Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Vocab lesson: Streaming Media

Streaming media ("streaming," I stream, you stream, we all scream for streaming), is when media is transferred continuously; a more technical definition is when data is "received as it is delivered." The affect is similar to watching something live, and is often considered an alternative to downloading media. In theory, this should cut down on buffering, but not always.

A more jargon-laded, and complete explanation, from Webopedia:
For streaming to work, the client side receiving the data must be able to collect the data and send it as a steady stream to the application that is processing the data and converting it to sound or pictures. This means that if the streaming client receives the data more quickly than required, it needs to save the excess data in a buffer. If the data doesn't come quickly enough, however, the presentation of the data will not be smooth.
Some examples of this are:
  • Watching videos on Youtube
  • Listening to NPR, live, on an app on your iPhone or your web browser
  • Watching Netflix on your computer or television
  • Watching a presentation online
(Skype is also sort of streaming.)

Additional Sources:What is streaming (streaming media)?, Webopedia

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