Streaming audio is a method of sending an audio signal to the receiver's computer through Internet. It is different from standard methods of receiving audio files through Internet, where you have to download a . wav or . au file before hearing the audio files. However, with streaming audio, you can hear the audio immediately as it arrives on your PC. Thus, you need not wait for long minutes for the entire download.
When the data arrives on your computer, it buffers for few moments and playback begins. As the audio starts playing, more data streams (arrives) on your PC. Therefore, you will hear the constant audio as long as you receive the regular stream of data.
Sometimes, while receiving the data, stream may break down due to net congestion and you receive a message as net congestion and rebuffering.
Benefits of Streaming Audio:
Streaming audio is an efficient mode of communicating when huge spectators watch a live broadcasting on the Internet and listen to opinions of unlimited participants. Participants can simply participate in the discussions using web browsers. Streaming audio enables individuals to increase the number of their spectators by archiving the conferences so that individuals, who are unable to listen at that moment, can listen to it later.
Individuals, who are listening to Streaming audio, may select the method and time that they need to tune to a conference. It encourages more participation rate at little cost. Individuals just need to tell the time and provide details of the conference to other individuals.
Streaming audio is beneficial in case of an internal as well as external purpose when conversing with analysts, investors, employees, media, customers and public.
Streaming audio provides many fold broadcast options such as:
Live broadcast: Using this technology, you may conduct live broadcast as discussed above.
Archived broadcast: People can listen to the participants of a live broadcast any time they want.
Indexing: It allows individuals to gain an entry to the archived files in an effective way by simply clicking link of the audio file, which they wish to listen. This saves time, as individuals do not have to listen to an entire audio file.
Hardware and Software Requirements:
You need to have following requirements in your system to listen to a live broadcast or archived file.
1. A personal computer having 16 MB RAM, 28.8 Kbps (kilobytes per second) modem, 16 bit of sound card and headphones or speakers.
2. Microsoft Internet explorer 3.0 or higher, a Java enabled web browser, Real networks player or window media player.
About Internet Connection:
Some people say that they reactivate the Streaming audio at 14.4k but do not opt for such slow connections. Minimum recommendation for good quality audio file is 28.8k and for video, it is 56k. Moreover, this also proves better if you wish to go for faster Internet speed.
If you have a fast modem, you need to note that certain problems may disrupt your stream. Few problems may include noise in phone lines and slowdown from ISP end.
How to Obtain Good Quality Streaming Audio:
First, you need to shut down all the unnecessary applications, which are running on your PC. Simply keep the web browser and media player open. If there is an adaptor on the wall jack to plug the regular phone in the same outlet as in your computer, take it off when you are streaming.
If you find lot of disruptions or noise on the phone lines, contact the phone service provider. They will rectify the connection and this will help you listen to the streaming audio file efficiently.
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