Term: streaming

Streaming most commonly refers to the act of transferring data to your computer or device for immediate consumption. For example, watching live video on your PC would be watching a video stream.

Video streaming typically requires that the internet connection being used is sufficiently fast to meet the requirements of the video’s size and encoding, often referred to as “bit rate”. If your internet connection is capable of up to 1.5 megabits per second, then only video streams with bit rate requirements lower than that will play properly without interruption. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to determine bit rate requirements of arbitrary video streams, and this is typically determined by trial and error.

Streaming is distinguished from downloading by what happens to the data once transferred. Streaming is viewed or listened to immediately, whereas a download is typically saved to a file for later consumption.

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