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Streaming Media & Media Resources at the Addlestone Library: Vocabulary & Resources


Audio Quality:  Audio quality is generally mostly affected by one's internet connection rate and that of the streaming server involved.  The audio in a video is a separate un-adjustable stream and remains the same bitrate for all video quality settings (126 kbps).  For a comparison the audio bitrate for Spotify is 320 kbps, for iTunes its 256 kbps,  a music CD is 14ll kbps.

Bitrate:   the amount of data transferred in a certain period.  It is the way to measure the speed of upload and download data transfers. The faster the data transfers, the more overall data gets through.  The bitrate is most apparent in video, since without a high bitrate, the high resolution and high frame rate video won't look as good as it could. Higher quality video content requires more data, so a high bitrate allows streaming at that high level.  Bitrate is measured in bits-per-second (bps). Since the numbers are very large, they are referred in megabits-per-second (Mbps)— sets of millions of bits-per-second. 

Video bitrate is limited by the amount of bandwidth for uploading and the capacity for downloading. Bandwidth is the maximum capacity of the network for uploading or downloading data— it's the pipeline for information transfers between the internet and your local network. Larger information requests require higher bandwidth to squeeze through. Smaller pipelines cause stoppages, slowing the transfer process.  Source

Copyright:  A copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to authors of "original works of authorship." This includes literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other creative works. Material not protected by copyright (or otherwise protected) is available for use by anyone without the author's consent. A copyright holder can prevent others from copying, performing or otherwise using the work without his or her consent.

Generally speaking holding copyright to a work is the legal right to be the only one to reproduce, publish, and sell a book, musical recording, etc., for a certain period of time.  So, the mere act of making a copy of a copyrighted work - even for your own use - is a violation of copyright.  For printed material this is relatively easy to understand. But, in this era of easy access to digital media (video, audio, pictures etc.) adhering to copyright can become murky.   From What is Copyright? Libguide

Fair Use: In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. In other words, fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement. If your use qualifies as a fair use, then it would not be considered an infringement

So what is a “transformative” use? If this definition seems ambiguous or vague, be aware that millions of dollars in legal fees have been spent attempting to define what qualifies as a fair use. There are no hard-and-fast rules, only general guidelines and varied court decisions, because the judges and lawmakers who created the fair use exception did not want to limit its definition. Like free speech, they wanted it to have an expansive meaning that could be open to interpretation.

Most fair use analysis falls into two categories: (1) commentary and criticism, or (2) parody.  FROM Standford Universities Copyright & Fair Use

Obtaining PPR: Finding and contacting the entity that holds the copyright to a title can be difficult.  Often the film distributor from where the film was purchased can sell you the one time performance rights to that title.

If the film was not originally purchased with ppr, you may contact SWANK motion pictures to obtain a one-time performance license. Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.®  is a major non-theatrical movie distributor, online CE/CME education distributor and public performance licensing agent in venues where feature movies are shown publicly.

Public Domain: The term “public domain” refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it.  FROM: Standford Libraries Copyright & Fair Use

Public Performance Rights (PPR):  If the use of a film does not fall under educational fair use, it falls under public use. 

To legally screen a film in public it is necessary to have written permission of the copyright holder or purchase a one-time public performance rights license.  Sometimes the Addlestone library purchases non feature films with the ppr included. You may contact the Addlestone library to determine if the film was originally purchased with ppr.

Streaming:  a method of transmitting or receiving data (especially video and audio material) over a computer network as a steady, continuous flow, allowing playback to start while the rest of the data is still being received.

Streaming Database: a library subscription database consisting of a collection of videos which may be accessed by students and faculty of the College of Charleston.  The three main such streaming video databases are Alexander Street Press, Films on Demand, and Kanopy.

Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.®  Swank Motion Pictures provides both public performance licensing rights and licensed movies to numerous non-theatrical markets, including worldwide cruise lines, U.S. colleges and universities, K-12 public schools and libraries, American civilian and military hospitals, motor coaches, Amtrak trains, correctional facilities and other markets such as parks, art museums and businesses.

Video Quality: Video quality (of streaming video) is affected by multiple factors including one’s internet connection rate and that of the streaming server involved.  However, the biggest variable is the quality of the streaming video itself.  Though the video usually defaults to the highest quality (1080p), a user can mitigate these quality variables by manually selecting the desired video quality (360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p).  The lower video quality means smaller file size, which means faster download (which is helpful if your internet connection is not so good),  but of course lower quality picture.

VLC Media Player:  VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.  VLC Media Player will play a DVD on Zoom! However, watching a full movie on Zoom is not always an enjoyable experience due to bandwidth, connectivity, etc.  This media player may be downloaded from the VLC site here:

Helpful Links

Some Sites to Use or Access