Streaming is a way to break up sound files into small pieces. This allows the player to begin playing the sounds before downloading an entire file. If streaming is not used, the meeting would have to be saved to a large file during the event, and then users would have to download the entire file without losing their connection to play it. Streaming means that pieces of the file can be sent while the file is still being created, and that users do not need to download the entire file to begin playing. Streaming also means that home users on modems who get disconnected do not have to start their downloads over from the beginning.
Bandwidth, for our purposes, refers to the amount of download needed to open a file. A computer with a 14.4 modem has less bandwidth than a user on a corporate T1 line. This means users on low bandwidth connections receive grainier images and choppier sound than users on high bandwidth, but can still receive live, detailed information.