Internet Media Players
How to watch streaming internet TV and listen to live online radio.
What is streaming video or audio?
Streaming video or audio is video (as on television) or sound (as on the radio) delivered over the Internet via a modem or broadband connection.
What kinds of streaming audio or video are there?
here are 6 main streaming media companies (with their media streams):
All of them provide at least "basic" free players. Some of them also have optional "plus" players that offer extra features - at extra cost (for example: Real Player). All players work on Windows, although you may have problems with 64 bit versions. And some players don't work on Mac OS and/or Linux.
- Adobe (with Flash streams - audio and video)
- Microsoft (with Windows Media and Silverlight - audio and video)
- Apple (with QuickTime)
- Nullsoft Streaming Video (.nsv) and Shoutcast, IceCast (GNU GPL/Open Source version of Shoutcast), Live365 streaming audio
- Real Networks (with RealMedia, RealVideo and RealAudio)
- Move Networks (with MoveMediaPlayer)
If I need a streaming media player, how do I get one?
Just download it using the links below! Remember, you only need the basic, free version of each player to enjoy streaming content. All of these companies sell upgraded versions with more features (like RealPlayer Plus), but all supply a basic, free version too. They usually hide the free one, so don't buy the upgraded version unless you want to. Once you've downloaded the player, it will usually install itself. You may need to reset your browser preferences to use a new player.
Free streaming media players with stream recording feature
Note that in the majority of cases streaming media player is not the best way to record streaming media files.
- MPlayer and Related projects (Free/Windows, Linux, Mac OS X,...)
MPlayer is a movie player for Linux (runs on many other Unices, and non-x86 CPUs), Windows, Mac OS X.
It plays most MPEG, VOB, AVI, OGG/OGM, VIVO, ASF/WMA/WMV, QT/MOV/MP4, FLI, RM, NuppelVideo, YUV4MPEG, FILM, RoQ, PVA files, supported by many native, XAnim, and Win32 DLL codecs. You can watch VideoCD, SVCD, DVD, 3ivx, DivX 3/4/5 and even WMV movies, too (without the avifile library).
To record streaming media get the URL of a stream and use command line strings like in the following examples:
mplayer.exe -dumpstream rtsp://somehost.com/somedirectory/somefile.rm
After recording you will get the file stream.dump. You should rename it to .rm, .ra, .asf, .wmv or other format you are using.
MPlayer supports HTTP, RTSP, MMS protocols to record Windows Media, RealVideo/RealAudio, QuickTime Video
mplayer.exe -dumpstream rtsp://somehost.com/somedirectory/somefile.ra
mplayer.exe -dumpstream rtsp://somehost.com/somedirectory/somefile.asf
mplayer.exe -dumpstream mms://somehost.com/somedirectory/somefile.wmv
Recommended free MPlayer package with GUI for Windows: MPlayer + frontend by Gabor Szecsi (When using it enter your URL in a Media file editbox and "-dumpstream" (without quotes) in MPlayer Extra parameters editbox, then click "Start" button to start recording process).
- VLC (Free/Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, BeOS ...)
VLC (initially VideoLAN Client) is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network. VLC can record some streaming content.
Hint: Looking for an easy way to convert Youtube to MP3 or download YouTube Videos? Try Freecorder.