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Hour 10. Adding Flash and Other Multimed... > Exploring Multimedia and Bandwidth

Exploring Multimedia and Bandwidth

Adding multimedia files, such as sounds, movies, and PDF documents, grows more popular as modems become faster and people browse the Web with more bandwidth. Yes, that's right: Most multimedia files take up a lot of bandwidth. Bandwidth is the size of the Internet “pipe” you have when you connect to the Web. Increasingly more people are accessing the Internet using a broadband connection: DSL or a cable modem. If you are on a cable modem, you have access to a higher Internet bandwidth than someone connecting with a 56Kbps modem.

Some formats, such as RealMedia and Shockwave files, get around the large bandwidth requirements of sound and video files by streaming content to the user. Streamed content begins to play after a short buffer period; the content continues to download in the background while previously buffered content plays. Most multimedia delivered over the Web is also compressed by using ever-improving techniques.


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