Multimedia

The term media refers to the storage, transmission, interchange, presentation,
representation and perception of different information types (data types) such
as text, graphics, voice, audio and video. The term multimedia is used to denote
the property of handling a variety of representation media in an integrated
manner. The phrase \'representation media\' is used because it is believed the
most fundamental aspect of multimedia systems is the support for different
representation types. It is necessary for a multimedia system to support a
variety of representation media types. It is also important that the various
sources of media types are integrated into a single system framework. Multimedia
is more than multiple media. Multimedia adds interactivity to the combination of
text, graphics, images, audio and video. Creating your own media is more
interactive than is using existing content, and collaborating with others in the
creation of media is still more interactive. Multimedia systems use a number of
different media to communicate supplementary, additional or redundant
information. Often this may take the form of using multiple sensory channels,
but it may also take the form of different types of visual input - textual,
graphical, iconic, animation and video. Multimedia - the combination of text,
animated graphics, video, and sound--presents information in a way that is more
interesting and easier to grasp than text alone. It has been used for education
at all levels, job training, and games and by the entertainment industry. It is
becoming more readily available as the price of personal computers and their
accessories declines. Multimedia as a human-computer interface was made possible
some half-dozen years ago by the rise of affordable digital technology.

Previously, multimedia effects were produced by computer-controlled analogue
devices, like videocassette recorders, projectors, and tape recorders. Digital
technology\'s exponential decline in price and increase in capacity has enabled
it to overtake analogue technology. The Internet is the breeding ground for
multimedia ideas and the delivery vehicle of multimedia objects to a huge
audience. While we have treated various output media in isolation, it is clear
that interesting issues emerge as they are combined in what is termed
multimedia. In this sense, any computer application that employs a video disk,
images from a CD-ROM, uses high quality sound, or uses high quality video images
on screen may be termed a multimedia application. Such interfaces are often
aesthetically appealing and, where high capacity storage devices such as CD-ROM
are used, can provide effective interactions for the user by acting as very
large databases or storehouses of information with dense but easy-to-use
cross-referencing and indexing. Multimedia is all things to all people. The name
can convey a highly specific meaning or less then nothing, depending on your
audience. In fact, multimedia is a singular mix of disparate technologies with
overlapping application in pursuit of a market and an identity. We can describe
it as the seamless integration of data, text, images and sound within a single
digital information environment. Multimedia finds its worth in the field of
presenting information in a manner that is intuitive and more natural then
traditional means. A multimedia user interface must provide a wide variety of
easily understood and usable media control tools. In addition, information views
need to be integrated with structural views, since the viewing of information
will often alternate moving through the structure by one means or another.

Interactive Multimedia (IMM) is about empowering the user to explore new realms
by a variety of pathways. It is an umbrella term for a range of videodisc,
compact disc and computer-based systems that allow the creation, integration and
manipulation of text, graphics, still and moving video images and sound. The
computer elements of an IMM system have the capacity to: · Store, manipulate
and present a range of information forms · Allow various forms of
computer-based information to be accessed in linear and non-linear ways. ·

Provide graphics overlay and print out screen material. · Enable learners to
work independently. · Provide feedback to the learner Interactive multimedia
provides a powerful means of enhancing learning and information provision. There
are however some cautions which need to be heeded if the full potential of IMM
is to be realised. These can be seen listed below: · Lack of world standards ·

Technical problems · Platforms · Building successful teams · Developmental
costs Interactivity means that the user receives appropriate and expected
feedback in response to actions taken. It is a two-way human-machine
communication involving an end-user and a computer-based instructional system.

Users actively direct the flow and direction of the instructional or information
programmes which, in turn, exchange information with the viewers, processing
their inputs in order to generate the appropriate response