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The multimedia messaging service (MMS) is a popular wireless application that allows mobile subscribers to send and receive messages comprising a variety of media types to and from mobile handsets. As a result of the increasing popularity of MMS across all wireless networks, a variety of mobile handsets are available with MMS capabilities. Handset vendors add extra features to their handsets to make them more appealing to subscribers, so that handsets from different vendors differ in their capabilities. As a result of this diversity, a multimedia message sent from one handset may render improperly or may not render at all on a different model. However, mobile subscribers expect to experience the richness of the content, irrespective of the type of content or the capability of their handset. This implies that media component(s) in a multimedia message have to be adapted to suit the characteristics of a particular handset. Media transformation is the process of conversion and adaptation of various media objects in accordance with the target handset characteristics. It is done in real time while the target handset is retrieving the multimedia message. The paper focuses on the importance and beneficial role of media transformation in an MMS environment. The techniques currently deployed by the available services are presented. The need for enhanced intelligence at the transformation server is discussed. Schemes for implementing some of the techniques and their effectiveness are presented.
Date of Conference: 23-25 Jan. 2005