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Multimedia standards: building blocks of the Web

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1 Author(s)
L. Rutledge ; CWI, Amsterdam, Netherlands

These days in multimedia, there are many standards for composing multimedia on the Web, but now rather than choosing one, you use all of them together. Proliferations of standards, by no means unique to multimedia, always bring about analogies with the Tower of Babel. With the old version of the joke, developers wrote multimedia presentations in different formats for different browsers, so they weren't portable. This degenerated into a world of presentations and systems that couldn't communicate with each other, and the idea of one language for all was lost. In the new age of cooperative formats, we are still surrounded by many different languages, but we must understand them all at once. As we struggle to build our ziggurat to the heaven of an all-reaching and all-knowing multimedia based Web, we should stop and ponder if the effort will crumble under its own mass and complexity or if the goal is even reachable. On the other hand, we can compare this effort to the space shuttle: a system that successfully combines the many different and complex interwoven components needed to build a stairway to the heavens. So far, the media standardization effort has been working, with the emerging formats for the most part having successful implementation and adoption. In the author's opinion, he presents the steps in the proverbial multimedia stairway so far

Published in:

IEEE MultiMedia  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 3 )