Multimedia which is continually received by a general public and which a streaming provider is delivering is called streaming media. The term comes from the way the media is being supplied. There is a difference between media which is being distributed via a telecommunications network and media which is being supplied by inherently streaming like television or radio and there can be inherently non-streaming like video cassettes, books and audio CDs.
Live streaming simply means that you have a type of media and you have it broadcast live on the internet. What you need to make this happen is a camera to capture the media, an encoder to take care of digitising the content, a publisher of media who makes the streams available and the final touch is the network which has the responsibility to distribute and deliver the content to the public.
This new method of distributing media has created new challenges surrounding security. A lot of effort is being put in to make sure that the media stays secure, because there is a lot of money involved in providing and distributing media. The systems of Digital Rights Management (DRM) are a good example of securing media.
For the last ten years, there have been big changes in the use of the internet. There have been developments in increasing the bandwidth, an increase in network access, making of standard formats and protocols became more popular and the internet has become very commercial. These improvements in the digital world in combination with modern systems and stronger home computers, which are very powerful, have made the streaming of media to be affordable and practical for common end users.
Because of the fact that multimedia has a large volume, it is still very important to have enough transmission speed and media storage, which brings along some costs. In order to cut these costs in general, the media are compressed for storage as well as for streaming.
There are two different ways to stream media. The streaming can occur to your computer live and in real time or you can stream it on-demand. When you use live or true streaming it provides the service of directly sending the media to the device or computer without the file being saved on a hard drive. Streaming on demand is provided by progressive download or progressive streaming. When you are using progressive streaming, it means that the file is being saved to a hard drive and is then played from the location of the hard drive. Streaming on demand is often available for a long period of time as oppose to live streams which is only available in real time.