What is streaming?

We have put together a guide to get you started on music and video streaming and answer some of the most common questions, such as the difference between streaming and downloading.

What is streaming?

‘Streaming’ is the way we refer to sharing a music or video file from another location on the internet. We commonly use this term when we talk about watching videos on YouTube.

The other location on the internet could be a ‘server’, or a ‘cloud’. A streaming player, like YouTube, can access the file and play it back in real time for you using your internet connection. This way, the file doesn’t need to be moved or copied to play it – it doesn’t take up any storage on your device, it is delivered to your phone like water running from a tap.

Here are some examples of how streaming works:

  • You watch a video using YouTube on your smartphone
  • YouTube has a buffer – this is around 3 seconds where YouTube is preparing .the file so that you can watch the video without any interruptions
  • Telenor Myanmar’s fast network means that there is no spinning wheel and you can watch the video without any disruption
  • Note that higher quality videos like high definition videos, or some streaming settings use a faster connection and therefore use up more data
  • A streaming video or music file is never saved on your smartphone
  • Streaming is either free, as it is on Pyone Play or YouTube; or you are charged a monthly subscription to access the service such as iflix; or you rent the video for a certain length of time, after which it is no longer available without renting it again
  • You can only play music or watch a video on a subscription service if you are an active, paying subscriber. Once you stop paying, the service is no longer available

What is the difference between streaming and downloading?

The other way to play music or video on your smartphone is to download or share a file via a file sharing service like Zapya. When these files are downloaded or shared with your smartphone, the file is saved within your smartphone’s storage.

When you download a file, you can play the music or video at a later time. Some services, such as JOOX and iflix, have inbuilt download players, so you can download and watch your preferred music or video files at a later time.

Note that it is illegal to download and share copyright-protected files without seeking the appropriate approvals, or paying a fee to the rights-holder.

Here are examples of how downloading works:

  • Your smartphone connects to the file, and then stores that file on your smartphone
  • Usually, you must wait until the download is complete before you can watch the video or listen to the music
  • You can copy the file or share it with friends unless it is a copyright-protected file
  • A downloaded file is available whenever you want to play it
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