A reserved segment of memory used to hold data that are being processed. In a program, buffers are created to hold some amount of data from each of the files that will be read or written. In a streaming media application, the program uses buffers to store an advance supply of audio or video data to compensate for momentary delays.|
With regular computer applications, buffers are allocated and deallocated from the general memory pool. In printers and other hardware devices, buffers can be small memory banks used for just one temporary storage function. See buffering, double buffering, buffer overflow, buffer flush and bucket.