Whereas RMTP provides means to transmit data asynchronously to multiple receivers, Real Time Streaming Protocol controls streaming media servers. The actual streaming isn’t covered by RTSP; the protocol controls the process of playing and uploading data off or to the server, respectively. Actual data processing may use either well-known or proprietary protocols and is not a concern of RTSP.

This protocol is supported by a number of programs, e.g. by the Skype IM, cURL utility, VLC media player. CURL is a batch utility and thus provides simple means to track, monitor and analyze RTSP-related activity.