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9.1. Introduction

Media streaming is the delivery of content as a continuous boundless stream of bits. Media streams could be used for transmission of audio, video, and data (e.g., captioning text, stock tickers). It is possible to categorize issues related to media streaming in the layered structure depicted in Figure 9.1. The two transport options are MPEG-based and IP-based. Above the transport layer is the media coding layer, which addresses issues of decoding and encoding content, as well as issues related to media format. Above media coding is the synchronization layer, concerned with coordinating the various media types (e.g., audio, video, and text) to create a high quality viewer experience. Finally, the application integration layer provides integration API (e.g., JMF) and markup formats (e.g., SMIL).

Figure 9.1. Conceptual media-streaming layers.



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