Music streaming services, we couldn’t imagine a life without it nowadays. We have waved goodbye to the days of downloading music via LimeWire and buying CDs and welcomed streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music into our lives. It could not get any easier to access music or other types of audio, but..
..how does it work?
Streaming audio is audio content which is sent in compressed form over the Internet and played immediately, rather than being saved to the hard drive, which would be a download. With streaming audio you do not have to wait to download a file to start playing it, you enjoy it right away! This is due to the fact that the audio is sent in a continuous stream of data; it can play as it arrives. Users can pause, rewind or fast-forward the audio content whenever they wish to, just like they could with a downloaded file, unless the content is being streamed live.
The success of streaming audio is quite recent, though the idea behind it has been around as long as we have. When someone talks to you, the information travels toward you in the form of a sound wave. When this sound wave reaches your ears and brains, they will decode this information for you, so you are able to understand it. The same thing happens when you would for example listen to radio online.
In streaming audio, the traveling information is a stream of data coming from a server. The decoder is a stand-alone player or a plugin that works as part of the Web browser. The server, information stream and decoder work together to let you stream live or prerecorded broadcasts.
what are the requirements to be able to stream?
The only thing you need to be able to stream is a relatively strong internet connection. Because streaming delivers data when you need it, slow or interrupted internet connections can cause problems. For example, if your device has only streamed the first 30 seconds of a song and your internet connection lacks before any more of the song has streamed onto your device, the song will stop playing.
Thanks to this audio streaming technology, we are able to stream the audio we want to listen to whenever we want, wherever we want, the only thing we need is the internet!