How does audio streaming work?

Streaming is the retransmission or streaming, the distribution or download of data from a provider or server on the Internet at the same time that the user consumes them. Let’s see what applications it has in the field of audio and sound .

How does streaming work?

As we say, with streaming the user does not need to wait until the download is complete to be able to use the data, to watch video or listen to audio. Streaming technology works using a data buffer created on the user’s computer. The information is temporarily stored in that buffer while the user accesses it. At the end of the streaming session, the buffer is automatically removed.

Streaming is one of the most common ways to broadcast live radio and TV online through the Internet. In this type of streaming, the person making the transmission sends the audio / video signal to a streaming server (broadcast server) and this stores the information in a temporary buffer.

The listeners are then connected to the streaming server through a single link , usually consisting of a port on the streaming server. In this way, they have access to the flow generated by the transmitter and can listen to the live audio signal or view the video transmission. The means to connect can be a web page in which the audio player is included or it can be listened directly through Windows Media Player, Winamp, QuickTime or RealPlayer.

As for the sound server, this software is responsible for managing the use and access to audio devices, usually sound cards. They usually run as a background process.

What events are usually streamed?


  • Internet radio broadcast (online radio).
  • Retransmission of specific events.
  • Live music broadcast.
  • Broadcast of conferences, online courses, seminars.

How does audio streaming work?

  1. Signal sending:from a computer connected to the Internet, the transmitter sends an audio signal to a streaming server. A software must be installed on the PC that collects the audio signal, encodes it and sends it to the streaming server.
  2. Listeners connect to the streaming server:Listeners can tune in to the broadcast in question from a web page. To do this, you have to insert a piece of code that contains the player for the radio.
  3. Direct connection:listeners can connect directly to the radio with links inserted on the website. Listeners can use:
    – Windows Media Player
    – Winamp
    – VLC
    – QuickTime
    – Real Audio
  4. Signal quality:48 and 64 kbps are usually used, although it can reach 96 kbps or 128 kbps. A higher bit-rate on an Internet connection means streaming audio in high definition.

Requirements for streaming audio transmission

  1. Sound card to collect the audio signal that you want to send live.
  2. Internet connection (at least ADSL or cable).
  3. Signal encoding software. It encodes it and sends it to the streaming servers.


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