Definition

progressive download

Part of the Internet technologies glossary:

What is progressive download?

A progressive download is a process that allows the user to access content before the data transfer is complete.

The user experience with a progressive download is so similar to that offered by streaming media that many users may not notice any difference between the two. However, with downloaded content, it is not possible to fast-forward through any part of a file until it is stored on the user's device. Although there is always some delay associated with playing downloaded content, the lag may be brief enough to escape detection. 

Progressive downloads can offer a better experience over slower connections -- because the file plays from the user's device, the quality of a progressive download is not affected by bandwidth.

Most media players offer progressive download as a feature.

 

Learn More About IT: 
> Streamingmedia.com explains the difference between streaming media and downloads.

This was last updated in March 2009
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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