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Most current approaches in designing and implementing distributed multimedia (MM) presentational applications have concentrated on the performance of the continuous media file servers in terms of seek-time overhead and real-time disk scheduling; particularly, the quality of service (QoS) negotiation mechanisms they provide are used in a rather static manner, i.e. these mechanisms are restricted to the evaluation of the capacity of certain system components. In contrast to those approaches, we propose a general QoS negotiation framework that supports the dynamic choice of a configuration of system components to support the QoS requirements of the user of a specific application: we consider different possible system configurations and select an optimal one to provide the appropriate QoS support. We document the design and implementation of a QoS negotiation procedure for distributed MM presentational applications, such as news-on-demand. The negotiation procedure described is an instantiation of the general framework for QoS negotiation. Our proposal differs in many respect with the negotiation functions provided by existing approaches: (1) the negotiation process uses an optimization approach to find a configuration of system components which supports the user requirements, (2) the negotiation process supports the negotiation of a MM document and not only a single monomedia object, (3) the QoS negotiation takes into account the cost to the user; (4) the negotiation process may be used to support automatic adaptation to react to QoS degradations, without intervention by the user/application.