For the general population, streaming is something we do each and everyday now. We stream music on Pandora, movies on Netflix, and videos on youtube. But what does streaming actually mean? How does it work? Are computers magic?
Well, in my opinion, yes, computers are magic. But I also know a little more beyond just what’s on the screen.
Let’s say you want to listen to some music. You have no cd player, you have no stereo, no CD’s, no radio, no records, no record player, no instruments…. you get the idea. HOWEVER, you do have friends that have stereo’s and CDs and radios, etc.
You’re not allowed to go over to their houses, you cannot get in your car, in fact, you cannot leave. All you have is a basic phone (Like a house-phone, something we see less and less of now-a-days).
Streaming, essentially, is you picking up the phone, and dialing a friend- you tell your friend your predicament, so they turn on their stereo, and put their phone by the speaker- WAH-LAH! You have no CDs, no records, no 8-track, no walkman, no cassettes, no radio, etc- yet you are jammin’ out, because your “Friend” connected you to the content you wanted.
All you are using is your only resource- your connection! And that’s exactly what streaming is, utilizing your connection, which in this case is the internet, connecting you to content all over the world.
Maybe that seems a little far-stretched, but essentially it’s not. The internet, once upon a time, could only be reached with a dial-up modem- a phone line…. ew. But basically, your computer ‘called’ other computers, and those computers called other computers, and so on and so forth, until you received the content you wanted. This basic principle is still what the internet is made up of today- and now we have the technology to do things like stream live content over the internet- as things happen, people all over the world can connect to it instantly.
From the example above, instead of using a phone, we now use a broadband internet connection on our computer or smart phone or even tablet. Instead of calling a friend to put the phone next to a speaker, we connect to Youtube’s, or Pandora’s or Netflix’s servers, which have the content we are looking to view or listen to, whether it be music or videos or movies.