What are the advantages and disadvantages of downloading versus streaming?

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The primary advantage of streaming is immediacy. A streaming file, either live or from the archive, begins to play within a few seconds after you select it (it is normal for a short period of buffering to take placeusually 20 to 30 seconds). Of course, streaming is the only way you can play a live message. There are a couple of advantages to downloading. The most significant is quality. Even with less than a high-speed connection, you can download a high quality video file to your computer. When you play it back, the quality will be consistently good, without the interruptions and periods of deterioration that are common with streaming. Another advantage of downloaded files is that your computer does not need a high speed connection during the playback. The first time you attempt to play a downloaded file, you must have some kind of internet connection. This enables the Media Player to go out and check for a valid license for that file. Once the license has been verified, it is not ... more
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