What is Streaming?

Streaming has enhanced over the years and is the primary way for music and videos. Streaming videos have exploded and people love to watch them.

Videos are one way to entertain people and keep them on your site for longer periods of time. Just because you have a movie on your site doesn't make this happen.

Visitors are impatience and want quality. It is important to know what type of media you want to stream for your visitors. As most users will embed a simple Flash layout on their site, but there are more options.

Plug-in, Applications, and Codecs

With HTML5 becoming more of a standard, plugins are not required for video playback in modern internet browsers.

Flash Layout

There are different ways to stream your videos. Any method that you use to stream your videos will require a plug-in, application, or codec.

To break these terms down, any developer knows what an application is, so we will skip that one. A plug-in is a small system file that tells your browser what it needs to run.

A codec is a small file that encodes the video and/or audio. It has the blueprints of what the movie and/or audio is compressed with. In result, your computer will now how to decode it.

Optimize The File Size

You have some raw video files and you want to stream them. First thing to check is how big is the file size. You want to shoot for the smallest file size possible without distorting it too bad.

Your visitors are not going to wait all night to watch your movie, maybe if it’s a good movie, but probably not.

Balance Quality of Video

Video Quality

How is the quality of video? There are many codecs available and they all interact differently. Flash Video, Divx, and MP4, are some of the most used video formats available. They are extremely good at keeping great quality and compressing file size.

Some background on them:

  • Flash is from Adobe Flash, it has a .flv or a .swf file extension. Must be used with the Flash browser plugin.
  • Divx is a .avi file format with a similar MPEG-4 based codec. It has great compression for DVD quality videos.
  • MP4 is the latest format in streaming. It offers high quality HD resolution with great compression. Can also store audio subtitles.

These applications can stream high definition resolutions and Dolby Digital Sound.

For audio streaming just use the popular MP3 format.

Extras Are Required

Install Plug-ins

One thought is to ask, what would your visitors like to use?

Flash Video needs a small plug-in to download. Which most people have already installed on their browser.

Divx can be used with Windows Movie Player, but also needs a small downloadable codec.

MP4 requires the visitor to have or download the QuickTime Player application.

These small requirements can run away visitors. A recommendation is to try to Flash, most people have the plug-in and takes seconds to install.

Streaming On The Internet

What Is Streaming

These are some things to look out for when streaming some video or audio. There is some sophisticated software available to enhance your abilities.

The best thing is to test.

Try each of the different recommendations and try some not listed. Embed them on your site and test the loading time. Which one do you prefer? This can take a lot of time. But when you find something that fits your site, it is just uphill from there.


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