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    MediaStream API

    This is an experimental technology
    Because this technology's specification has not stabilized, check the compatibility table for the proper prefixes to use in various browsers. Also note that the syntax and behavior of an experimental technology is subject to change in future versions of browsers as the spec changes.

    The MediaStream Processing API, often called the Media Stream API or the Stream API,  is the part of WebRTC describing a stream of audio or video data, the methods for working with them, the constraints associated with the type of data, the success and error callbacks when using the data asynchronously, and the events that are fired during the process.

    Basic concepts

    The API is based on the manipulation of a MediaStream object representing a flux of audio- or video-related data. Typically a MediaStream object is as a simple URL string which can be used to reference data stored in a DOM File, or a Blob object created with window.URL.createObjectURL(), as described in Get the video.

    A MediaStream consists of zero or more MediaStreamTrack objects, representing various audio or video tracks. Each MediaStreamTrack may have one or more channels. The channel represents the smallest unit of a media stream, such as an audio signal associated with a given speaker, like left or right in a stereo audio track.

    MediaStream objects have a single input and a single output. A MediaStream object generated by getUserMedia() is called local, and has as its source input one of the user's cameras or microphones. A non-local MediaStream may be representing to a media element, like <video> or <audio>, a stream originating over the network, and obtained via the WebRTC PeerConnection API, or a stream created using the Web Audio API MediaStreamAudioSourceNode.   The output of the MediaStream object is linked to a consumer. It can be a media elements, like <audio> or <video>,  the WebRTC PeerConnection API or a Web Audio API MediaStreamAudioDestinationNode.

    Reference

    Browser compatibility

    Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera  Safari (WebKit)
    Stream API  21webkit  nightly 18moz  ?  12 ? 
    Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
    Stream API  Not supported  ? ?  Not supported  Not supported 

    Currently using WebRTC for accessing the camera is supported in Chrome, Opera and Firefox Nightly 18. Enabling WebRTC in Firefox Nightly requires you to set a flag in the configuration:

    • Type "about:config" in the address bar and say yes that you want to make changes
    • Find the "media.navigator.enabled" entry and set it to true

    See Also

    Document Tags and Contributors

    Last updated by: kscarfone,