Downloads usually end up as a file on your computer. You then open the file to view or listen to it. But there is another way called 'streaming'.
Instead of a file being created on your computer, the digital data is passed straight into a media player - nothing gets stored. You simply listen to the music or watch the film in 'real time'.
For example the BBC iPlayer offers streaming of recent programs
With a video streaming service, you select what you want to watch. The streaming begins and you view the program.
The player also allows you to pause viewing if you wish.
The biggest disadvantage of video streaming compared to a normal download is that the speed of your connection has to be high enough to support the stream.
If it is too slow, then 'buffering' occurs where the player has to wait for more data.
There are very popular commercial streaming companies such as Netflix and Amazon. You simply subscribe and begin to listen.
Many 'smart televisions' have a direct broadband connection and so it is now even easier to view streaming programs without a computer.
Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you
Click on this link: music and video streaming