What does streaming mean?

"Streaming" is a generic term. It basically means that the data being transferred can be used immediately, without having to download the "thing" in it's entirety before it can be used.

Streaming audio or video will be decoded and played back immediately -- or once enough data has been transferred in order to start playback.

Basically, Wimpy will play as soon as possible -- this means that your audience doesn't have to wait for the entire clip to download. Your movie starts to play as soon as enough data has been downloaded.

Wimpy streams audio using the "progressive download" approach. You don't need to deal with proprietary server-side streaming software that costs more money and requires installation on your server.

"True" streaming actually means that the data is played, then discarded immediately after it is played. Hence, no local copy of the file is stored. Technically, Macromedia Flash can perform "true" streaming, however to do so requires an ensemble of server-side software plus streaming-fees, which can be rather costly. Using the "progressive download " method is the least expensive way to present audio/video on a website. Like "true" streaming, Wimpy's "progressive download " method allows a file to begin playing before it is fully downloaded.

A bit is a bit

Whether a bit is served through a "traditional" streaming server (such as windows, quicktime, or shoutcast "streaming" server) or served by a "standard" web server... the same bits are being transferred.

"Traditional" streaming servers and "standard" web servers just uses a different transport method. Shoutcast and other "traditional" streaming servers do not transfer bits any fast or better than a "standard" web server, they just transfer them differently.

Granted, "traditional" streaming servers are geared specifically for media, whereas "standard" web servers are geared toward serving a variety of "things" -- so "traditional" streaming servers may be a little more efficient, but they are still transferring the same volume of bits.

Click here for more information on how Adobe Flash handles streaming.

Click here for a more in-depth explanation or the differences between a "traditional" streaming server and a "standard" web server.

 

See Also:

How does Wimpy stream audio and video?

FLV compression settings.

 

 

 

Wimpy Player Documentation
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