Friday, March 23, 2012

The Vitality of Online Streaming

Video and audio streaming is all the rage these days.  But how well will it work out?  Last year, mobile phone companies started moving toward data caps and throttling.  I finally got my first 'smart' phone late last year and have a 4GB data cap.  This may sound like a lot, but if you stream several full-length movies, that cap won't last.  And if throttling is used, then I'll have annoying pauses in the video that I wouldn't get with DVD or Blu-ray. 

Even at home, using my laptop, I constantly have issues viewing media over the internet.  You-Tube works well, as I can let it download the video before watching it, but streaming doesn't work like that.  It only looks ahead a small amount, giving you the video as you need it.  This works well if you have a clear, strong, unhampered connection, but does anyone have that these days? 

That said, I greatly enjoy streaming.  It's easy, somewhat efficient, and I don't have to maintain anything on my end.  However, if I lose track of one of the videos, it can be very difficult to find it again.  I have accounts where I can purchase streaming movies that stay on their server, but what if the business goes under?

All in all, I think I would rather have physical media for the moment, even with draconian DRM practices.

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