Talk:Streaming media

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Streaming media:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Cleanup : Turn Protocol issues bullet points into paragraphs. Thin bandwidth calculations.
  • Copyedit : Stitch short paragraphs into longer ones
  • Wikify : Add links to codecs and protocols. Move many See also links into text.
  • Clarify difference between live and on-demand streaming


All these Dutch links, are these really relevant for this page? I would propose to move these to a Dutch page about streaming. User:jvdstoel 12:05, 2005 Aug 18

I'm going to make a pass at copyediting this page. Swmcd 15:07, 2005 Mar 4 (UTC)

I did a cleanup and removed the cleanup notice. It still needs more references, and will doubtless benefit from some more eyes. Swmcd 06:42, 2005 Mar 7 (UTC)


How is the BBC not a major broadcaster? surely that needs to be added - they live stream all of their radio stations, the news channel and they archive all their news stories and past radio programmes. All of these archives can be played too. --Hamdev Guru 19:10, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I believe there are only a few million people watching. Let's face it, England is not a big market. Gingermint (talk) 02:28, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Oh wait[edit]

I was a bit over-assertive in my edit summary ("There were no CD-ROMs in the 1980s"). Yes, there were CD-ROMs in the 1980s, but they weren't used for most of it. CD-ROM "multimedia" really took off in the early 90s. RSpeer 17:10, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)

media is/are[edit]

Plainsong went through and changed all the verbs on media from singular to plural, e.g. media is -> media are. I'd like to change them all back. I use media as a mass noun with singular construction. Here is the current state of the word according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Main Entry: 2 media
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural me·di·as
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: plural of medium
1 : a medium of cultivation, conveyance, or expression; especially : MEDIUM 2b
2 a singular or plural in construction : MASS MEDIA b plural : members of the mass media


The singular media and its plural medias seem to have originated in the field of advertising over 50 years ago; they are apparently still so used without stigma in that specialized field. In most other applications media is used as a plural of medium. The great popularity of the word in references to the agencies of mass communication is leading to the formation of a mass noun, construed as a singular <there's no basis for it. You know, the news media gets on to something -- Edwin Meese 3d> <the media is less interested in the party's policies -- James Lewis, Guardian Weekly>. This use is not as well established as the mass-noun use of data and is likely to incur criticism especially in writing.

(emphasis added)

They are right that singular construction in writing incurs criticism :)

  • one is to consider "streaming media" a mass noun, but use "medium/media" when referring to invidual content types or delivery mechanisms (since "a streaming medium" doesn't sound quite right, somehow)
  • another - much vaguer - is to use whichever seems more appropriate in the context; for instance, the first two sentences of the article are intimately linked, and certain wordings of the second sound completely wrong if "media" is used collectively.
But like I say, the more I try and reason it out, the more uncertain I become, so maybe an arbitrary convention to stick with one or the other would be best after all! - IMSoP 22:24, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

Streaming is an old logging term...[edit]

Streaming media is circa 1995... I know this as fact, cause I coined the term.

"Streaming" is the process of cutting a log into smaller pieces, so that it may travel a smaller stream to the saw mill.

As I worked on an online Real Player presentation for "Branson World Radio" -now defunct- the audio would not synch with the video. I contacted Real about this and they were still working this bug out. As I experimented I found a solution myself.

I emailed the solution back to Real, along with the idea of calling the technology streaming media. Because it seemed they were "streaming" the data along.

A few minutes later the phone rang, with a very excited crew from Real on the other end. They not only solved a major bug that was holding the technology back, but were able to "sell" it with a simple explanation of what was happening.

--Docree 21:49, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

consider adding a section to the article giving the orgin of the term.
Swmcd 21:01, 2005 May 8 (UTC)

That's really interesting considering that RealVideo wasn't launched until 1997. Also, streaming has long been a term used in computer applications. -- RobLa 05:55, May 9, 2005 (UTC)


Sorry, RobLa Real Player was launched in 95...

From the Real Networks Company website...

"Who We Are

In 1995, RealNetworks, Inc. pioneered the entire Internet media industry, and continues to fuel its exponential growth.

Because the Internet was built to handle text-based information, not audio and video and other rich media, RealNetworks, Inc. foresaw the need for specific solutions that could handle the creation, delivery and consumption of media via the Internet. That led RealNetworks, Inc. to invent and release the RealPlayer and RealAudio in 1995." Real Networks Company

I read the articles you suggested... Data stream has been used to refer to the stream of data between computer components. However, it is not streaming as to respect of compressed data from server to computer and vice versa.
In order for something to be "streamed" there is a predetermined amount of data that is sent to the receiving machine. [At buffer time.] Then as this data is unloaded and played the next amount of data is downloaded / recieved. In theory the data "slices" can be played seamlessly with very little buffer time afterward. Similar to "daisy chaining" in Flash.
Streaming has been a logging term since prior to the 1800s.

--Docree 18:23, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

USB vs. Firewire[edit]

Kevin Marks changed the paragraph on USB to refer to Firewire, commenting

   USB is not widely used for video; FireWire is.

However, my camcorder has a USB jack, not a Fire jack, and the "system of time-based reservations" sounds exactly like USB. Can anyone cite authority on this question?

Swmcd 06:10, 2005 May 9 (UTC)

I wrote the video capture for OS X. Every DV camera has Firewire out. A few have USB. Kevin Marks 07:05, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

p2p live video communications[edit]

I am curious why no one has implemented live video communications over p2p? What I mean by this is i can see hear and talk back in the same fashion....can someone explain it, is there a problem, there is Voip why not video conferencing like technology.....?let me know Gphilz 20:56, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

See Also - Stream and Transport Protocols cleanup[edit]

I cleaned up the See Also - Stream and Transport Protocols sub-head. There was some fragmentary text discussing a few specific protocols, but it didn't have enought content to make a good paragraph. Swmcd 19:49, 25 February 2006 (UTC)


Java is an important class of streaming media technologies for the following reasons:

  • It runs cross platform - PC, Mac, Linux
  • It has higher reach than many listed in this section
  • It runs without requiring installation, so is easier to use than those listed
  • It allows the latest player version to be run on locked down machines (particularly useful in the corporate world)
  • It can be easily extended to include other useful video features
  • Live and pre-recorded players are available

I propose someone adding a Live Java entry to the Streaming Media technologies, such as my own company's FORlive to illustrate these points.

What do people think about this? Stephen B Streater 09:10, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Add new Streaming Site[edit]

Hey, I wanted to add this site, but I am not purely sure if it is applicable due to the ads. —Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

To keep the size of the article down, this Wikipedia entry has technology suppliers rather than users. You may find List of Internet stations more suitable. Web sites without an article are probably not notable enough for listing, but as you can see, some are there which have not been deleted because they may get articles some time. Stephen B Streater 09:54, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Social and legal issues[edit]

Some streaming broadcasters use streaming systems that interfere with the ability to record streams for later playback, either inadvertently, through poor choice of streaming protocol, or deliberately, because they believe it is to their advantage to do so. Broadcasters may be concerned that copies will result in lost sales or that consumers may skip commercials...

I've read through this article a few times now on different occasions & I always come away feeling that this section is biased against broadcasters. Speaking as broadcaster, the way it works for me is that I license media from a content provider and am authorized (i.e. I pay money for a license) to broadcast that material via cable, TV, and satellite. With the recent explosion in broadband Internet connections, now I'm also allowed to stream the media. However, my licenses (from the content providers) specifically state that I am not authorized to make copies of the media & distribute those copies (that's what publishers & retailers do, not broadcasters).

Basically, there is no sinister broadcaster plot to dupe the public into using streaming media, as this section seems to imply (or maybe I missed that session at NAB). Its a matter of as a broadcaster, not being able to legally distribute copies of media via progressive download, ftp, VHS, DVD, etc. As a broadcaster, I don't particularly care if people want to record a program and I don't go out of my way to keep people from recording a program. What I do care about is that only authorized (paying) customers are allowed to view the streams (got to pay for that server storage & bandwidth somehow). Otherwise, I just use the best (or most appropriate) technology available to reach my target audience.

I would recommend that this nonsense about broadcasters encrypting streams to prevent copying be removed. The only time I've seen something like that happen is in cases of downloads (i.e. mp3 download services - or 3GPP cell phone media) where a complete copy of the media is distributed to a consumer for offline playback. At least from an industry perspective, file downloading is not the same as streaming (broadcasting).

Kwolf22 20:33, 25 July 2006 (UTC)kwolf22

What you are saying sounds perfectly reasonable and you should edit the article to reflect this. Streaming and downloading aren't the same thing at all. TV Genius 23:50, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Bandwidth skimming[edit]

What is bandwidth skimming ? -- 16:42, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Peercasting: Real-time P2P Streaming?[edit]

I removed my own line stating "Also no such strategy currently distributes streams to all recipients in realtime." at the end of the P2P paragraph, as I am not completely sure about that. Are there any P2P solutions that manage to distribute a stream from a sender to an arbitrary amount of recipients with an acceptable latency and synchronization for all recipients? If none exists the line should probably go back into the article, as it is a serious limitation in the field of streaming not to be real-time. Oh look, I just have to dig a little deeper to find the Peercasting document. Looks like there is research going on in that field, albeit problems persist. Should we mention Peercasting in this document? --SymlynX 16:39, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Multicast Strategy Details?[edit]

The article mentions that some technologies use multicast-like approaches to data distribution, but does not mention names nor details. Have looked around on various pages but haven't found details. Can anyone fill this in? I know several technologies use mirrors or reflectors and thus create a spanning tree distribution, but I would like to know if there are any automations in that or the tree is hand-knit. --SymlynX 16:56, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Streaming Sucks[edit]

why are people dumb, with this streaming crap, sure you can start the video right away, but i would rather download it and watch the whole thing later or in one piece, not take 30 minutes to watch a 5 minute video, plus streaming has to buffer which takes time and sometimes it buffers and then erases everything and you have to start all over again.--Superchad 04:25, 1 December 2006 (UTC)superchad

I'm glad you have an opinion on this, but have you ever tried watching a football game two hours later? --lynX
im not watching football i hate football, im watching the trailer for 24 season 6 and jeicho countdown, which is only avaible on the internet--Superchad 14:40, 10 December 2006 (UTC)superchad
I also prefer downloading the file and then watching it to watching streaming video. I like to keep a local copy on my hard drive (after all, I deserve it) and be sure that I'm getting the maximum video quality, not just quality that depends on how fast my connection is. --WikiSlasher 12:45, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Streamcast is not a Streaming media system[edit]

I have removed it from the list of media systems. Streamcast is a peer-to-peer software house. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kxrm (talkcontribs) 23:28, 1 May 2007 (UTC).


I am looking at Netflix's site right now and am unable to find any streaming media at all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:24, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

CDNetworks and EdgeCast Networks[edit]

Grinsandfun (talk · contribs) replaced EdgeCast Networks with CDNetworks, which is a red Wikilink. Can you explain this? At the same time, Grinsandfun added CDNetworks to Content delivery network but did not delete EdgeCast Networks. The red links had been removed there. What's up? Colfer2 (talk) 22:09, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Can you cite a ref? Colfer2 (talk) 22:13, 11 March 2008 (UTC) Also - and Reuters recognizes CDNetworks as the 3rd largest CDN / Streaming provider across the globe - Edgecast has not been brought to this recognition or status. Can you explain why you keep putting them up there? I'm just doing what the industry recognizes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Grinsandfun (talkcontribs) 14:58, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
That is not a ref, that is the company web site. Do you have the Reuters ref? Just show that you are right and it will be OK. Hint, CDNetworks should have its own article, with outside references, if it is notable. Colfer2 (talk) 15:04, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
CDNetworks adds US Clients Shaklee and Quarterlife to customer portfolio [1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Grinsandfun (talkcontribs) 15:13, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm still trying to figure out why you keep adding edgecast - can you provide a reference for them? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Grinsandfun (talkcontribs) 15:16, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure how to make a red vs. a blue link - more than happy to have blue link - (this article also indicates that LLNW is seeing CDNetworks as a viable competitor, or that financial analysis's are seeing them as such) [2] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Grinsandfun (talkcontribs) 15:22, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
OK, use colons so the discussion is easy to read. Let me look at that link. Thanks. Colfer2 (talk) 15:34, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
I think you have enough to start a new article for CDNetworks. Here is how to do it: Wikipedia:Your first article. Use your Reuters ref, especially the first one. Then it will be a blue link when you add it to Streaming media. Colfer2 (talk) 15:41, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your help. I have provided a quick write up & please feel free to edit as you can find time. Jim Grinsandfun (talk) 15:56, 12 March 2008 (UTC)


Much more cost info is needed. If a radio station streams live, what licensing fees do they need to pay? What marginal fees do they have to pay, per live listener? What is the base cost of the equipment to make live streams available? And what is the marginal equipment/operational cost per additional listener? Is live streaming to many simultaneous listeners inherently more efficient than on-demand streaming to many listeners, who are all at a different point in the stream? - (talk) 15:16, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

It depends upon what you are streaming. If you are streaming music, there different licensing fees then there are for video. You may be interested in this [3]. Basicly look up the fees for any other broadcast station and you know the fees. As for the equipment, it depends upon how many people will be using the service. The more people you have the more expensive equipment you need. Some streaming software also has costs. If you do not go with one of the free streamers, this will cost you at least several thousand USD (not including updates). Depending upon what type of the deal you get with a streaming media software provider there may be additional per user costs. Again, The cost is depent upon the route that you take after deciding upon what streaming technology to use, video is much more expensive then audio alone. About your question about the live broadcasting, it really depends upon the amount of content that you are offering. Due to the many standards and other different variables in this venture, you will have to do your own cost analysis. Andrew D White (talk) 13:26, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Protocol Issues[edit]

(Fixed the headings on the Talk page so that all sections after BBC are not grouped under that heading. Not sure if that's polite, but it needed to be done.)

Cleaned up the grammer, flow, and references in Protocol Issues - mainly in the area of multicasting.

  • The concepts of multicasting and video on demand functions (FF, rewind, etc) are not necessarily related. VOD deserved to be mentioned so I tied referenced it.
  • The grammar and flow in the Multicasting section need some hyperbole removed and general clarification.
  • The reference cited for IP multicasting is a Real Networks admin guide. Although it's a worthy source, it is product-specific. I considered replacing it with a Cisco source but I'm not sure that's wise, either. I think the Wikipedia entries for multicasting and IP multicasting are probably good enough. Thoughts?

Tekpilot (talk) 20:43, 3 August 2008 (UTC)


I think the History part focuses only on improvements in hardware, not even mentioning advances in software, e.g. mp3, mp4, h264. Fabiovh (talk) 10:09, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

I was unable to track down recent activity as it pertains to this article, I did search the project groups noted at the top of this discussion page. This article needs to be updated - there is mention of HD in the History section of this article, a topic under much debate in the industry as it is quite new as it applies to streaming media, especially surrounding the relevance of reference to HD and streaming media since Web HD is more or less HD Ready - depending on the end users display settings, player versions, available bandwidth, etc. Did I miss something in the other projects on this or is this where the article "really" left off? Guidance is appreciated. Nico McLane (talk) 19:22, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

This section seems to be missing all the information on the streaming providers who had such high hopes in the boom of the late '90s. Vendors like, who came and went, and others who became something else, and - still online. These were the people who spent huge amounts of money to build the infrastructure and died when their dreams of pay per view content proved not to work. Mccainre (talk) 15:55, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Live streaming media versus On-Demand or Progressive download streaming media[edit]

I think there needs to be a distinction made between live streaming vs. on-demand streaming - especially due to the additional complexities encountered by a live stream media session versus an on-demand replay or progressive download. Not sure how to go about this? In addition, I have not seen anyone using multicast for on-demand content since the true value of multicast is seen when there is significant simulations usage. Nico McLane (talk) 21:44, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Realworld Example[edit]

Needs to be updated! Pitboar (talk) 19:10, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

DRM Irrelevant[edit]

I tried to improve a bit the paragraph on DRMs but on second thought, I am not sure it makes any sense to keep it there. The same thing could be said about any information transmission technology. Some people don't like the content they send being copied. Streaming just happens to be the latest technology over which they are scared about the content being copied. Unless there is disagreement, I will delete that paragraph. PrometheeFeu (talk) 05:42, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

The DRM discussion in the lead is not cited and is not supported in the body of the article. I have deleted it. --Kvng (talk) 15:53, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Live streaming not always involves a camera[edit]

It says "Live streaming, delivering live over the Internet, involves a camera..." This is not always the case. For example a person can live stream a video game without the use of a camera. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:40, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

I changed the part you are referring to, as I agree with your comment. Also, live streaming isn't always video either, so I reflected that as well. CrazedSepia (talk) 16:22, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

YouTube My Speed no longer works[edit]

It looks like Google have discontinued YouTube's my_speed service ( ). Perhaps it has been replaced by something else? (talk) 07:51, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

'Its verb form', use/mention error[edit]

Streaming media has no verb form, unless it's a some show about grammar or something. Streaming media has a digital form, rather, or something like that. 'Its', here, refers to the term, not the topic of the article.

Wikipedia should focus way stronger on teaching the writers here about that use/mention error that's pretty common. Anyway, I want to try and improve the sentence I'm 'referring' to, and will try, 'The verb form'. -- (talk) 21:51, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

Needs a bit of work[edit]

The history section ends with "Today..." which is inevitably out of date as soon as it's written. Should stick to defined dates - the "today" stuff should be in a separate section.

There is not enough on streaming audio to warrant it redirecting to this page. Both singles and albums charts are now using audio streaming and it is becoming increasingly popular (eg. in the UK on demand audio streaming doubled each year from 2013 to 2015). Btljs (talk) 15:59, 14 June 2015 (UTC)