File Under: Glossary


Rather than download a big, chunky audio/video file all at once, streaming allows you to see and hear an audio/video file as it’s transferred. Windows Media, RealNetworks, and QuickTime are currently the three most popular streaming media platforms. A player program (which are available for free) must be downloaded for each of these technologies in order to decompress audio/video files, which you can then listen to or view. Streaming video is usually sent from prerecorded video files, but they can be broadcast live as well.