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Streaming VS Downloading: Is Music/Movie Download Better than Stream

Tim Cook returned Steve Jobs' famous "One More Thing" with Apple Music at the end of WWDC 2015, making a big push into mainstream music streaming yet challenging the longstanding digital download. Someone may get used to download free movies for digital copy while others hand all over music streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify or Pandora. But how much do you know the real difference between streaming and downloading? Well, the streaming vs downloading comparison maybe your master key, whether you want to know the file size, data usage, bandwidth or legality during streaming and downloading. Plus, an ad-free streaming video downloader is introduced for you to download streaming video if you are in favor of downloading, compared to streaming.

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Detailed Streaming VS Downloading Review: What's The Difference

stream vs download: history and data

1. Music Streams Are Up and Downloads Are Down - History and Data
Apple is always the weather vane of high tech, indicating a new life emergence and a superannuation obsolete. 14 years ago, iTunes' arrival weeds out traditional tape and CD from revolution. But nowadays, the burgeoning media streaming services like Pandora and Spotify seem to knock out the prevalent digital download such as iTunes. Statistics show music downloads (iTunes included) all over the world, covering USA, Europe and Japan, dropped by 2.1% while streaming soars by 51.3%, at the end of 2013. Accordingly, a terrible title "Demise of The Digital Download" revealed from Forbes.

Winner: Streaming

stream vs download: bandwidth

2. Streaming Versus Downloading: Which One Uses More Bandwidth
The bandwidth you consume is based on how much and how long it takes for data to get. Generally, it's 100% the same in the streaming vs downloading bandwidth comparison. But an advantage to downloading over streaming is you can watch the video multiple times without having to spend bandwidth each time. But streaming edges out downloading because you cannot watch the video until it finishes downloading. However, programs like MacX YouTube Downloader gives the feel of streaming as the built-in video player enables to watch online videos without waiting until the entire video is downloaded.

Winner: Downloading

stream vs download: quality

3. Will Streaming Offer Better Quality Than Downloading?
While watching a movie or a video, quality is the prime concern in judging difference between streaming and downloading. That's way people asked: "Does picture quality differ between streaming and downloading?" If you download a HD 1080p video from YouTube or so and play it, the picture and sound quality is slightly inferior to the video while streaming as download is always said to be quality terminator. But if the internet is in a traffic jam, videos are watch in bits and pieces. So you'd better to download it for a smooth playback.

Winner: Streaming

stream vs download: buffer

4. Streaming VS Downloading: Space and Buffering
To download movies, videos or songs, you are advised to have a lot of free space on your device. Generally, it is especially large in HD movies. For instance, the hot Jurassic World is 6 GB in HD and 2.87 GB in SD. Generally, for a smooth viewing experience, video buffers or preloads a few seconds during streaming. Or else, you need a fast internet connection to keep up with the video streaming. While compared to streaming, downloading isn't a problem at all, which only needs internet access while you're downloading the video.

Winner: Draw

stream vs download:  data

5. What Takes Up Less Data Usage, Streaming or Downloading?
It's often the questions: "Is the data used in downloading and streaming same?" In terms of streaming vs downloading data usage, it's nearly the same to download a video or watch it by streaming. If you watch a video 10 times of 100MB through streaming, 1GB data will be consumed. But the data usage will be count as 100MB when you download the video from YouTube. In the meantime, mind the data caps. It's impossible to finish streaming or downloading a movie (5.45 GB) in case you have a 2GB data cap. A better way is to stream or download video with Wi-Fi connected.

Winner: Draw

stream vs download: legal

6. Streaming VS Downloading: Legality
Both streaming and downloading are involved in copyright law, making infringing copies of the work in question. Streaming vs downloading legal issue are still variable in many countries. On June 5, 2014, CJEU ruled that it's legal to stream illegal content online in Europe when the user isn't willfully making a copy of said content. But in Sweden, those operating internet site of criminal copyright infringement will be convicted, and so does it in USA, Franch, Japan, having strick laws on copyright protection. It is proven that illegal downloading could be punishable by up to 5 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Winner: Draw

Capture Streaming Video/Movie/Music in HD with Video Streaming Downloader

You may take sides on video downloading rather than streaming service as computer networks are still limited. If so, let's stay in a state of a good start by downloading MacX Video Converter Pro, a professional video streaming downloader, to tackle the streaming video download process, prior to the streaming vs downloading review. The trump card of this program lies in its invincible online video download and record capabilities. You can download streaming video, movie, music, TV shows, and even 4K UHD video from YouTube, Pandora, Dailymotion, etc to be saved in MP4, AVI, WMV, MOV, MPEG4, H.264 and more, and even capture streaming video from Spotify, Hulu, etc that movies and songs are undownloadable from the video or music streaming services, by courtesy of its awesome screen recording feature.

Secure Download
Secure Download

Top 3 Best Music/Video/Movie Streaming Services and Sites

There are many services and sites for free movies, music and video streaming without downloading. The following 3 are picked up based on customer feedbacks in stream vs download review.

YouTube: Offering in widescreen format, 16:9 aspect ratios, high quality playback, and supporting for nearly any video format and 60fps video, YouTube is without doubt one of the best video streaming sites. But there is constant Youtube not playing problem while playing video.

Netflix: This movie streaming service provides unlimited streaming of TV shows, movies, etc for one monthly subscription fee. Netflix is an honest-to-goodness run for its money, respecting to its selection, quality and consistent performance. But you will frequently encounter the Netflix not working issues.

Spotify: Perhaps no other music streaming service will shake the Spotify's No.1 position, even the new-born Apple Music or Pandora. The best site for music stream offers high fidelity streaming and a sound 20-million song catalog across a range of platforms. But in case you runs in spotify not working issue, please download songs from Spotify using a video recorder.

Top 3 Best Video Download Sites and Software

MacX YouTube Downloader: 100% free movie downloader to capture streaming videos, download free movies and songs from YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, Vevo, Metacafe, and 1000+ online sites. No spyware, adware or malware.

Worldfree4u: It is a popular site to download movie trailer, 300MB site films, and more. You can get the info of upcoming movies, albums and games. It is simple to use and has a huge collection of titles.

KickassTorrents: Kickass is a torrent search engine with 4 million US visitors to download movie torrents. It has intuitive interface that eases the movie torrent search. However, it is not advised to download movie torrent as it is against the law.

Notice: MacXDVD Software doesn't advocate any reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast or sell any content for any other purposes without prior written permission of YouTube or the respective licensors of the content. Please refer to YouTube terms of service before doing so.

Author: Bertha Miller | Updated on Jan 8, 2024

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