The main difference between streaming and downloading is that the streaming is the process of viewing the media file in real time, without saving it to the user’s computer, while downloading is the process of copying the media file to the user’s computer to view it at that moment or later.
Streaming and downloading help to access digital media such as music and video. There is a difference between streaming and downloading although these two terms are used interchangeably. Streaming is real time, and the file is not saved into the user’s device. It refers to transferring data so that it can be processed as a steady and continuous stream. On the other hand, downloading refers to copying the media file to the user’s computer. Both these processes require an internet connection to succeed.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Streaming
– Definition, Functionality
2. What is Downloading
– Definition, Functionality
3. What is the Difference Between Streaming and Downloading
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is Streaming
Streaming is the process of playing media files on a device which is saved in some other media or a device. That file can be saved into a cloud, a computer, media server, etc. A media streamer (Smart TV and Blue Ray Players) can access that file and play it. Streaming does not require moving or copying the file into the device that is playing it.
In streaming, the media file can come from an online website. Websites such as Netflix allows the users to stream movies. Websites such as Pandora and Last.fm allows the users to stream music. Furthermore, when the user watches a video on YouTube, he is streaming that media file from the website to his computer. High definition movies require a faster internet connection to stream the videos without interruption. Furthermore, when a video is watched simultaneously by many users, the streaming rate will be reduced.
What is Downloading
Downloading a file is another way to play a media file on a computer. When downloading the file from a website, that file is saved into the computer. As this file is available in the system, the user can play it later as well. Media streams such as Blue-ray disk players and smart TVs do not have inbuilt storage. Therefore, it is not possible to download files to them to view those files later.
When downloading, the source file is copied and saved to the hard drive. The user should wait until completing the entire download process. He will not be able to copy or move the file if it is a copyright protected file. Moreover, it is possible to copy the downloaded file to other machines. One major advantage of downloading is that the file is available whenever the user needs. It is not limited only at that particular time. He can view the media file later as well.
Difference Between Streaming and Downloading
Streaming is the process of transmitting or receiving data, especially video and audio material, over a computer network as a steady, continuous flow, allowing playback to start while the rest of the data is still being received. In contrast, downloading is the process of receiving data from a remote system such as a web server, FTP server, email server or a similar system through the internet. Thus, this constitutes the difference between streaming and downloading.
A useful difference between streaming and downloading that one must know is that in streaming, the file is not saved to the user’s computer. However, in downloading, the file is saved to the user’s computer.
Streamed media file cannot be viewed later while downloaded media file can be viewed later. This is an important difference between streaming and downloading.
There is a difference between streaming and downloading although these two words are often used interchangeably. The difference between streaming and downloading is that the streaming is the process of viewing the media file in real time without saving it into the user’s computer while downloading is the process of copying the media file to the user’s computer.