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Last modified: Thursday, March 28, 2002 

A technique for transferring data such that it can be processed as a steady and continuous stream. Streaming technologies are becoming increasingly important with the growth of the Internet because most users do not have fast enough access to download large multimedia files quickly. With streaming, the client browser or plug-in can start displaying the data before the entire file has been transmitted.

For streaming to work, the client side receiving the data must be able to collect the data and send it as a steady stream to the application that is processing the data and converting it to sound or pictures. This means that if the streaming client receives the data more quickly than required, it needs to save the excess data in a buffer. If the data doesn't come quickly enough, however, the presentation of the data will not be smooth.

There are a number of competing streaming technologies emerging. For audio data on the Internet, the de facto standard is Progressive Network's RealAudio.

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For pages about streaming . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

G2 Introduction: RealNetworks' Next Streaming Technology
TechWeb article (June 1998) by Leah Goldberg describing key improvements in RealNetworks' latest streaming-media technology, with sections on SMIL, bandwidth negotiation, and code examples.

Home page for RealNetworks, one of the leaders in streaming media technology on the Internet. The site contains a wealth of product information and includes links to download RealPlayer for RealAudio and RealVideo.

The Digital Media Association
The Digital Media Association includes other Web-media technology and retail companies, such as a2b music,, CDnow, Enso Audio Imaging, Liquid Audio, RealNetworks, and TCI Music.

Video on the Web
Discusses on-the-fly video delivery and the necessary compromises. Includes links to more information about MPEG and the advantages and disadvantes of streaming video.

Video over the Internet
Extensive paper on some of the problems, solutions and technologies, and products associated with streaming video on the Internet.

Video Streaming FAQ
Covers the creation and distribution of streaming video, streaming packages, tips on creating video for the Internet, and technical background knowledge that helps videographers make the move to Internet video.

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