HLS, which stands for HTTP Live Streaming, is a video format invented by Apple for live streaming. It’s file based, meaning you can serve it over an HTTP connection on the web.
In its simplest form, you have a manifest file, a.k.a playlist, that is the ‘main’ file for a stream. This file contains metadata about the stream and a list of URIs for the video segments of the stream. When a player requests this playlist, a server responds with an updated manifest file that specifies segments that have recently been added to the stream.
This file format has many advantages over alternatives like RTP or RTMP in terms of device support, ease of deployment, and scalability. As a result, it has become a mainstream technology for live streaming, and is widely used for VoD as well…”