HTTP Live Streaming (also known as HLS) is an HTTP-based media streaming communications protocol implemented by Apple Inc. as part of its QuickTime, Safari, OS X, and iOS software. It resembles MPEG-DASH in that it works by breaking the overall stream into a sequence of small HTTP-based file downloads, each download loading one short chunk of an overall potentially unbounded transport stream. As the stream is played, the client may select from a number of different alternate streams containing the same material encoded at a variety of data rates, allowing the streaming session to adapt to the available data rate. At the start of the streaming session, HLS downloads an extended M3U playlist containing the metadata for the various sub-streams which are available.

Send live and on‐demand audio and video to iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and PC with HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) technology from Apple. Using the same protocol that powers the web, HLS lets you deploy content using ordinary web servers and content delivery networks. HLS is designed for reliability and dynamically adapts to network conditions by optimizing playback for the available speed of wired and wireless connections. HTTP Live Streaming can traverse any firewall or proxy server that lets through standard HTTP traffic, unlike UDP-based protocols such as RTP. This also allows content to be offered from conventional HTTP servers as origin and delivered over widely available HTTP-based content delivery networks.