Orb | Audio Streaming


Audio Streaming


Audio streaming simply means that audio content from the Internet is playing on a computer with continuous data moving between the computer and the server hosting the content. The computer is sending information to the server telling it what content it wants displayed, and the server loads the content and plays it as it is loading.  The content continues to play until the user tells it to stop, the content reaches the end of the file, or a script on the server sending the content has conditions for adding breaks (to serve ads for example).

 

History of Audio Streaming

in the late 90s audio streaming was in its infancy.  There were a lot of content providers who saw that the future was streaming music and radio talk shows online.

The biggest problem with streaming audio when it was first introduced was the connection speed the average user had to the Internet.  We take it for granted today, but ten years ago content on the Internet loaded much slower than it does now.

 

Internet Radio

Once connection speeds began to increase audio streaming became a popular medium thanks to Internet radio stations.

Internet radio gave anyone with a recording device, a computer, an Internet connection, and a desire to broadcast themselves the ability to create streaming audio for the whole world.  Internet radio works much the same as commercial radio over airwaves.  However, as the cost of production is far less the content is much more niche-oriented and diverse.

 

Audio Streaming Music

The most popular media that is streamed is music.  Music has always been a popular medium, but before the Internet in order to listen to music you need to buy albums or listen to the limited selection offered by the local radio stations.

Once connection speeds allowed for it, streaming music became a huge sector of the Internet.  There are currently thousands of websites that allow you to stream audio music over the Internet, including notable services like Pandora, Napster, and Last.fm.

And much like Internet radio, streaming music websites offer a wide range of choices to provide any type of music a person would want to listen to.  And as publishing record labels realize more and more that streaming music is the inevitable future of music listening, the cost of listening to streaming audio is becoming less and less, and often free.

 

How to Stream Audio

Streaming audio is as simple as connecting to the Internet with your computer and finding a website or service that has audio for streaming. 

However, you probably want to hear your streaming audio on something besides your laptop speakers.  In order to stream audio from the Internet to your home stereo system or external speakers you may need additional hardware.

Using Orb applications you can stream audio from your computer to your stereo.  With the Orb MP1 hardware device connected to your speakers you can wirelessly send streaming audio to your speakers.  The music or talk show runs from the server it is hosted on and then goes through your computer.  It is sent wirelessly to the Orb MP-1 which is connected to your speakers.  Once you play the audio it will play through your external speakers.

 

More Information

Audio Streaming Guide

Audio Streaming on a Mac

Audio Streaming Software

Audio Streaming Formats

Audio Streaming Bandwidth Usage

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