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STREAMING MEDIA - BANDWIDTH EXPLAINED

Despite the technical sounding name, 'bandwidth usage' is not too difficult to explain, although you may want to read everything below twice but once you have it should all make sense. Understanding bandwidth usage will help you to ensure you receive the maximum value when deciding which of our streaming media hosting services you use.

Digital music is encoded to digital form. The higher the quality of the audio then the more information the file contains about each second of music. This is called the 'sample rate' - the higher the sample rate then the higher the quality of the audio. The sample rate is measured in kbps (kilobits per second).

The equivalent of FM radio quality is around 37kbps, whilst CD quality is 70kbps.

If one person listens to 1 second of audio encoded at 37kbps then there will be 37kb of data sent to the listener. If they listened to a whole minute of audio then it would be 37kb*60seconds = 2220kb. This is the bandwidth usage.

A 'bit' is a very small amount of information. A kilobit is a thousand tiny pieces of information. To avoid dealing in numbers that are dozens of digits long we refer to data in kilobytes (KB - as opposed to the lowercase 'kb'), megabytes(MB) and gigabytes (GB)

1 kilobit (kb)   divided by 8 =   1kilobyte(KB)
1kilobyte(KB)   divided by1024 =   1 megabyte (MB)
1 megabyte (MB)   divided by 1024 =   1 gigabyte (GB)

So if you are broadcasting for 2 hours a day to 40 people then your bandwidth usage would look like this:

2 hours   = 120 minutes  
120 minutes   = 7,200 seconds  
7,200 seconds x 40 listeners = = 288,000 seconds  
37kb x 288000 seconds = 10,656,000kb  
10,656,000kb / 8 = = 36,000KB  
36,000KB / 1024 = 35.1 MB  


So, in the scenario explained above you would use 35.1MB of bandwidth.

If you'd like to calculate what your bandwidth usage is likely to be then please use our Bandwidth Calculator.

I hope that I have explained bandwidth usage clearly. To read about our available streaming hosting packages and their prices please visit our steaming media hosting services pricing guide.

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