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Streaming refers to the playing of media, such as sound or video, in real time as it is downloaded over a network, such as the Internet, as opposed to storing it in a local file first.


The streaming of audio or video avoids the delay entailed in downloading an entire file first, and then playing it with a separate helper application. Streaming requires a fast connection and a computer powerful enough to execute the decompression algorithm in real time.[1]


Early web browsers, such as Netscape Navigator, required plug-ins to gain the ability to decompress and play media data as it is was transferred to the computer over the web.[1] As MPEG formats were standardized, many of these plug-ins were no longer necessary in modern browsers which had built-in support for web video codecs.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Streaming at the Free On-Line Dictionary Of Computing. 1996-11-06.
  2. Web video codec guide, Mozilla. 2021-10-18.

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