stream

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(v.) To play sound or video in real time as the data is downloaded over the Internet. A plug-in to a web browser decompresses and plays the data as it is transferred over the World Wide Web to a computer. Streaming audio or video is an alternative to downloading an entire file, storing it on a local hard drive, and then playing it with a helper application. Streaming implies the execution of a decompression algorithm in real time. The quality of the streamed data is proportional to the speed of the Internet connection and to the power of the computer decoding the streamed file.