Featured image of post What Is a Download?

What Is a Download?

# Definition

The word “download” can mean so many different things depending on the context it is used. To eliminate confusion – the point of this website – whenever you see the word “download” it is being used in the traditional sense of the word. So what exactly is a download?

In computer networks, download means to receive data from a remote system, typically a server such as a web server, an FTP server, an email server, or other similar systems… Downloading generally transfers entire files for local storage and later use.

Source: Wikipedia

It’s important to note that the traditional definition of download always refers to the transfer of the entire file from wherever it is hosted to the receiving device. This is a very important distinction since there are other ways to transfer files. These will be addressed in further posts.

To apply this definition to the world of podcasting you can think of it this way. As a podcast listener I want to be able to listen to a podcast episode offline. I would download the entire audio file to my device while connected to the internet. Then I’d be able to play the audio whenever I wanted, regardless of internet connection.

The IAB Tech Lab explains it like this:

3.1 Podcast downloading allows the audience to download full episodes of content that can be played at a later date and time. Listeners may subscribe to select programs, and platforms like Apple Podcasts continue to support full downloads to a personal library for listening offline at any time in the future. The convenience of this system makes downloaded podcasts a continued preference among listeners.

Source: Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines v.2.2

# Request Headers 1

GET /url/of/audio.mp3 HTTP/1.1
Host: audiohost.com
Accept: */*
Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.9
Connection: keep-alive
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate, br
User-Agent: Podcasts/4023.540.3 CFNetwork/1494.0.7 Darwin/23.4.0

# Server Logs 2

Property Value
c-port 11040
cs(Cookie) -
cs(Host) d111111abcdef8.cloudfront.net
cs(Referer) -
cs(User-Agent) Podcasts/4023.540.3 CFNetwork/1494.0.7 Darwin/23.4.0
cs-bytes 23
cs-method GET
cs-protocol https
cs-protocol-version HTTP/2.0
cs-uri-query -
cs-uri-stem /audiohost.com
date 2019-12-04
fle-encrypted-fields -
fle-status -
sc-bytes 34840000
sc-content-len 36534514
sc-content-type audio/mpeg
sc-range-end -
sc-range-start -
sc-status 200
ssl-cipher ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256
ssl-protocol TLSv1.2
time 21:02:31
time-taken 0.001
time-to-first-byte 0.001
x-edge-detailed-result-type Hit
x-edge-location LAX1
x-edge-request-id SOX4xwn4XV6Q4rgb7XiVGOHms_BGlTAC4KyHmureZmBNrjGdRLiNIQ==
x-edge-response-result-type Hit
x-edge-result-type Hit
x-forwarded-for -
x-host-header audiohost.com
Last updated on Apr 04, 2024 11:36 EDT
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