streaming media

A technique used to allow media (video and audio) to be displayed on a web site, without an excessive delay while a (potentially massive) data file is downloaded. The opening seconds of the video must be downloaded before playback can begin, to provide a buffer. The player software starts to play this video to the user and keeps the buffer filled by downloading the next images while the first are playing. One characteristic of this method of delivery is that once playback is completed, the user has no permanent copy of the video on their computer.