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Streaming is useful whenever users want to open a large media file without waiting for the entire file to download. While applications or packages typically require that they be downloaded in their entirety before using them, streaming allows you to see the first minute of video while the next minute downloads, hence streaming the media file. 

SMIL is a W3C standard similar to HTML. It is a tag-language, one of many in the XML family. Different from HTML, it is case-sensitive, and pretty much everything should be lower case. SMIL is used to integrate different kinds of media into a coherent time-based presentation. All media have to be created separately — SMIL just controls their playback. It's tasks can be split into the following areas:

Most files on the web have to be downloaded entirely before you can open/view them. For video or multimedia files this can take extremely long. Thus those files are preferably streamed, i.e. they are sent in a special format, allowing the player application to view the file almost right away, before receiving the entire file.

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