Streaming Media enables real-time or on-demand access to audio, video, and multimedia content via the Internet or an intranet. Streaming media is transmitted by a specialized media server Application, and is processed and played back by a client player application, as it is received, leaving behind no residual copy of the content on the receiving device.
It is a technique for transferring data so that it can be processed as a steady and continuous stream. Streaming technologies are becoming increasingly important with the growth of the Internet because most users do not have fast enough access to download large multimedia files quickly. With streaming, the client browser or plug - in can start displaying the data before the entire file has been transmitted.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.
Streaming media adds engaging motion and sound to the Web experience, increasing site stickiness, interactivity, and retention. Streaming allows timely, dynamic content to be seen by a larger, even global audience, helping to cost-effectively disseminate information, to address new markets, and to bring your corporate culture closer to far-reaching constituencies. Streaming in its truest form, can help to protect video content from being “pirated” and misused. Streaming media is no longer merely a promise. Streaming is here today. This Primer won't tell you everything about this rapidly emerging technology, but it will give you an overview of the opportunities and the pitfalls, the costs, and the basics. If you are a complete beginner, you'll find out how easy it can be to edit, encode, and integrate streaming video into your own Web site. And, if you are already creating video productions, this Primer will introduce you to the state-of-the-art streaming media technologies you can use to extend your content to the Web, and to confi dently share your productions online.
Data streaming commonly seen in forms of audio and video streaming, is when a multimedia File can be played back without being completely downloaded first. However certain audio and video file like real audio and quick time documents can be streaming files, meaning u can watch a video or listen to a sound file while its being downloaded to your computer
Major streaming video and streaming media technologies include Real System G2 from Real Network, Microsoft Windows Media Technologies and VDO. Microsoft's approach uses the standard MPEG compression algorithm for video. The other approaches use proprietary algorithms. Microsoft's technology offers streaming audio at up to 96 Kbps and streaming video at up to 8 Mbps However, for most Web users, the streaming video will be limited to the data rates of the connection (for example, up to 128 Kbps with an ISDN connection).