Browse Definitions:
Definition

streaming media

Streaming media is video or audio content sent in compressed form over the Internet and played immediately, rather than being saved to the hard drive..

With streaming media, a user does not have to wait to download a file to play it. Because the media is sent in a continuous stream of data it can play as it arrives. Users can pause, rewind or fast-forward, just as they could with a downloaded file, unless the content is being streamed live.

Here are some advantages of streaming media:

  • Makes it possible for users to take advantage of interactive applications like video search and personalized playlists.
  • Allows content deliverers to monitor what visitors are watching and how long they are watching it.
  • Provides an efficient use of bandwidth because only the part of the file that's being transferred is the part that’s being watched.
  • Provides the content creator with more control over his intellectual property because the video file is not stored on the viewer's computer. Once the video data is played, it is discarded by the media player.

Media is usually streamed from prerecorded files but can also be distributed as part of a live broadcast feed. In a live broadcast, the video signal is converted into a compressed digital signal and transmitted from a Web server as multicast, sending a single file to multiple users at the same time.

Streaming media is transmitted by a server application and received and displayed in real-time by a client application called a media player. A media player can be either an integral part of a browser, a plug-in, a separate program, or a dedicated device, such as an iPod. Frequently, video files come with embedded players. YouTube videos, for example, run in embedded Flash players.

Streaming media technologies have improved significantly since the 1990s, when delivery was typically uneven. However, the quality of streamed content is still dependent upon the user's connection speed.

See also: destreaming, progressive download

 

Learn More About IT:
> Wikipedia has more information in its entry for streaming media.
> HowStuffWorks explains streaming audio and video.
> David Jacobs wrote this tip on managing streaming protocols on your network.

This was last updated in April 2009

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

Nice article about streaming media and well written. Check out our list of streaming media players for more info. Elite-Lists.com
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)

    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a Congressionally-established nonprofit that assesses audits of public ...

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

SearchSecurity

  • application whitelisting

    Application whitelisting is the practice of identifying applications that have been deemed safe for execution and restricting all...

  • security

    Security, in information technology (IT), is the defense of digital information and IT assets against internal and external, ...

  • insider threat

    An insider threat is a malicious hacker (also called a cracker or a black hat) who is an employee or officer of a business, ...

SearchHealthIT

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare)

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is legislation passed in 2010 that changed how uninsured Americans enroll in and receive healthcare...

  • HIPAA Privacy Rule

    The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule, establishes ...

  • HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA)

    Under the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, a HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA) is a ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • data recovery

    Data recovery restores data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible. Learn how data recovery ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A company's disaster recovery policy is enhanced with a documented DR plan that formulates strategies, and outlines preparation ...

  • fault-tolerant

    Systems with integrated fault tolerance are designed to withstand multiple hardware failures to ensure continuous availability.

SearchStorage

  • data deduplication

    Deduplication retains one unique data instance to reduce storage and bandwidth consumed by remote backups, replication and ...

  • byte

    In most computer systems, a byte is a unit of data that is eight binary digits long. Bytes are often used to represent a ...

  • Secure Digital card (SD card)

    SD cards use flash memory to provide nonvolatile storage. They are more rugged than traditional storage media and are used in ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • flash file system

    Flash file systems are designed specifically for memory devices. A well-designed flash device and flash file system ensure ...

  • IOPS (input/output operations per second)

    IOPS measures the maximum number of reads and writes to non-contiguous storage. It is not an actual benchmark since vendor ...

  • eMMC (embedded MultiMediaCard)

    An embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) is a small storage device made up of NAND flash memory and a simple storage controller.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close