Multimedia

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.

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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 within the context of the programme. The basic elements of human interface design are now well established. The user, not the computer should initiate all actions. The user accesses and manipulates the various elements of the product by clicking on buttons, icons or metaphors with a mouse or other pointing device. Interface design should be consistent where appropriate and differentiated where needed so the user can rely on recognition rather than recall.

The user should always be given immediate auditory or visual feedback. User activities should be broken into small steps where tasks are complex. The interface design should be aesthetically pleasing, appropriate to the content and suited to the learner’s culture and prior knowledge. For designers of multimedia the main design issues are how to integrate the media and which media to use for presenting different kinds of information. The development of metaphorical interfaces, direct manipulation, graphical user interfaces (GUI’s) and recent advances in the field of virtual reality allow users to control the system by manipulating objects such as icons, windows, menus and scroll bars.

In well designed Interfaces, these objects are so selected and represented that users can intuitively deduce their meaning and their function in the system from prior ‘everyday knowledge’ and experience. Hypertext is a system for presenting active text. The key feature from the learner’s point of view is that the text has many nodes and links, which allow them to determine their own routes through the material. Hypertext has many applications, including use as a presentation medium for information management and browsing, providing access to information that the public needs (such as tourism information) and for various activities. Hypermedia combines aspects of hypertext and a variety of multimedia used in some combination. The branching structure of h …