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Streaming or Downloading: Which Is the Best Use of Your Mobile Data?

Streaming or Downloading: Which Is the Best Use of Your Mobile Data?

When it comes to enjoying audio or video on your mobile device, you may be presented with an option regarding how to proceed: stream it or download it. But choosing an option may not be as obvious as it appears, depending on how you intend to use the content and when.

To help you make the decision about spending your mobile data on streaming or downloading, here are some important points to consider.

Downloading and Streaming Are Functionally the Same

Both streaming and downloading involve a file being sent to the device. The key difference is that a streaming file is simply played as it becomes available, while a download is stored onto memory. Both processes involve the act of downloading, but only one leaves you with a copy left on your device that you can access at any time without having to receive (or download) the data again.

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If you access a downloaded file later, you do not have to use more mobile data to play it. However, if you choose to stream a file again, you will have to download the information again (and again every time you choose to access it).

The Amount of Data Transferred is (Typically) Equal

Another thing you need to understand is that the size of the file itself is often the same regardless of whether you stream it or download it, as long as it is offered with the same level of quality for both selections. For example, if an MP3 of a song is 3.5 MB, that fact doesn’t change whether you download it or stream it.

However, certain options may differ depending on available quality. If you have the option of streaming a video at 480p but can download it at 720p, the 720p file will be larger than the 480p counterpart. This means it takes more data to download the 720p file than stream the 480p version.

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Additionally, some streaming services, like Netflix, offer the ability to adjust data usage settings, allowing you to choose a lower resolution option to save data.

Intended Use of the File

Since many of the factors are similar, whether you choose to stream or download a file needs to be based on how you want to use the file.

If there is a particular song you love, and you can imagine listing to it every day, then downloading the file is the better option. By choosing to download the MP3 to your device’s memory using a music downloader, you use data during the initial download. Then, if you want to listen to it, you can simply access it from your device’s memory. You only use the data once, and you can replay the song indefinitely.

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This approach is also necessary if you want to access the file at a time when you don’t have a connection to the internet, since you can’t stream music or videos without an active connection.

However, if you aren’t interested in using a file more than once, you might want to stream instead. Unlike downloading, streaming doesn’t place the file in your device’s memory. That means you can enjoy the song or video and won’t lose any storage capacity. This is especially ideal if you are in an area with a strong signal and want to access the information immediately.

Stopping, Starting, and Choosing Not to Finish

It is important to point out when you stream a file and can’t finish it, you may not be able to start the audio or video from the exact spot in which you left off. Some systems are pretty good at letting you restart the playback from where it was paused, but others will automatically start over. In those cases, you may have to download certain sections of the file a second time, raising the total amount of data used.

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In contrast, if you start an audio or video file and decide you don’t want to finish it, streaming results in less data use. Downloading requires the file be retrieved and stored in entirety before you can enjoy it, while streaming allows it to play without the entire file being loaded. So, walking away in the middle of a streaming file saves you the amount of data that you don’t listen to, while a downloaded file does not.

Watching Your Data

While this may seem like a lot of analysis for choosing between streaming or downloading a file, if you are using a device with a limited data plan, these can be important considerations. So, review the file size and consider how you intend to use the file. Then you can make a choice based on what is best for you.

Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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