Streaming audio is a method of listening to an audio track on the internet, while it is received, rather than having to download an entire file first. In a traditional download sense, when you want to listen to an audio file, you need to first start a download. Only when the complete file has downloaded, can your audio player start to replay the audio track. However, with advances in technology, it has been necessary to find alternative ways of playing back downloaded audio files.
To expand on this issue a little further, it is now possible to listen to radio stations on the internet, live, as well as specific concerts, and other applications are being developed all the time. However, if you think about it, radio stations that broadcast twenty four hours a day are not creating special files for each song online. They are just taking their audio output and sending it through a computer program to be streamed on the internet. Naturally, the big advantage is that audio in this way can be picked up, or started from any point, and then picked up again later, after a pause if you wish. Equally, it is an emerging technology and is thus becoming faster to start up from the opening of your various audio monitoring programs.
In addition, it is possible to also record streaming audio files into smaller chunks of audio for your own use. Several popular programs exist for this, and one free one is called Audacity. It is essentially a case of setting it up correctly in order to record the audio from your computer. Essentially, instead of using the audio microphone as the input, you can select the audio source or your computer's sound card. This is driven by the audio input button, and the options displayed will vary from computer to computer, depending on your machine's configuration.
More and more material is being streamed online, rather than just made available as pre-made audio files. In addition, with the changes that are sweeping the broadcasting industry, more and more radio and TV stations are streaming their programs online, realizing they need to compete in this new medium to remain relevant. Effectively, more people are opting to spend time in front of the internet, and in some demographics, traditional TV viewing is reducing. Streaming audio is not anything to be scared of, but rather opens new doors of opportunity in terms of what can now be technologically created.