What is Multimedia

What exactly is ‘Multimedia’? You must have heard this term numerous times. Quite simply put, when the computer acts as the brains for a set of equipments that would include both video and sound recorders, so that the user has total control over what is seen and heard then that computer is called a “Multimedia Computer”.

Emergence of Multimedia: When computers were first invented they were single-medium devices without monitors as output devices. They used paper as the output medium. In the mid-seventies we saw monitors becoming an integral part of computers. Though the size of the screen was as wide as a TV screen and the output hazy, nonetheless it proved to be a boon to computer users who could at last see the output on the screen and work on it accordingly. As technology advanced the 80’s saw an integration of sound into the PC. Since the PC was being developed for serious use and not for games, the sound and graphic capabilities were being built on other machines which were mainly for playing games. As a result, the software written for PC’s was mainly business application software. With the predominance of PC’s over a period of time and consequently the abundance, portability and dependability of PC software it was but natural to integrate entertainment related software on to the PC. Another advancement was the technology behind PC’s. Though the basic design remains the same, there have been other barriers like the computer memory which have now been reduced to a ‘non-proble’ issue. Earlier on memory was expensive on PC’s and people used it conservatively. With large memory available on computers these days it was but natural to make them multimedia ready because sound and graphics needs a lot of memory for execution.

Multimedia development requires a total integration of many skills. Depending on your application, this can include audio, digital video, video capture, overlay video, animation, images, peripheral devices, CD-ROMs, and many other software hardware technologies. This requires that your target plateform (operating system) provides you with services to access or integrated these technologies. It also requires that your development environment has the capability to use these features:-

CD-ROM, AUDIO, MIDI, CD AUDIO, DIGITAL VIDEO, MPEG and DVI.

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