When you are on-line listening to on-line radio shows where do all of the bits of data go? Does it have any impact on your hard drive space or on your system? Same question for any MPEG or RealVideo files, where do they go???
This question was answered on November 29, 1999. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.
When you listen to a live radio broadcast or view video on the Internet, in most cases you are using what is called “streaming” content Instead of having to download a file in its entirety to your own computer before listening or viewing it, streaming media is sent to you a little bit at a time This saves you time and disk space because the information is not stored on your hard drive It is very similar to broadcast television or radio signals in that your TV or radio does not have to store the programming in order to view or listen to it My weekly radio program is now broadcast in this method and can be heard live or previous shows can be heard “on-demand” at www.datadoctors.com
The two most popular players of streaming media are the Real Player from Real Networks (www.real.com - look for the “Free Download” button on the far right column of the page) and Microsoft’s media player, which is included with Windows or can be upgraded for free at www.microsoft.com/windows/mediaplayer/en/default.asp Both of these players use internal systems for playing the streaming content without cluttering up your hard drive with large files
Most every Windows based program creates “Temp files” which are temporary files that are used during the operation of the program that creates them When the program is closed or when Windows is shut down, these files are removed This is why it is so important to shut Windows down properly (Start/Shutdown) instead of just shutting off your computer This is also why it takes a lot longer to shutdown your computer on occasion The more you have used your computer, the longer it is likely to take to shutdown If for any reason your computer locks-up or you shut down your computer improperly, these temporary files will remain on your hard drive
To find and remove all of the temporary files on your computer do the following:
Make sure that no programs are open by restarting your machine Next, click on the Start button, then on Find, then on Files or Folders to open the Find dialog box In the top entry box marked “Named:” type *.tmp to tell the computer to find all files that have the .tmp file extension Before clicking on the Find Now button, make sure that the Look In: section has C: and the Include Subfolders box is checked Also, make sure that nothing is in the Containing Text: box Click on the Find Now button to begin the search Once the search is complete, a list of files will appear and the file total will be displayed in the bottom of the frame To delete all of the files, press Ctrl-A (shortcut for Select All) then the delete button A box will come up titled “Confirm Multiple File Delete” and a question about sending the files to the Recycle Bin Click on Yes to move the temporary files to the Recycle Bin If you get an error message that tells you that you “Cannot delete a file because it may be in use”, the most common reason is that you have a program or utility open that is currently using the file Be sure and follow the restart directions above to avoid this error Once the files have been deleted, be sure and empty your Recycle Bin or else you will not free up the drive space taken by the temporary files (Right-click on the Recycle Bin icon, then click on Empty Recycle Bin) It’s probably a good idea to check to see if you have built up temp files at least once a month if you use your computer on a daily basis.
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Posted by Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on November 29, 1999