(communications) Playing sound or video in real time as it is downloaded over the Internet as opposed to storing it in a local file first. A plug-in to a web browser such as Netscape Navigator decompresses and plays the data as it is transferred to your computer over the web. Streaming audio or video avoids the delay entailed in downloading an entire file and then playing it with a helper application. Streaming requires a fast connection and a computer powerful enough to execute the decompression algorithm in real time.
Last updated: 1996-11-06