File Formats for
The following is an outline of current file formats used for the
production and delivery of multimedia data.
Rich Text Format is the primary file format introduced in 1987 by
Microsoft with the specification of their published products and for
cross-platform documents interchange.
Plain text files can be opened, read, and edited with most text
editors. commonly used are Notepad (Windows), Gedit or nano (Unix, Linux),
TextEdit (Mac OS and so on. Other computer programs are also capable of reading
and importing plain text. Plain text is the original and popular way of
conveying an e-mail.
TIFF (Tagged Image File
This format is common in desktop publishing world (high quality
output), and is supported by almost all software packages. Recent versions of
TIFF allows image compression, and the format is comfortable for moving large
files between computers.
Initially this format is in use with Windows 3.1. It is quite
large and uncompressed and hence BMP is used for the high-resolution or large
DIB (Device Independent
This format which is similar to BMP, allows the files to be
displayed on a variety of devices.
GIF (Graphics Interchange
GIF is a compressed image format. Most of the computer color
images and backgrounds are GIF files. This file format is best suitable for
graphics that uses only limited colors, and it is the most popular format used
for online color photos. 13-bit Color look up table is used by the GIF format
to identify its color values. This format is supported widely.
JPEG (Joint Photographic
JPEG was designed to attain maximum image compression. It uses
lossy compression technique, where a compression method is referred that loses
some of the data required for the image reconstruction. It works good with
photographs, naturalistic artwork, and similar material but functions less on
lettering, live drawings or simple cartoons.
It is the first popular format for high-resolution images. TGA is
supported by Most of the video-capture boards.
PNG (Portable Network
An extensible file format for the less loss, portable and well
compressed storage of raster images. PNG acts as replacement for GIF and also
replaces multiple common uses of TIFF. PNG works good with online viewing
applications like worldwide web. so it is fully streameable with a best display
WAV (Waveform Audio File Format)
It is the most popular audio file format in windows for storing
uncompressed sound files. In order to attain the reduced file size it can also
be converted to other file formats like MP3.
MP3 (MPEG Layer-3 Format)
MPEG Layer-3 format is the most popular format for storing and
downloading music. The MP3 files are roughly compressed to one-tenth the size
of an equivalent WAV file.
A free, open source container format that is designed for
obtaining better streaming and evolving at high end quality digital multimedia.
It can be compared to MP3 files in terms of quality.
AIFF (Audio Interchange
A standard audio file format used by Apple which is like a WAV
file for the Mac.
WMA (Windows Media Audio)
It is a popular windows media audio format owned by Microsoft and
designed with Digital Right Management (DRM) abilities for copyright
RA (Real Audio Format)
Real Audio format is designed for streaming audio over the
Internet. The digital audio resources are usually stored as a computer file in
computer’s hard drive or CD/DVD. Besides the variety of audio file formats
available, the most common formats are wave files (.WAV) and MPEG Layer-3 files
(.MP3), WMA and RA.
AVI is the video file format for Windows. Here sound and picture
elements are stored in alternate interleaved chunks in the file.
MPEG (Moving Picture
MPEG is a standard for generating digital video and audio
compression under the International Standards Organization (ISO) by the group
of people. The group has developed MPEG-1, the standard on which Video CD and
MP3 are based, MPEG-2, the standard that supports products as Digital
Television set top boxes and DVD, MPEG-4, the standard for multimedia and
mobile web.MPEG-7, the standard for search of audio and visual content.
Research on MPEG-21 “Multimedia Framework” has started in 2000. Simply MPEG is
the standards for digital video and audio compression.