I Stream, You Stream, We All Stream

Here's a Wikipedia definition of streaming

Streaming media is multimedia that is constantly received by and presented to an end-user while being delivered by a provider. The verb “to stream” refers to the process of delivering or obtaining media in this manner; the term refers to the delivery method of the medium, rather than the medium itself, and is an alternative to file downloading, a process in which the end-user obtains the entire file for the content before watching or listening to it.

So, your computer/TV/phone can either download the entire file (like email) -or- allow you to watch/listen to a "stream" of content. It doesn't save the file, you just enjoy it, as it "streams" by.

Here's an approximate list of how big the stream needs to be to carry the content you want. Although streaming music doesn't take much bandwidth (there are lots of free internet radio stations) - video does. High definition video even more.

Those of you who stream video, like Netflix, may notice that picture quality might vary. When the internet doesn't have enough bandwidth (stream size), it might provide a lower resolution picture. In the Summer, you probably notice it more because there are more people -sharing the stream.