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1 MM Page 1/10 1. Multimedia Building Blocks I The ability to access information stored as different media depends on the availability of standard data formats that is understood by most applications in use. Proprietary formats are typically more compact compared with open standard formats. Although there are many proprietary formats for each media type, they are often not suitable for use in defining multimedia building blocks since the ability to access the information contained in those data files depend very much on the availability of filters for the respective applications. In this discussion, we will concentrate on open and non-proprietary standard formats which can be used in all applications that support them. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of file formats, but rather, a list of the most popular formats in use today Text Data Formats Text remains as the most basic data format in use today. Text formats can be divided into two areas: Charset Encoding Document Encoding Charset Encoding Refers to formatting of individual characters. Characters have the following features: Encoding Method: ASCII ( 7/8 bit), UNICODE (16 bit)

2 MM Page 2/10 Attributes: Font, Size, Width, Color, Style (italics, bold, etc.) However, attribute information is not inherent in the encoding method and must be stored as additional information or other means Document Encoding Text documents are made up of sequences of characters used to represent information. Document encoding formats vary in sophistication: Plain Text: End-of-line using CR (Mac), LF (Unix), CR/LF (DOS/Win). Formatting assumes fixed character widths and is given as is in the document TeX, Rich Text Format (RTF), SGML and Derivatives (HTML, XML, etc.): Formatting is embedded in document as text-based tags using special character sequences, e.g., < > for HTML. RTF is proprietary interchange standard by Microsoft for textdocument encoding. Other standards are open and commonly used for cross-platform text data interchange. Need to be processed by a parser and renderer in order to arrive at final presentation format Text Data Size Plain text encoding for a data stream with X characters: ASCII encoding: X characters, each 1 byte = X bytes. UNICODE encoding: X characters, each 2 bytes = 2X bytes.

3 MM Page 3/ Graphics Data Format Graphics data can be divided into two types: Raster Graphics Vector Graphics Raster Graphics Format Raster Graphics format captures attributes of an image such as: Resolution & pixel density (dpi) Quantization Color space (RGB, YUV, grayscale, palettized, etc.) Color space is typically represented using one or more color planes. For RGB and YUV, it is represented using 3 color planes (R, G, B) (Y,U,V), whereas for grayscale and palettized, it is represented using one indexed color plane and a lookup table to map the index to the actual color. The size of the different color plane does not need to be equal for YUV. Y (Luminance) is the lightness and brightness, while U & V are the chrominance or color information. Raster Graphics Format typically describe a rectangular image. The common raster graphics formats are: Tagged Image File Format (TIFF): A versatile format that is in common use. However, its versatility means that there are often incompatibility between different implementations, sometimes difficult to share data across platforms

4 MM Page 4/10 Windows Bitmap (BMP): A Windows raster graphics format that is used for interchange between different applications Graphics Interchange Format (GIF): A proprietary lossless compression graphics format popularized by Compuserve that is no longer as popular due to patent royalty issues Portable Network Graphics (PNG): Lossless compression replacement for GIF, additional capabilities compared to GIF Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG): This is a lossy compression graphics format that has become commonly used for photographic images Joint Bi-Level Image Group (JBIG): This is a lossless compression graphics format used for bi-tonal images. Typically used for Fax applications Vector Graphics Format Vector Graphics are resolution independent and can be scaled to any size as they are mathematical description of images. Typically used for line-art and other synthetic images. Encapsulated Postscript (EPS): A specialized Postscript file format with embedded raster preview image (TIFF?). Can only be reproduced on Postscript-capable output devices

5 MM Page 5/ Graphics Data Size The data size can only be calculated for uncompressed images, since compressed images vary in size according to image characteristics and compression technique used. For an image with X by Y resolution, and M color planes (assuming each uses Q bit quantization): Uncompressed image size: [(XY)(MQ)]/8 bytes 1.3. Audio Data Formats Audio can be sampled or synthetic. Sampled Audio data is obtained via microphones and A/D caputre cards. Synthetic audio is generated by the computer using audio synthesizers, and thus has very small file sizes Sampled Audio Attributes that are stored in sampled audio files include: Sampling Rate (44.1 khz for CD quality) Duration of sample (e.g., in seconds) Quantization: Levels (16 bit per channel for CD quality), Companding (µ-law, A-Law, Linear) Number of Channels (Mono, Stereo, etc.) Companding is the use of non-linear quantization steps in order to reduce the noise from the audio input. This is typically used for voice audio data.

6 MM Page 6/10 Y X X Y Compre ss Expand Audio Input (X) COMpress Storage & Transmission (Y) expand Audio Output (X ) Typical Sampled File Formats are: Pulse Coded Modulation (PCM): Standard audio sampling data without any compression or processing, single channel Adaptive Differential PCM (ADPCM): Derived from PCM, where differences between samples is stored. Quantization levels are varied based on changes in the signal. Windows Wave (WAV): Audio file format for interchange on Windows platform. Can contain one of the basic formats (PCM, ADPCM, etc.) channels as substreams RealAudio (RAM): Low bitrate Streaming Audio format for Internet Delivery QuickTime (AIFF): Cross-platform audio format defined by Apple. MPEG Audio Layer 3 (MP3): A lossy audio compression format suited for CD-quality audio at low data rates

7 MM Page 7/ Synthetic Audio Attributes that are stored in synthetic files include: Tempo Channels (Instrument, Instrument Type) Musical Notes (Pitch, Duration) Data formats for Synthetic Audio include: Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI): An industry standard for storing synthetic audio data Audio Data Size The data size can only be calculated for uncompressed audio, since compressed audio vary in size according to audio characteristics and compression technique used. For audio of S samples/second, duration T, quantization of Q bits, and C channels: Uncompressed audio size: [(ST)(QC)]/ Video Data Formats Video information originated from broadcast television. However, current broadcast television standards are analog in nature, and utilizes interlaced scan instead of progressive scan to transmit an image for display. Computer generated video is in a digital format and utilizes RGB color space, whereas broadcast TV is in an analog format and utilizes

8 MM Page 8/10 YUV color space. All computer-based video utilizes progressive scan in order to display the image. Conversion must be performed in order to map between RGB and YUV. This is important when dealing with video data originating from TV-like sources (TV receiver, video tape, etc.) in contrast with video capture (CCD) cameras designed for computer usage. Video Capture cards perform the conversion between analog and digital formats required by computer systems. Conversion from interlaced to progressive scan must be done by the video capture card as well. High Definition TV (HDTV) uses an all-digital format for the video signal from recording to playback. It is intended to converge TV technology and computer display subsystems. Subsampling of U & V color space is done for analog TV in order to reduce the amount of information transmitted as the human visual system is not as sensitive to color changes Video Format Video format captures attributes of an image such as: Resolution & pixel density (dpi) Quantization Color space (RGB, YUV, grayscale, palettized, etc.) Frame Rate (frames per second) Modern video formats incorporate lossy compression as a key characteristic due to the large data sizes. International Telecoms Union (ITU) defined several video formats for videoconferencing

9 MM Page 9/10 under the H.26x series which deals primarily with constant bit rate video streams. Motion Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) extended the work of the ITU to incorporate more advanced compression schemes, resulting in smaller variable bit rate video streams. Some common formats are: H.261: ITU Videoconferencing standard: All video streams are 30 frames per second (fps), to be compressed for transmission over px64 ISDN channels. Aspect ratio of 4:3. Several bit rates are defined. Common Interchange Format (CIF): size 352 x 288, 4:1:1 YUV Quarter CIF (QCIF): size 176 x 144, 4:1:1 YUV Super CIF (SCIF): size 704 x 576, 4:1:1 YUV MPEG-1, MPEG-2: Utilize interpolated frames for better video compression. Square pixels for computer displays. Standard Interchange Format (SIF): size 352 x 240x 30 fps (NTSC) or 352 x 288 x 25 fps (PAL/SECAM), 4:1:1 YUV HDTV: various standards, e.g., size 1280 x 720 x 30 fps, Aspect ratio 16:9, 4:1:1 YUV. Windows Media (ASF, ASX, AVI): Microsoft video streaming formats in common use RealVideo (RMM): Low bitrate Streaming Video format for Internet Delivery QuickTime (MOV): Cross-platform Video stream standard defined by Apple. Can use different codecs to perform video compression.

10 MM Page 10/ Video Data Size The data size can only be calculated for uncompressed video streams, since compressed video streams vary in size according to video characteristics and compression technique used. For a video stream with X by Y frames, M color planes (assuming each uses Q bit quantization), and F frames per second: Uncompressed video size: [(XY)(MQ)(F)]/8 bytes 1.5. Composite Data Formats Composite Data formats are used to represent one or more media types in a single document. Postscript (PS): A low level presentation format for final output of text and graphics. Information contained in PS files are not easily editable or modifiable. Portable Document Format (PDF): A close cousin to Postscript, used as a binary cross-platform final presentation format. Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF): Microsoft interchange standard for multimedia QuickTime: Apple cross-platform standard for multimedia.

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