Streaming and Non-Streaming Audio with HTTP

The purpose of this assignment was to learn about the difference between HTTP streaming and HTTP non-streaming audio download by using the RealAudio format.

The description and my solution of the Streaming and Non-Streaming Audio -assignment can be viewed at the bottom of this page.

What is HTTP-Streaming?

HTTP streaming is the simplest way to stream multimedia from a Website. It uses HTTP that is running on top of TCP to send data packets. Small websites are more likely to use this technique than the more expensive streaming servers.

Big websites propably use streaming with so called streaming servers that usually send packets using protocols running on top of UDP since UDP - unlike TCP - doesn't allow for resending of lost data packets. This makes it much fast than TCP.

It may be some distortions in an audio or video file when data packets are lost, but this is prefered to a slow playback.

With HTTP streaming clients can view the data sent before it is completely downloaded. It doesn't allow for on demand user interaction (e.g. forward or pause a audio or video file), but there is on the other hand no need for any special type of website or opening any special ports in the firewall just a Web server which recognises common file types.

RealAudio format

The RealAudio format was developed for the Internet by Real Media. It supports video and allows streaming of audio (e.g. on-line music or Internet radio) with low bandwidths. Because of the low bandwidth priority, quality is often reduced.

Sounds stored in the RealAudio format have the extension .rm or .ram.

Assignment Description

Create a document with links to streaming and non-streaming audio to compare their differences. Use RealAudio to do this.

My solution, Assignment Files

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