CNET GLOSSARY: Terms for the techie
The process by which your computer collects data in advance of sending it to, say, a printer, a hard disk, or a media player. For example, programs such as RealPlayer or Windows Media Player will download a part of the video or audio stream before starting to play, then continue the downloading as the stream plays. If the playing catches up to the end of the buffer, the stream will pause while further buffering occurs.
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