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Chapter: Graphics and Multimedia : Multimedia Systems Design

Multimedia Data Interface Standards

File Formats for Multimedia Systems:


 File Formats for Multimedia Systems:


(i)                Device-independent Bitrnap (DIB): This file format contains bit map, color, and color paJlette information.


(ii)             RIFF device Independent Bitrnap (RDIB): Resource Interchange File Frmat (RIFF) is the standard file format defined for Microsoft Windows and OS/2. It allows a more complex set of bit maps than can be handled by DIB.


(iii)           Musical Instrument Digital interface (MIDI): This is the interface standard for file transfer between a computer and a musical instrument such as a digital piano. It is also, used for full-motion video and voice-mail messaging systems. It has the advantage of ready availability of MIDI device controller boards for personal computers.


RIFF Musical Instrument Digital Interface

A MIDI format within a RIFF envelope provides a more complex interface.


Palette File Format (PAL)An interface that allows defining a palette of 1 to 256 colours in a representation as RGB values.

Rich Text Format (RTF) This file format allows embedding graphics and other file formats within a document. This format is used by products such as Lotus Notus. This format is also the basis for the use of OLE.


Waveform Audio File Format (WAVE) A digital file representation of digital audio.


Windows Metafile Format (WMF) This is a vector graphic format used by Microsoft Windows as an interchange format.


Multimedia Movie Format (MMM) This is a format used for digital video animation.


Apple's Movie Format This format was defined as the standard for file exchange by Quick Time enabled systems.


Digital Video Command Set (DVCS) This is the set of digital video commands simulating VCR controls.


Digital Video Media Control Interface Microsoft's high level control interface for VCR controls, including play, rewind, record and so on.


Vendor - Independent Messaging (VIM) Developed by a consortium of Vendors providing a standardized format for cross-product messages.


Apple's Audio Interchange File Format Apple's standard file format for compressed audio and voice data.


SDTS GIS Standard The Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS) is designed to provide a common storage format for geographic and cartographic data.





DVI is an achronym of Digital Video Interface.


DVI standard is to provide a processor independent specification for a video interface. That video interface should accomodate most compression algorithms for fast multimedia displays. An example of custom-designed chip which supports DVI is Intel's i750 B. This chip is designed for enhancing low-end, software based PC video.


Advantages of the DVI Chip


(i) It can operate software video processing real time. (ii) It can share the processing with the host CPU. (iii) It can handle additional vector-quantization-type algorithms in conjunction with host processing. DVI silicon chip relies on a programmable video processor. It gives potential to DVI chips to run a range of compression algorithms.




Quick Time standard is developed by Apple Computer. It is designed to Support multimedia applications. It is integrated with the operating system. Quick time refers to both the extensions to the Mac Operating system and to the compression/decompression functionality Of the environment. Quick Time is designed to be the graphics standard for timebased graphic data types.


Quick Time's definition has been extended to include (i) System Software, (ii) File Formats, (Hi) Compression! decompression algorithms, (iv) Human Interface Standards.


Figure Shows the components in the Quick Time Architecture.

Quick Time adjust automatically to the hardware being used by the user. MPEG is another competing standard which is comparitively higher-end, hardware-assisted standard. It can produce better resolutions at faster rates.




A VI is an achronym for Audio Video Interleave Standard. It is similar to Apple's Quick Time. It offers low-cost, low-resolution video processing for the average desktop user. It is a layered product. A VI is scalable. It allows users to set parameter such as window size, frame rate, quality and compression algorithm through a number of dialog boxes. AVI-compatible hardware allows enhancing performance through hardware-accelerated compression algorithms such as DVI and MPEG. A VI supports several compression algorithms

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