Monday, November 24, 2008
Today's World Wide Web presents an ever-diversified experience of multimedia, programming languages, and real-time communication. There is no question that it is a challenge to keep up with the rapid pace of developments. The following presents a brief description of some of the more important trends to watch.
The Web has become a broadcast medium. It is possible to listen to audio and video over the Web, both pre-recorded and live. For example, you can visit the sites of news organizations and view the same videos shown on the nightly news. Several plug-ins are available for viewing these videos.
At one time, the entire multimedia file had to be downloaded before viewing. Since these types of files tend to be quite large, download times can be lengthy. This problem has been answered by a revolutionary development in multimedia capability: streaming media. In this case, audio or video files are played as they are downloading, or streaming, into your computer. Only a small wait, called buffering, is necessary before the file begins to play.
The Windows Media Player, RealPlayer and QuickTime plug-ins play streaming audio and video files. Extensive files such as interviews, speeches, hearings televised video clips and music work very well with these players. They are also ideal for the broadcast of real-time events. These may include live radio and television broadcasts, concerts, Web-only broadcasts, and so on.
Shockwave and Flash are plug-ins that provide another multimedia experience. They offer the creation and implementation of an entire multimedia display combining graphics, animation and sound.
Sound files, including music, are also a part of the Web experience. Sound files may be incorporated into Web sites, and are also available for downloading independent of Web site visits. For example, try the search engine FindSounds.com. Sound files of many types are supported by the Web with the appropriate plug-ins. The MP3 file format, and the choice of supporting plug-ins, is one of the most popular music trends to sweep the Web.
MP3 files are also the source of podcasts. These are audio files distributed through RSS feeds. A good example of library podcasting can be found on the site of Dowling College, which distributes podcasts of interest to its user community. A variation on the podcast is the vodcast, which is a video file distributed through RSS. This type of multimedia broadcasting is up-and-coming on the Web. (More on RSS below.)
Live cams are another aspect of the multimedia experience available on the Web. Live cams are video cameras that send their data in real time to a Web server. These cams may appear in all kinds of locations, both serious and whimsical: an office, on top of a building, a scenic locale, a special event, and so on.
Posted bySumedh at 11:06 PM