Streaming Video/Audio FAQ
What is streaming video or audio?
Streaming video or audio is video (as on television) or sound (as on the radio) delivered over the Internet via a modem or broadband connection.
Why is it called "streaming"?
It's called "streaming" because the sound and picture data flow in a digital stream from a server computer to your computer, ready to hear or view in real time, without having to download all of the content before you can enjoy it. It comes to you in a stream of digital bits... hence the term "streaming."
What kinds of streaming audio or video are there?
here are three main streaming media companies (with their media streams):
All three provide streaming media players for the Mac and Windows platforms. All three also provide "basic" free players and optional "plus" players that offer extra features - at extra cost. The three media player types vary in cross-compatibility.
- Real Networks (with Real Media - Real Audio and Real Video)
- Microsoft (with Windows Media)
- Apple (with QuickTime)
Is it possible to capture streaming video and streaming audio?
You can use special software to capture Windows Media Streams and Real Video/Audio Streams, like
download manager HiDownload.
Is it possible to resume streaming video/audio recording?
Some programs allow you to resume recording (restart recording from where you left off).
For example, you can use HiDownload or WM recorder.
However only seekable streams can be resumed. Continuous (live) streams cannot be resumed.
How to protect streaming video/audio from recording?
You can protect your media content by Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. But screen video capture software and direct audio recording software will allow to record such streams in such cases.
How to make a Recorded ASF File Seekable?
Sometimes the recorded files don't have a seek bar so you cannot Fast Forward or Rewind.
This is usually the case for live streams (Internet TV).
You can use WM recorder
in Seekable mode to save files seekable.
Otherwise, you can use the Reprocess function of the same WM recorder to reprocess the file with the Seekable option enabled. A file with the extension .sek.asf will be created when you reprocess.
Do I have to specify connection speed in my streaming audio/video recording software?
Specifying your connection speed is particularly important when recording for low speed (Dial-Up) connections. Say for example that your connection speed is 56 K and you're downloading a video clip that has two bit rates (speeds) listed in its header (34 Kbps and 227 Kbps). If you specified your connection speed at 56 K than the 34 K version of the video will be downloaded. This version will have a lower video and audio quality than the 227 K version but it downloads faster. If you select 300 K for your connection speed the better quality 227 K version will be downloaded but at a much lower rate. So, on low speed connections you may have to compromise between quality and speed.
Note that multiple bit rates are not always available on the same stream. If your connection speed is lower than the stream bit rate you should probably search for another URL where a lower speed version of the stream is available.
How to record high quality media on slow connections?
High quality video and audio media normally require high speed connections (Cable, DSL).
But in many cases you can download high speed media even if you have a slow connection (Dial-Up).
For example, HiDownload and WM recorder have such feature.
Is Macromedia's Shockwave a true streaming media player?
Many Web sites use Macromedia's Flash/Shockwave for audio and visual effects,
but it's not a true streaming media player.
It is popular because it can display short audio and video clips quickly, without a long waiting period.
The Shockwave browser plug-in is available as a short and free download. QuickTime can also display Shockwave.
What difference does it make if content is streamed, rather than downloaded?
Audio and video files can be very large. You would spend many minutes or even hours waiting for them to be downloaded to your computer if they weren't streamed. Streaming media technology allows you to see or hear the content in just a few seconds, instead of having to wait for it. Your only wait is a few seconds for a "buffer" to be built up that helps avoid interruptions caused by Internet traffic problems.
In the majority of cases streaming media is used to maintain control over the distribution of the media files (because it is difficult to capture streaming video and audio).
What special equipment do I need to watch streaming audio or video?
You only need a computer with a Web connection (minimum 28.8 Kbps modem) and capable of playing audio or video, plus player software that can receive and process audio/video streams. You may already have such software on your computer, but if not, it is available as a free download from Real.com, Media Player or Quicktime.
How can I tell if I have everything I need?
Most recent computers will have everything needed. If you have speakers/earphones for your computer and you've heard them play sound, chances are you're okay. The faster your online connection (modem, cable, DSL) and computer speed (in megahertz), the higher the quality of the streaming audio or video will be. A 56 Kbps modem is a practical minimum for video.
Can I receive streaming media via Web TV?
Earlier versions of Web TV can't receive streaming media, but some later versions can. You should check your manual or ask the Web TV folks to see if your model supports streaming video/audio.
If I need a player, how do I get one?
Just download it using the links are below! Remember, you only need the basic, free version of each player to enjoy streaming content. All of these companies sell upgraded versions with more features, but all supply a basic, free version too. They usually hide the free one, so don't buy the upgraded version unless you want to. Once you've downloaded the player, it will usually install itself. You may need to reset your browser preferences to use a new player.
Download Windows Media Player
Download RealOne Player
Download Shockwave Player
Is there any downside to streaming?
There are some potential problems, but we'll tell you how to avoid or minimize them.
- Traffic jams. Streaming requires an Internet connection that's free of bottlenecks or "traffic jams." But the Internet isn't a direct pipeline from the source to you. Streamed content passes through many other computers on its way to your computer via your ISP. If any one of them is carrying too much other traffic, the streamed content may be interrupted and pause. Streamed content is "buffered" to help avoid this, but sometimes it's unavoidable. Usually the delay only lasts a few seconds, and the audio picks up where it stopped. Video is more sensitive to such interruptions.
A slow computer. Even with a fast computer, if you have too many applications open, it could slow down your media streaming. If you notice things are sluggish, close all unnecessary applications and windows running on your computer. Just keep your Web browser and your media player open. (If you're just listening or watching, you can even close your browser.) In any case, speedy computers are better.
Noisy phone lines. If you have a phone line that isn't free of noise (humming, crackling), that's not good for streaming (or Web browsing). Disconnect any phones that cause a buzz or hum. Have your phone company check your line to get rid of humming or other line noise. Of course, a cable modem or DSL connection is best for streaming media.
What are RTSPU, RTSPT, MMSU, MMST protocols?
RTSP protocol is the default protocol for streaming Windows Media.
RTSP protocol is also used for streaming Real Video/Real Audio, streaming QuickTime video (.mov, .mp4, .sdp streams).
MMS protocol is used for streaming Windows Media only.
- RTSP using UDP is called RTSPU
- RTSP using TCP is called RTSPT
- MMS using UDP is called MMSU
- MMS using TCP is called MMST
What to do with non-recordable streams and DRM protected streams?
You can use screen video capture software (screen recording / screencasting software) and direct audio recording software
in case of non-recordable streams or DRM protected streams.
- Record password protected streams
- Record Streaming Media
- Protocol rollover problem: RTSP - MMS - HTTP
- How to Record ASF stream / Download ASF stream / Capture ASF streaming / Save ASF file - ASF Recorder FAQ
- How to Record ASF stream from ASX metafile / Download streams from ASX / Capture streaming from ASX / Save streamed content from ASX metafile as a file [RTSP, MMS, HTTP protocols] - ASX Recorder FAQ
- How to Record WMV stream / Download WMV streams / Capture WMV streaming / Save streamed WMV as a file [RTSP, MMS, HTTP protocols] - WMV Recorder FAQ
- How to Record WVX stream / Download WVX streams / Capture WVX streaming / Save streamed WVX as a file [RTSP, MMS, HTTP protocols] - WVX Recorder FAQ
- Recording Streaming Video and Audio: Windows Media Player (asx, wmx, wvx, wax, asx, wmx, wvx, wax) [RTSP, MMS, HTTP protocols] - How to download/save/capture/record media streams from Windows Media Player
- Recording Streaming Video and Audio: RealPlayer (RealOne Player)(rm, ra, ram, smil) [RTSP, PNM, HTTP protocols] - How to download/save/capture/record media streams from Real Player
- Record Streaming Video: The Best Software to Record Video Streams
- How to Fix broken Real Media File
- How to Fix broken Windows Media File