Folder Sharing vs. Streaming RRS feed

  • Question

  • OK, this is going to be probably the most basic question one can have about streaming but it's coming from someone that's never done more than share a picture or music folder on a network. 

    Right now I use Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Media Center and Zune and iTunes.  To access the files I just shared the folders and pointed the applications on each computer to the shared folders on the WHS.

    So my questions are:
    What is streaming?
    Mediacenter Connector?

    How do these benefit your media collection?

    Thanks for any insight


    Tuesday, December 15, 2009 2:28 AM

All replies

  • For a basic question, I have a basic answer. :)

    The essential difference is that streaming typically starts almost right away (the player will typically cache a small amount of data locally so it can smooth out momentary network hiccups, and this will take a few seconds or so). Access through the file system, shares, etc. takes time before your media starts playing, because the media player needs to read some (or all) of the file. In the case of an audio track (usually only a few megabytes in size), that could still be only a few seconds, but in the case of a feature length HD video, you could easily be looking at several gigabytes, which will obviously take some time to download for local play.

    An example of streaming would be your cable company's "On Demand" service. You select a video from a menu and within a few seconds it starts to play through your set-top box. A different implentation of streaming is live Internet radio, where the music/dialog/etc. is being sent out for anyone who wants to listen.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, December 15, 2009 3:57 PM
  • In my situation I'm viewing the files (photos, music and videos) on another computer (sometimes connected to a TV via HDMI) and just sharing the files on the WHS.  I don't see the benefit of streaming.  It works flawlessly without any additional software that has to be configured and possibly buggy. Maybe I'm missing something here? 

    Thanks again,

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009 11:33 PM