Friday, 21 November 2014

5 Components of Multimedia

It may be an easy content type to forget when considering multimedia systems, but text content is by far the most common media type in computing applications. Most multimedia systems use a combination of text and other media to deliver functionality. Text in multimedia systems can express specific information, or it can act as reinforcement for information contained in other media items. This is a common practice in applications with accessibility requirements. For example, when Web pages include image elements, they can also include a short amount of text for the user's browser to include as an alternative, in case the digital image item is not available. 

Digital image files appear in many multimedia applications. Digital photographs can display application content or can alternatively form part of a user interface. Interactive elements, such as buttons, often use custom images created by the designers and developers involved in an application. Digital image files use a variety of formats and file extensions. Among the most common are JPEGs and PNGs. Both of these often appear on websites, as the formats allow developers to minimize on file size while maximizing on picture quality. Graphic design software programs such as Photoshop and Paint.NET allow developers to create complex visual effects with digital images. Related Reading: The Advantages of Using Multimedia in Web Design 

Audio files and streams play a major role in some multimedia systems. Audio files appear as part of application content and also to aid interaction. When they appear within Web applications and sites, audio files sometimes need to be deployed using plug-in media players. Audio formats include MP3, WMA, Wave, MIDI and RealAudio. When developers include audio within a website, they will generally use a compressed format to minimize on download times. Web services can also stream audio, so that users can begin playback before the entire file is downloaded. 

Digital video appears in many multimedia applications, particularly on the Web. As with audio, websites can stream digital video to increase the speed and availability of playback. Common digital video formats include Flash, MPEG, AVI, WMV and QuickTime. Most digital video requires use of browser plug-ins to play within Web pages, but in many cases the user's browser will already have the required resources installed. 

Animated components are common within both Web and desktop multimedia applications. Animations can also include interactive effects, allowing users to engage with the animation action using their mouse and keyboard. The most common tool for creating animations on the Web is Adobe Flash, which also facilitates desktop applications. Using Flash, developers can author FLV files, exporting them as SWF movies for deployment to users. Flash also uses ActionScript code to achieve animated and interactive effects.

What is Multimedia?

Multimedia can have a many definitions these include: Multimedia means that computer information can be represented through audio, video, and animation in addition to traditional media (i.e., text, graphics drawings, images). A good general definition is: Multimedia is the field concerned with the computer-controlled integration of text, graphics, drawings, still and moving images (Video), animation, audio, and any other media where every type of information can be represented, stored, transmitted and processed digitally. A Multimedia Application is an Application which uses a collection of multiple media sources e.g. text, graphics, images, sound/audio, animation and/or video. Hypermedia can be considered as one of the multimedia applications.