When you access music and video over the internet, there are basically 2 ways you can get the content. Some content is streamed to your computer while other content is downloaded. It’s a good idea to understand the difference, so we are going to try and explain it in this article.
Actually, you probably already understand downloading. When you download Music or Video from the internet, you download a file to your computer. You can place that file on your computer wherever you want to. Then you can open that file and view or listen to the content. The file stays on your computer until you remove it. So you can generally come back and listen to or view it again and again.
Streaming, on the other hand, is different. When you access a media stream on the internet, no file is downloaded to your computer. The music or video comes in real time and is played real time. It’s not stored on your computer, so if you want to listen to it or view it again, you have to stream it again. It’s kind of like an on-demand live broadcast.
As you know, the most popular video website is YouTube. You may be wondering which of these models it uses. It uses downloading, but it downloads the file to a temporary location that’s hidden from view. Take a look at this picture: