In streaming video and audio, the traveling information is a stream of data from a server. The decoder is a stand-alone player or a plugin that works as part of a Web browser. The server, information stream and decoder work together to let people watch live or prerecorded broadcasts.
Streaming is a technology used to deliver content—usually audio and video, but increasingly other kinds as well—to computers and mobile devices over the internet. Streaming transmits data as a continuous flow, which allows the recipients to begin to watch or listen almost immediately.
Streaming is the quickest way to access internet-based content, but it's not the only way. Progressive download is another option that was used for years before streaming was possible.
Streaming allows you to start using the content before the entire file is downloaded. Take music: When you stream a song from Apple Music or Spotify, you can click play and start listening almost immediately. You don't have to wait for the song to download before the music starts.
This is one of the major advantages of streaming. It delivers data to you as you need it.
The other major difference between streaming and downloads is what happens to the data after you use it. For downloads, the data is permanently stored on your device until you delete it. For streams, the data is automatically deleted after you use it.