Streaming is the continuous transmission of compressed video data and audio files in the form of a data stream over the Internet. In streaming, the data is transmitted in batches using the store-and-forward method. This means that they do not arrive at the user as a continuous file, but are briefly stored in buffers. The data stream is displayed as a continuous motion sequence. Both live streaming and later time-delayed downloads of the content are possible.
A software installed on the computer, the player, decompresses the data stream, whereby the player is usually integrated in the browser. A data file is transmitted from the browser to the user. This file starts the media player on the user's computer and tells it on which server the video sequence is located. The player then begins to retrieve the video streamer via the UDP protocol.
The speed and also the quality of the data essentially depend on the available bandwidth. To ensure continuous viewing, the Internet access must meet certain minimum data transfer rate requirements, which are directly related to the transmission requirements and quality.
There are different file formats for audio streaming and video streaming. The most popular are MP3, RealAudio, DivX, Quicktime and Windows Media Audio(WMA). Streaming media data is usually controlled using the Realtime Streaming Protocol( RTSP), and data is transported using the Realtime Transport Protocol( RTP). The transmission can be monitored with the RTP protocol. In streaming, a distinction is made between realtime streaming or live streaming, in which the user receives the streaming content simultaneously with its creation, as in the case of live concerts or press conferences, intelligent streaming, in which the streaming data stream is adapted to the bandwidth of the end-user access, and video streaming, the transmission of video sequences using streaming technology.
The possible uses of streaming media range from entertainment, such as live broadcasting of concerts, events, talks, music, etc. via Internet radio, to online advertising, news and sporting events, to Internet television( IPTV), video conferencing and web conferencing.