Building

Streaming Media

This section is under development (final review stage).

Putting videos on the Web is becoming more and more popular. With faster Internet connections, people are able to stream video over the Internet without any delays. As a developer, you should be aware of two of the ways to view video on the Web: download and play or streaming.

Download and play

The first approach to retrieving video media onto your personal computer is by downloading it off a web site. It requires that the user has enough space on their hard disk to store the entire media file on their computer. Another than that, you simply download the file from a link and play it using most media players ( Windows Media Player or QuickTime ).

The advantage of download-and-play is that the quality is pre-determined. Changes in line speed may delay the download but they won't cause fluctuations in frame rate, audio drop-out, etc.

Streaming

The second approach to receiving video from the web is by streaming it directly from the Net. You simply click on a link and an application program on your hard disk will begin loading the file from the remote web site. Shortly after the download begins the video will start running. It will continue downloading the video, while streaming the media on your video player.

The advantage of streaming is that you view the video while it downloads. There is no wait time for the file to be completely downloaded. This is a big advantage, especially with videos that would take hours to download entirely.

However, there are disadvantages of streaming video. One of which is that its quality will depend entirely of your data transmission channel. The streaming application will typically decrease the quality of the video, dropping as many frames as it has to in order to keep the media playing.

http://www.mds.calpoly.edu/mds_videoservices/encoding_streaming.htm