The SWF (pronounced 'swiff') file format was designed from the ground up to deliver
graphics and animation over the Internet.
The SWF file format was designed as a very efficient delivery format and
not as a format for exchanging graphics between graphics editors.
It was designed to meet the following goals:
- On-screen Display—The format is primarily intended for on-screen display and so it supports anti-aliasing, fast rendering to a bitmap of any color format, animation and interactive buttons.
- Extensibility—The format is a tagged format, so the format can be evolved with new features while maintaining backwards compatibility with older players.
- Network Delivery—The files can be delivered over a network with limited and unpredictable bandwidth. The files are compressed to be small and support incremental rendering through streaming.
- Simplicity—The format is simple so that the player is small and easily ported. Also, the player depends upon only a very limited set of operating system functionality.
- File Independence—Files can be displayed without any dependence on external resources such as fonts.
- Scalability—Different computers have different monitor resolutions and bit depths. Files work well on limited hardware, while taking advantage of more expensive hardware when it is available.
- Speed—The files are designed to be rendered at a high quality very quickly.
You can see some examples on Macromedia - Flex .
But no panic, i don't insist to install a €15000 server
I use a flashplayer for streaming music:
What about parsing some tiki content with DENG ?