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Chapter 14. Internet Audio > Online Collaborative Recording - Pg. 296

296 Working with Audio (.ra), QuickTime (.mov), and Flash (.swf) as well as Free Lossless Audio Codec (.flac) and Audio File Format Ogg Vorbis (.ogv, .oga, .ogx, .ogg, .spx). Nonstreaming Versus Streaming Audio The difference between nonstreaming and streaming audio is that streaming allows audio data to be sent across a computer network so that no interruptions occur at the receiv- ing end for what appears to be continuous audio playback. In practice, however, inter- ruptions do occur with slower connections. Downloadable nonstreaming formats require that the user first download the entire file to some form of media, be it a hard disk or a thumb drive. A plug-in application then plays the file. No specific server (transmitter) software is needed. A key principle behind streaming technologies is buffering. As the player, which is built into or added onto a user's Web browser, receives encoded data, it stores it in a buffer before use. After data builds a substantial buffer, the player (such as RealPlayer) begins to play it. All incoming data is first stored in the buffer before playing. Thus, the player is able to maintain a continuous audio output despite the changing transmission speeds of the data. Sometimes the buffer runs empty, and the player has to wait until it receives more data.