Transmitting audio on demand. Audio streaming is widely used to listen to radio and audio clips from the Internet. It is also used to transmit music from a computer in a home network to a stereo or to the audio component in a home theater. Transmitting from a computer or mobile device to powered speakers via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi is also audio streaming. See digital media hub
, Bluetooth audio
and Wi-Fi audio
Unlike music files that are downloaded and played at any time in the future, a streamed song is played immediately after a small amount of audio data is received, and the song file is not stored permanently in the destination device.
It's Already in the Buffer
Internet transmission can be erratic, and listening to momentary blips in music or a conversation is generally considered more annoying than flaky video. As a result, the user's device stores a few seconds of audio in memory (RAM) before it starts playing. Throughout the session, it continues to receive audio data ahead of time.
VoIP Is More Demanding
Voice over IP (VoIP) is more taxing on the network than streaming audio. VoIP requires real-time, two-way transmission with sufficient bandwidth for audio coming in and going out at the same time without being able to buffer any of it (see real-time audio
). See video streaming
, home theater streaming
and Windows Media