We address the problem of joint path selection and video source rate allocation in multipath streaming in order to optimize a media specific quality of service. An optimization problem is proposed, which aims at minimizing a video distortion metric based on sequence-dependent parameters, and transmission channel characteristics, for a given network infrastructure.An in-depth analysis of the media distortion evolution allows us to define a low complexity algorithm for an optimal rate allocation in multipath network scenarios. In particular, we show that a greedy allocation of rate along paths with increasing error probability leads to an optimal solution. We argue that a network path shall not be chosen for transmission, unless all other available paths with lower error probability have been chosen. Moreover, the chosen paths should be used at their maximum available end-to-end bandwidth. Simulation results show that the optimal rate allocation carefully trades off total encoding/transmission rate, with the end-to-end transmission error probability and the number of chosen paths. In many cases, the optimal rate allocation provides more than 20