Cloud Services Streaming Media from the Cloud (SaaS) Streaming media allows users to play music or videos from the cloud without having to wait for the entire file to download. Streaming media is an example of software as a service (SaaS), a service of cloud computing that allows access to software apps using a browser, without the need to install software on a computer or device. Streaming media has become popular because of the decreasing cost of cloud storage; the increasing download speeds for business, home, and mobile users; and the growing number of devices available to play downloaded content. When streaming, a provider sends the media to the user’s device over the Internet in a compressed format. The user runs a media player app to uncompress the data as it arrives and then play the resulting audio data as sound; or, the user can display the resulting video data on mobile devices, computers, Smart TVs, and other devices that have an appropriate player. Content providers, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, allow users to subscribe to their services for a monthly fee and watch videos on demand, or instantly, by streaming them to Internet-connected devices. Individuals and businesses use streaming services to broadcast video of their events live, on the Internet in high definition. Many will use this service to broadcast presentations, product demonstrations, performances, and other events online. Research This: (1) What file formats are used to compress audio and video files for streaming? (2) Compare the offerings of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon for providing video on demand. Do you use any of these services? Which would you choose? Why? (3) Find a television or radio broadcast that is streamed live on the Internet and simultaneously broadcast “on air.” Watch or listen to part of the live stream and then do the same for the broadcast on television or radio. How do the experiences and quality compare? What other events often are streamed live online?