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5.1. Streaming protocols

The big breakthrough that enabled the streaming revolution was the adoption of a new Internet protocol called the User Datagram Protocol (UDP)and new encoding techniques that compressed audio files into extremely small packets of data. UDP made streaming media feasible by transmitting data more efficiently than previous protocols from the host server over the Internet to the client player or end listener. More recent protocols such as the RealTime Streaming Protocol (RTSP) are making the transmission of data even more efficient.

UDP and RTSP are ideal for audio broadcasting since they place a high priority on continuous streaming rather than on absolute document security. Unlike TCP and HTTP transmission, when a UDP audio packet drops out, the server keeps sending information, causing only a brief glitch instead of a huge gap of silence. TCP, on the other hand, keeps trying to resend the lost packet before sending anything further, causing greater delays and breakups in the audio broadcast.


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