Streaming media is "just-in-time" delivery of multimedia information. It is typically applied to compressed multimedia formats delivered over the Internet. It does not try to reassemble as many bits associated with video content as binary computer file formats do. Instead, it allows data to be transferred in a stream of packets that are interpreted as they arrive (hence the name streaming.) Without streaming, an entire media would have to be downloaded in one big package before it could be used.
There are many pieces to a streaming media system. Encoding tools are used for compressing the media into a format suitable for delivery over the Internet. Servers make the compressed files and live streams available to many people. Players connect to the servers and get the media. Additionally, there's a lot of technology under the hood. Codecs are the compression/decompression routines used by encoding tools and players. File formats are shared by encoding tools and servers to generically store encoded streams. Players and servers need shared protocols for streaming the data.
The EServer supports streaming via [RTSP]? and [QuickTime]? of QuickTime? audio and video, MPEG4 video, and MP3 audio files. Numeous EServer collections stream audio and video, particularly our Lectures on Demand collection, which offers academic lectures and presentations in streaming format free of charge to Internet viewers.