RealAudio

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(n.) A client-server architecture for streaming realtime sound over the web. The RealAudio encoder compresses sound into RealAudio (.ra) files, which a special server streams. On the client side, a plug-in for a browser decodes the stream of data sent from the server, decompresses it, and sends it to the sound card. A 14.4-kilobyte-per-second (KBps) modem is adequate for sound reproduction, but the speed of the connection determines the quality of the sound produced, and faster connections yield much higher quality. Files may be encoded for playback at specific rates of transfer.