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Streaming media comprises sending of compressed form of audio or video message and content via the internet. The sent message is usually played immediately because it cannot be stored on the hard drive. Downloading of the content does not occur since the media is presented in a continuous stream therefore its played on its arrival. The sent media content can be paused, forward or even rewind just like a downloaded file. This can only be done if the file or the media content is not being streamed live. Streaming media is very beneficial because someone can be able to watch the files directly and besides that users are able to enjoy interactive applications as well as personalized playlists. Media streaming usually occurs from prerecorded files though it can be distributed to broadcasted live feed. In case it’s a life broadcast whatever is usually transmitted as a multicast is usually a compressed digital signal which is a conversion of video signal.
The multicast is able to send one file to many users. This is usually done at the same time. Server application is responsible for streaming media therefore a media player serves as the recipient as well as the displaying source. There are many forms of media players which include iPod, a part of an integral browser, separate program and a plug-in among many others. In most cases video files are never alone because they are usually embedded with players. For instance You Tube videos are usually embedded with flash players. There has been a marked improvement in streaming media technologies since the late 20th century. At that time delivery of the sent media was usually uneven despite these marked improvements because the quality of the content being streamed solely depends on the clients or users connection speed (Schulzrinne, et al 3).
A protocol is essential in supporting streaming media. There are a number of critically issues which rise from this process. There are several protocols which are usually used in accomplishing this function for instance datagram protocols. This protocol is simply a transfer unit which closely relates to a packet switched network. One of the main limitations of this gadget is that there is no assurance or guarantee on the arrival and delivery time of the basic unit that is under transfer. A datagram basically comprises of data areas as well as the header. In this case the information that is important for routing from the source to the origin is confined there. These capabilities do not rely on the initial exchange which usually takes place between the network and the equipment in use. Therefore the header addresses the issues of the destination, source as well as the specific type of field in use.
The main disadvantage of the datagram is its inability to inform the user on delivery failures. A good example of datagram protocol is User Datagram Protocol (UDP) this gadget usually sent small packets of media streams in a series. Such packages are efficient and simple to send however; the recipient has an obligation of detecting any form of corruption or loss since the systems cannot do that on its own. For these reason the recipient is able to recover the lost data through error correction strategies or techniques. In case of data loss the stream is bound to suffer a dropout. Another form of protocol includes the real time streaming protocol (RTSP). Generally this gadget is designed for usage in the areas of communication system and entertainment. RTSP has the capabilities of controlling the serves that are usually used in streaming media. This protocol is of great importance when it comes to controlling of media sessions within the restricted end points as well as its establishment.
Users of the media servers often utilize VCR like commands which may include things like pause and play in their facilitation of the media files which are being obtained from the server. The transmission of the data which is being streamed does not fall under the obligations of the RTSP. Therefore many RSTP servers usually employ Real time Transport Protocol to carry out duties which involve delivery of the streamed media. On the other hand some vendors usually implement transport protocols which are proprietary. For this reason Real-time Transport Control Protocol (RTCP) was specifically made for the purpose of streaming media over the available networks. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is another form of protocol which is designed for standard computing of client server. In this case a web browser is usually used as a client and the web site as a server (ISMA 4).
In this case the client is designed to respond to the underlying requests by issuing messages. HTTP ensures an adaptive bitrates streaming which can only be maintained through progressive download. The files which are usually transported under this system are almost the size of the RTSP and RTP streaming packets. The most reliable protocol is the Transmission Control Protocol. This is because the delivery of the sent package is assured and besides that the package which is delivered is usually the correct information. One of the challenges which must be overcome before safe delivery is guaranteed includes implementation of a retries and timeout system which complicate the whole process. Users can help in rescuing the situation by buffering information that is meant for display. Its good to buffer the information but the delayed data which may result from such strategy should not exceed 200ms.
Unicast protocols are usually used to transmit a different copy of the media which is being streamed to every user. Many internet connections employ this form of protocol though it does not usually operate well in case of jam; where many clients are trying to assess one particular file. For these reason multicast protocols were designed to monitor data and limit data replication. This protocol is greatly utilized when the same information is being sent to many recipients. Multicast has the capabilities of sending an individual stream to many people; these may look so advantageous though it has its own complications. For instance the video on high demand may loss its functionality. On the contrary playbacks cannot be enjoyed by the user when they are utilizing television or radio materials which are being streamed continuously.
IP multicast is usually used when single messages need to be delivered on computer network recipients. IP multicast cannot successfully sent the required information if they are denied passage by firewalls and routers. Therefore LAN plays an important role as an intermediate before the streamed message is allowed passage. Finally peer to peer protocols are of great importance when it come distribution of prerecorded streams. By using this protocol your server and network are shielded from developing bottleneck. In media streaming the most used files measurements are terabytes, mebibytes, gigabytes and megabytes. What the user receives on the other end are files. Since the files are in a continuous stream of packets there is no need for storage (ISMA 4).