Rich media streaming has permeated every aspect of our daily life. A significant part of internet traffic today spends their data browsing through audio and video materials, ranging from watching courses on YouTube, or other visual media portals.   

It can range from educational content to playing online RPGs. Media streaming has taken over as the main method of informing the public due to the daily increase in data speed. Ensuring that, regardless of the device used to enjoy the media content, your website’s content functions flawlessly for every user who visits.   

Thanks to media software testing services! Several variables, including network speed, browser, device, lag, format, frames, and others, can affect how well a streaming application performs. For your website or web application to successfully create a great user experience, it is important to examine the obstacles associated with testing media streaming applications.   

Let’s discuss the same in this post. 

Why Do We Need To Test Media Streaming Apps?  

Testing streaming applications have become essential because the competition for media streaming applications is getting fierce. More factors than just connectivity and internet speed affect how well-streaming programs perform. It’s critical to test streaming application so you can provide your potential clients with a product that is:  

  • Entirely breakage free which implies that It can stream data flawlessly even in very poor network coverage conditions.  
  • Works on all devices without experiencing any responsiveness difficulties  
  • No matter what browser is used on a desktop computer, there are no problems with cross-browser compatibility.  

However, none of these situations can be verified until you execute suitable testing scenarios that cover all the necessary bases—because of this, evaluating streaming applications in various ways is essential. Nevertheless, testing them can be difficult since it requires the tester to think creatively, sometimes from the user’s viewpoint, and to create scenarios in which the application might malfunction. This is where metrics play an important role. Before testing any streaming application it is important to ensure and cover all the metrics.   

Playback quality and robust delivery are the ones that create a great user experience. Now for smooth video streaming, your platform has to: 

  • Be capable of handling heavy internet traffic 
  • Stream data flawlessly under slower network condition 
  • Be stable and breakage free 
  • Is compatible across all devices with no responsive issues
  • Stream without any cross-browser compatibility issues when used on desktop    

All of these issues can only be detected when you test your video streaming portal  before launching or releasing crucial front-end updates.   

Checking Certain Metrics When Testing A Streaming Application  

Let’s talk about the metrics to consider to ensure your app is operating effectively and without any problems. 

  • Buffering Time: When data speed is low, a grey bar on YouTube may have caught your attention as it fills up before the video starts playing. The buffering bucket is the term for this. Measuring the buffering time is crucial to see how well your media streaming app works with weak network connectivity.  
  • Bit Rate: It is a crucial parameter for assessing the caliber of your video. The resolution of a video is directly inversely correlated with its bit rate. It may be calculated by counting the number of bits exchanged each second. 
  • Lagging Time: If your network’s download speed keeps up with the average bit rate, the video should play without interruption when buffering is finished. You may have noticed frequently that the video pauses and begins another buffering phase whenever the video timeline hits the buffering level. The duration of waiting while a video is being played is measured by the crucial parameter known as lag time. This includes the preliminary buffering waiting period as well.  
  • Data Consumed – The amount of data used by the user when using the program or watching a particular video is included in this metric. The demand for streamed data can then be estimated using this. 
  • Lagging Ratio: The video playback to buffering time ratio is the lagging ratio. The ratio never drops below 1, although being typically very low. It also takes initial buffering time into account. 
  • Platform Compatibility: It is an important factor for every website or web application but is particularly important for video streaming applications. Since your streaming service caters to consumers worldwide, maintaining accurate media rendering and a quick buffer is essential. An abrupt streaming session can occasionally be caused by the end user’s UA (user agent). 
  • Synchronizing subtitles: It is essential for streaming online applications and websites if you want your media content to go viral. When you’re aiming for a global audience, you must keep them away from accent-specific problems. Subtitles can help you with that, but they frequently end up being out of rhythm, which irritates the viewer.  

Before releasing it or any upgrades, do the necessary tests to guarantee 100% client satisfaction. Testing streaming applications, however, might be a little challenging because you might need to anticipate how users will interact with your online site in real-time. Testing streaming applications frequently run across certain difficulties. In this case we can consider the following situations.   

  • Testing A Streaming Application’s Cross Browser Compatibility 

Assume you are using a desktop browser to evaluate an application like Netflix. Before completing the testing step for such browser-based applications, you must ensure that browser compatibility testing is correctly carried out. But since your team might not have every combination of browsers and operating systems, it might be a little difficult.  

You can utilize emulators or virtual windows, but when the application runs in real-time, an unexpected error could happen that the emulator cannot catch. Frequently, many websites would crash when using previous versions of Mac and Safari.  

With over 2000 different browsers and their various versions running on different operating systems like Mac, Windows, or Linux for desktops & iOS or Android for mobile website testing, it becomes important to choose a testing service provider wisely.   

  • Are You Able To Handle Heavy Traffic With Your Streaming Application’s Durability?  

Load testing is crucial to see how the app responds to high traffic trying to view a particular video. No matter how well you constructed your app, it can only handle so much traffic. Situations where a video unexpectedly goes viral and crashes due to heavy internet traffic are extremely typical, even in widely used programs.  

With such a large global population, it can be difficult for a tester to estimate the correct number of users who can simultaneously access a movie. A unique technique is necessary for a streaming application’s load and performance testing.   

Wrapping up  

As testers, it would be best to keep the various streaming techniques in mind, especially when a new technology is developed and replaces the old one. It is really important to consider the metrics before or while testing a media streaming application. It helps in ensuring a seamless and robust dissemination of your services to the target audience.