Audio Streaming – How to Succeed – Part 3
HTTP Live Streaming
This is a system based on HTTP and incorporates media streaming and a communications protocol. It was first implemented by the Apple Corporation when they established their QuickTime X and iPhone software systems.
The way the live streaming system operates is to convert the data stream into a number of small HTTP based files. Each file is then downloaded, which in turn loads one small segment ProstaStream of the data stream. As soon as the stream is played, the client has the option of selecting a particular stream from a variety of alternative streams containing the same data but which has been encoded at different data rates. In this way, the streaming session is able to adapt itself to the prevailing rate of data transmission. When the streaming session begins, the system downloads a playlist which contains the data from the various sub-streams that are available.
Since the requests for data require only standard HTTP transactions, then HTTP Live Streaming is able to traverse any firewall or proxy server which themselves allow standard HTTP traffic to travel through.
HTTP – Also known as Hypertext Transfer Protocol, is an application-level protocol. There are two principal versions, viz. HTTP/1.0 which uses a separate connection for each document, and HTTP/1.1 that is able to reuse the same connection in order to download, for example, images of the previous page. As a result, HTTP/1.1 could be faster of the two versions since time is taken to set up such connections.
HTTP is a request/response standard used in client-server computing. The client is an application, such as a web browser, on the computer that is used by an end-user. On the other hand, the server is an application running on the computer hosting the web site. The client submits HTTP requests.
Protocol – With reference to computing, the term protocol refers to a series of rules which are applied to computers in order that they are able to communicate with each other when transmitting across a network. It is, in fact, a standard that maintains or brings about firstly the connection, then the communication and finally the transfer of data between computers. Protocols may apply to hardware, or software, or even a combination of the two. In a sense, a protocol specifies how a hardware connection performs.
Streaming Media – This refers to multimedia that are continually received by, and also presented to, the user of the data. At the same time, it is being delivered to the user by a provider of streaming data. The term streaming media refers to the method of delivery of the medium rather than to the nature of the medium itself. It is inferred that the distribution is over telecommunications networks since nearly all of the other delivery systems are either specifically streaming, such as radio and television, or they are characterised as non-streaming, such as books, video cassettes, and audio CDs. Internet television is an excellent example of what may be designated as a commonly streamed media.
Multimedia – It refers to the nature of the media used and content required that uses a combination of different forms of content. Media, in its broadest sense, utilises only established forms of material which may be either printed or hand-produced. On the other hand, Multimedia makes use of a combination of text, audio, motionless images, animation, video, and interactivity forms of content.