A   S t r e a m i n g   M e d i a   P r i m e r :    
H O W   D O E S   S T R E A M I N G   W O R K ?
The  big three  streaming architectures and their native fi le formats 
                                                       Streaming Media 
Architecture                Native Formats
                                                                                                                                File Extensions
QuickTime                    QuickTime Format                                                 .mov (sometimes .qt or .qti)
RealMedia                    RealMedia Format                                                 .rm                              
Windows Media         Advanced Streaming Format or                       .asf,  .wmv, .wma
                                        Windows Media Video/Audio
MPEG (denoted by .mpg and several other fi le extensions) is a standard fi le format for video, and it 
is also a codec that is used to create formats, but it is not a complete architecture. MPEG 1, originally 
designed for multimedia formats on CD ROM, does not support true streaming but only progressive 
download. MPEG 4 is a brand new, international open standard for Web video, based around the 
QuickTime format. Windows Media Video v1 is a derivative of the MPEG 4 codec, which has been 
renamed to avoid confusion. QuickTime 5, just released as of the fi nalization of this Primer, is the fi rst 
full implementation of MPEG 4 for streaming media. 
This section merely outlines the tools and techniques involved in streaming media you'll fi nd more 
detailed explanations in the section of this primer entitled  How Do I Make (Good) Streaming Media.  
The process from planning and shooting your video, through outputting the appropriate fi le formats for 
the selected medium are, essentially, the same steps you would go through for developing any kind 
of digital video project: pre production (planning), production (shooting video and recording audio), 
and post production (editing, adding effects and titles, mixing and synchronizing audio, and outputting 
for your medium of choice). But for streaming media, the process doesn't end there you still have 
to publish your streams. 
First, you'll need some media you want to share
Whether it's a live live Webcast from a Web cam trained on your baby's fi rst steps  or a scheduled 
Webcast of your CEO giving a keynote speech that's pushed to the extended enterprise  or an effects 
heavy movie trailer that audiences can stream on demand to build anticipation for the next  big 
summer blockbuster   if you can capture it, you can stream it. 
The term  video capture  may be used to refer to the digitization of analog video, from a connected 
camcorder (video camera) or from a connected tape deck, as it is saved onto a computer hard drive 
via a video capture card installed in the computer. The captured video clips, once digitized, can then be 
manipulated (edited and/or encoded) with computer software. 
The very same term  capture  is also used to refer to the simple transfer of DV (a video format 
typically shot with a digital camcorder and, therefore, already in digital form), from a camcorder or tape 
deck, onto a computer via an IEEE 1394 connection (also known as FireWire or iLink). For Webcasting, 
analog video and DV can both be captured  live  while fi lming, to be streamed  live  i.e., in real time 
(although a specialized video capture card designed to handle streaming is necessary for the live capture 
namic Medianamic Media
and streaming of analog video). 
Similarly, audio, whether recorded live or transferred from a CD or other sound storage medium is also 
said to be  captured,  when it is saved onto a computer.
Play Back
You'll probably want some video editing and visual effects software
obe Dobe D
If you are not doing a live feed, you have the opportunity to edit and develop your video story with 
titles, motion graphics, transitions, and visual effects, as well as with music, voice overs, sound effects, 
and other audio enhancements. Or, you may be repurposing content that was produced for other 

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