4.1.1 - DEFINITION OF MULTIMEDIA
Multimedia has been used in many aspects in our lives, for example in the field of business, entertainment and the sciences. “Multimedia” comes from the word “multi” and “media”.“Multi” means various. “Media” refers to any hardware or software used for communicating.
These are some examples of hardware and software that we use in communicating with others.
Examples of hardware are: the radio, television, computer and mobile phone.
Examples of software are: email, Yahoo Messenger, Multimedia Message Service (MMS) and video conferencing.
The usage of text, audio, graphic, video and animation are all involved in
describing media. So, multimedia is the presentation of information by using a combination of text, audio, graphic, video and animation.
4.1.2 – Multimedia in Various Fields
MORE MULTIMEDIA APPLICATIONS IN VARIOUS FIELDS
Multimedia has played an important role in other fields, such as business, arts, medicine and engineering.
In business, multimedia applications are used in advertising products.
Many companies nowadays develop and distribute catalogues in the form of a CD-ROM as it is more interesting to the consumers.
In art, artists use multimedia elements by combining drawing and animation.
In medicine, doctors can practice or be trained in performing high-risk
surgery by using virtual surgery.
In engineering, Computer-Aided Design or CAD is used. By using this application, engineers can view the design from many aspects and improve on it before production.
EXTENSION : MULTIMEDIA FOR THOSE WITH LOW VISION
Multimedia applications have greatly benefited those with low vision as it helps them in performing tasks normally in their daily lives.
Users who have vision problems, can use the multimedia for their educational and rehabilitation program to improve their lives.
4.1.3 – Interactivity of Multimedia
If you use the first multimedia application, the content progresses without you having to control the flow of the movie. Your only control is to press the “play” and the “stop” buttons.
This interaction is called linear interactivity.
On the other hand, the second multimedia application allows you to decide which part you would like to view, or how much you want to know about the content.
This interaction is named non-linear interactivity.
WHAT IS INTERACTIVITY?
Interactivity refers to the way users interact with a multimedia application or program.
How does a user control the content of a multimedia application? The user can use input devices such as a keyboard, joystick, mouse and touch screen to interact with the application through the computer.
The content of the application provided, determines the interactivity for the user. An example is film that does not allow the user to control the content.
Another example is a computer game. It allows the user to use the left and right arrow keys to control the movement of the game.
WHAT IS LINEAR INTERACTIVITY?
In linear interactivity, the user interacts with the multimedia application without controlling the progress of the content.
In other words, the user is a passive receiver of the multimedia content most of the time.
The linear content is usually arranged in sequence. An example of the
multimedia linear content is a movie.
Although a movie uses a combination of audio, graphics and animations,
the user has no control over the sequence of events.
WHAT IS NON-LINEAR INTERACTIVITY?
Unlike linear interactivity, non-linear interactivity allows the user to interact with the content according to what the user wants from the content. In other words, it is a two-way communication.
The user can control the progress and sequence of the multimedia content by using buttons or links.
Non-linear interactivity uses tools like “hypertext” to connect a word or a phrase to another screen.
An electronic book with links to another screen is considered as having
non-linear multimedia content.
Hypermedia is also used in non-linear interactivity. This tool is similar to hypertext. However, it connects to different media elements such as audio and video.
EXTENSION : NON-LINEAR INTERACTIVITY AND VIRTUAL REALITY
Virtual Reality is the best example of multimedia technology which uses non-linear interactivity.
Advanced virtual reality systems today allow users to respond and interact in many ways to its virtual surroundings.
In learning Geography, virtual reality can recreate places and environment for you to interact with. Viewing exploration programs, like Discovery and Animal Planet will be even more interesting.
This is because you will be able to enter different environments virtually and interact with your surroundings. You can learn at your own pace and level of understanding.
4.1.4 – Medium of Delivery
Generally, there are two very common mediums used in delivering multimedia contents.
First, multimedia can be delivered through Web pages. Thus, this kind of content is said to be a Web-based multimedia.
Secondly, multimedia can be delivered through compact discs. Therefore, the multimedia content is said to be a CD-based multimedia.
Web-based multimedia is a combination of multimedia technology and Internet technology. Web-based multimedia is popular nowadays.
In the past, Web pages were filled only with static texts and graphics as there were problems in downloading large multimedia files through the Internet.
Downloading a video file could take a long time as it is large.
MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY IN THE INTERNET
Now, with the advancement of both technologies, most Web pages
integrate elements like text, graphic, audio, video and animation.
These dynamic elements make the process of distributing information through the Internet more interesting and effective to the user.
There are a lot of multimedia software including plug-ins, players and
browsers used in the Internet. These software allow better quality multimedia programs to be stored and viewed.
Apart from using the software, the quality of a multimedia program received will still depend on the Internet facilities that the user has.
CDs like CD-ROM (Compact Disc Read Only Memory) have been used to store and deliver multimedia content.
CDs are usually used with computers. An improvement of the CD-ROM is the Blu-ray disc which can store better quality video.
However, the main problem in using CD-ROMs as a medium is that, it can be costly as it takes a long time to produce a complete multimedia program.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WEB-BASED AND CD-BASED MULTIMEDIA APPLICATIONS
There are some differences between Web-based and CD-based multimedia applications. Ask your teacher ….
EXTENSION : INTERACTIVE TV
Interactive television is the use of digital television to deliver high definition multimedia content to the user.
When a user wants to watch interactive television content, the user would
download it from the Internet.
An example of interactive television is Apple TV. In order to subscribe to Apple TV services, a client needs to have a widescreen TV, a Mac or a PC, an Internet connection, a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cable and the software, iTunes 7.
Interactive TV or iTV does not only allow users to change channels but also to interact with the content of a tv program.