A   S t r e a m i n g   M e d i a   P r i m e r :  
G L O S S A R Y
HTTP command is sent to a Web server directing it to 
lossless:  A process that does not affect signal fi delity; 
fetch and transmit the requested Web page. 
e.g. the transfer of DV via an IEEE 1394 connection.
HTTP streaming: See 
progressive download.
MB:  Megabytes
hypertext:  A database system wherein objects (text, 
M Bone: The MBONE (Multicast Backbone) is a 
images, video, audio, and applications) can be linked to 
virtual network layered on top of the physical Internet 
each other. For example, while reading an article about 
to support the routing of multicast packets. For more 
jazz music, you might click on the name of a musician 
information, see www.mbone.com.
to see a photograph, biography, or discography; you 
Mbps:  Megabits per second
might click on the name of a song to hear it played or 
MBR:  Short for multiple (or multi) bit rate, and also 
to view score. A Web page is simply a graphical user 
known as adaptive streaming, MBR is a technique by 
interface (GUI) used to convey a hypertext document.
which several streams, compressed at different bitrates, 
IEEE 1394: The interface standard that enables the 
are encoded together into a single fi le. When the client 
direct transfer of DV between devices such as a DV 
calls for the media fi le,  a  negotiation  between  client 
camcorder and a computer; also used to describe the 
and server determines the available bandwidth, and the 
cables and connectors utilizing this standard.
appropriate stream is transmitted.
i.LINK:  The Sony trade name for IEEE 1394.
media: A term with many different meanings, in the 
inter frame compression: Also known as temporal 
context of streaming media, it refers to video, anima 
compression, inter frame compression reduces the 
tion, and audio. The term  media  may also refer to 
amount of video information by storing only the dif 
something used for storage or transmission, such as 
ferences between frames.
tapes, diskettes, CD ROMs, DVDs, or networks such 
as the Internet.
interlacing: System developed for early television 
and still in use in standard television displays. To 
media server:  Specialized server software that takes 
compensate for limited persistence, the electron gun 
advantage of appropriate Web transfer protocols such as 
used to illuminate the phosphors coating the inside of 
RTSP (real time streaming protocol), as well as special 
the screen alternately draws even, then odd horizontal 
communication techniques between clients and servers, 
lines. By the time the even lines are dimming, the odd 
to facilitate the continuous playback of synchronized 
lines are illuminated. We perceive these  interlaced  
audio and video in real time, adjusting the streams 
fi elds of lines as complete pictures.
transmitted to the actual bandwidth available. Media 
server software may be running on discrete hardware, 
intra frame compression: Also known as spatial com 
or can be deployed in combination with Web server 
pression, intra frame compression reduces the amount 
software running on the same device.
of video information within each frame individually.
metafi le:  A fi le containing information that describes 
IP: Internet Protocol, the basis of most Internet proto 
or specifi es another fi le. Some streaming media formats 
cols, breaks up large chunks of information into digest 
use metafi les to invoke the client media player and/or 
ible  packets. In addition to the data being conveyed, 
to specify the location of a streaming fi le on a media 
each packet (also known as a datagram) carries a header 
server.
containing the source and destination IP addresses, as 
well as a sequence number that allows the destination 
mic: Pronounced like  mike;  short for microphone.
computer to reconstruct the packets in the correct 
MPEG:  Motion Pictures Expert Group of the Inter 
sequence, when they arrive. 
national Organization for Standardization (ISO) has 
IP address: A numeric identifi er for a computer 
defi ned multiple standards for compressing audio and 
or device on the Internet. An IP address consists 
video sequences. Setting it apart from JPEG which 
of four numbers separated by periods, or dots (e.g., 
compresses individual frames, MPEG compression uses 
192.168.0.1), representing a unique 32 bit address. An 
a technique where the differences in what has changed 
IP address consists of a network portion and a host 
between one frame and its predecessor are calculated 
portion; how many bits designate the network and how 
and encoded.  MPEG is both a type of compression 
many designate the host varies. 
and a video format.   MPEG 1  was initially designed 
to deliver near broadcast quality video through a 
KB: Kilobytes
standard speed CD ROM. Playback of MPEG 1 
Kbps: Kilobits per second
video requires either a software decoder coupled 
keyframe: A frame selected at the beginning or end of 
with a high end machine, or a hardware decoder. 
a sequence of frames, that is used as a reference for any 
 MPEG 2  is the broadcast quality video found 
of a variety of functions. In inter frame video compres 
on  DVD's. It requires a hardware decoder (e.g.; a 
sion, keyframes typically store complete information 
DVD ROM player) for playback.  MPEG 4  is a rela 
namic Media
about the image, while the frames in between may store 
tively new standard, now being used in some architec 
y
only the differences between two keyframes.
tures for streaming media.
live feed: Data which is fed to a server in real time (i.e., 
multiple (or multi) bit rate: See MBR.
as it is recorded), rather than being pre recorded. 
multicast: Multicast is an effi cient way to transmit the 
live live:  Sometimes used to refer to the streaming 
same media stream to many recipients simultaneously, 
obe D
of a live feed.
by replicating the stream at router hops where the 
d
path to different multicast group members diverges. 
A
lossy: Generally refers to a compression scheme or 
Multicast end users experience the same portion of the 
other process, such as duplication, that causes degrada 
media, at the same time (in contrast to unicast, which 
tion of signal fi delity.
can allow each end user to control their own experience 
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