and I need to know where to start.
First off what programs should I use to make my movies small and yet keep their quality as good as possible?
Secont, how do I stream? Whats the best file format?
Third, where can I learn everything there is to know about streaming from a server (tecnical stuff)?
I suggest you look for the VideoLAN VLC media player. It can stream video and also compress in diferent format your media. Also you should check out Macromedia Breeze so you can see how cool streaming video can be for online aplications.