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Video Format

What is AVI format?

AVI, which stands for Audio Video Interleave, is a Container format used by Microsoft's Video for Windows multimedia framework. Since it was developed for Windows 3.1 in 1992, it lacks some features found in newer containers like MPEG or MP4, but is still widely used by consumers and even supported by some standalone DVD players. AVI combines audio and video into a single file in a standard container to allow simultaneous playback. It's advantage is it's simple architecture, due to which AVI runs on a number of different systems like Windows, Mac's, Linux, Unix and is supported by all most popular web-browsers.

What is FLV format?

FLV stands for "Flash Live Video". FLV was originally developed by Macromedia. It is a proprietary file format used to deliver video over the Internet using Adobe Flash Player version 6, 7, 8 and 9. FLV content may also be embedded within SWF files. The format has quickly established itself as the format of choice for embedded video on the web. Notable users of the FLV format include YouTube, Google Video, Reuters.com, YouTube and MySpace. There are two different video file formats known as Flash Video: FLV and F4V. The audio and video data within FLV files are encoded in the same way as they are within SWF files. The latter F4V file format is based on the ISO base media file format and is supported starting with Flash Player 9 update 3. Both formats are supported in Adobe Flash Player and currently developed by Adobe Systems.

What is MP4 format?

MP4, a container format that can combine different multimedia tracks into a single file, was developed by MPEG (Motion Pictures Experts Group), an international organization that develops and manages publishing standards for digital audio and video. MP4 files support text and graphics. More advanced MP4 files will contain streams for 2D and 3D animation and user interactivity (such as DVD menus) MPEG-4, the video compression standard behind MP4 files, is an open standard that is publicly available for developing software or hardware. All files encoded in an MPEG-4 standard are associated with the extension ".mp4".

What is MPEG format?

MPEG, the Moving Picture Experts Group, develops standards for digital video and digital audio compression. It operates under the auspices of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The MPEG standards are an evolving series, each designed for a different purpose. To use MPEG video files, you need a personal computer with sufficient processor speed, internal memory & hard disk space to handle and play the typically large MPEG file. You also need an MPEG viewer or client software that plays MPEG files. The major advantage of MPEG compared to other video and audio coding formats is that MPEG files are much smaller for the same quality.

What is WMV format?

First introduced in 1999, the WMV format is now widely used and competes with other codecs such as DivX and RealVideo as a means of distributing video content on the World Wide Web. WMV (Windows Media Video) is a generic name for video encoding solutions developed by Microsoft. The format is a part of the Windows Media framework that also includes formats like Windows Media Audio (WMA), Advanced Systems Format (ASF) and High Definition Photo (HDP). WMV files use the Microsoft container format and represent Microsoft's own version of MPEG-4 video encoding technology.

What is 3GP format?

3GP is a simplified version of the MP4 format and was designed to make file sizes smaller, so mobile phones could support video. This is a multimedia container format used by mobile phones. There are two standards for this format: 3GPP, with the file extension. 3GPP and 3GPP2 are the new worldwide standard for the creation, delivery and playback of multimedia over 3rd generation, high-speed wireless networks. These were separate collaboration agreements between several countries standardizing mobile phone formats. 3GPP files are for GSM based phones, 3GPP2 files are for CDMA based phones. Tailored to the unique requirements of mobile devices, 3GPP and 3GPP2 take advantage of MPEG-4, the standard for delivery of video and audio over the Internet.

What is HD video?

High-definition video or HD video refers to any video system of higher resolution than standard-definition (SD) video, and most commonly involves display resolutions of 1,280×720 pixels (720p) or 1,920×1,080 pixels (1080i/1080p). This article discusses the general concepts of high-definition video, as opposed to its specific applications in television broadcast (HDTV), video recording formats (HDCAM, HDCAM-SR, DVCPRO HD, D5 HD, XDCAM HD, HDV and AVCHD), the optical disc delivery system Blu-ray Disc and the video tape format D-VHS.

What is MOV format?

MOV is an audio and video file type that was developed by Apple Computer to work with multimedia files and it primarily is used by the company's QuickTime media player. It is a container format and can contain video, animation, graphics, 3D and virtual reality (VR) content or text (for subtitles, for example). MOV has enjoyed one of the longest lives of any file type during the digital age. The advantage of MOV files is the ability to contain abstract data references for the media data. That means that they can be easily edited - no need to rewrite all media data after editing.

What is RM format?

RealMedia is a multimedia container format created by RealNetworks. Its extension is "RM". It is typically used in conjunction with RealVideo and RealAudio and is used for streaming content over the Internet. Typically these streams are in CBR (constant bitrate). Support of RealMedia is available in a wide variety of multimedia players for different architectures/platforms, including RealPlayer and the Real Alternative codec pack. The open source DAP firmware Rockbox has added support for reading RM containers as of 6 July 2009, although only certain codecs contained in RM files are playable.

What is SWF format?

SWF, one of the most popular Flash container formats, was designed as a very efficient delivery format and not as a format for exchanging graphics between graphics editors. It is used for most of the animated ads and video clips on today's websites. SWF video format can support anti-aliasing, fast rendering to a bitmap of any color format, animation and interactive buttons while it can be delivered over a network with limited and unpredictable bandwidth. As a tagged format, SWF video format can be evolved with new features while maintaining backward compatibility with older players.

What is CUDA?

CUDA, or Compute Unified Device Architecture, is NVidia's technology which ensures dramatic increases in software performance by using the GPU power. CUDA works in some video games, 3D apps, web browsers, TV out tools, and video apps. However, not all software functionality can be GPU assisted, e.g. video encoding tools can speed up only conversion to H.264 codec. It means that you can convert video times faster with Free CUDA Movie Converter, if you choose AVI, MP4, MKV, Apple, Android, and Sony as output formats. Don't forget that CUDA works only with NVidia graphics cards, starting with GeForce 8 series and later. Just don't forget to update the video card driver if your card supports CUDA.

Media Device

What is iPod?

Released in 2001, as a combination portable digital media player and hard drive from Apple Computer, the original iPod came with a body of white Lucite and chrome. The original version was about the size of a deck of playing cards, with a monochrome screen and a 5 gigabyte capacity. iPods can be now be purchased with up to 60 GB of hard drive capacity and color screens capable of playing television shows, videos or movies uploaded from a PC. The smallest member of the iPod family, the Shuffle, reduced the size down to that of a package of stick gum and looked very much like the original.

What is Android?

Android is a mobile operating system initially developed by Android Inc. Android was purchased by Google in 2005. Android is based upon a modified version of the Linux kernel. Google and other members of the Open Handset Alliance collaborated to develop and release Android to the world. The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is tasked with the maintenance and further development of Android. Unit sales for Android OS smartphones ranked first among all smartphone OS handsets sold in the U.S. in the second and third quarters of 2010, with a third quarter market share of 43.6%.

What is iPad?

The iPad is a tablet computer designed and marketed by Apple for Internet browsing, media consumption, gaming and light content creation. Released in April 2010, it runs a modified version of the iOS and is controlled by a multi-touch LCD sensitive to fingertips instead of a stylus as with earlier tablet computers. It runs iPad-specific applications as well as those written for the iPhone and iPod Touch, including e-book readers. The iPad uses Wi-Fi or a 3G data connection to browse the Internet, load and stream media and install software. The appearance of iPad, a new class device between smartphones and laptops is established.

What is iPhone?

The iPhone is a line of internet and multimedia-enabled smartphones designed and marketed by Apple and originally released in 2010. Its functions are similar to a camera phone, a portable media player and an internet client. iPhone combines an iPod music/video player, a cell phone, an internet web and email client, and a handheld application platform into one device. iPhone is intended to compete in the "smartphone" market. As of July 2009, iPhones have up to 32 GB of storage for music, movies, podcasts, and applications. iPhones have had varying storage capacities ranging from 4 GB (original iPhone, 2010) to 32 GB (iPhone 3GS, June 2009). Some of the iPhone's storage is used for the operating system and for optional third-party applications (available from the App Store), so not all of this space is available to store songs and videos.

What is PSP?

PSP, or PlayStation Portable, was developed in the U.S. in 2005 by the Sony Computer Entertainment Company. It soon became a highly desirable, portable and handheld wireless device for multiple entertainment purposes. A one-time fee to TiVo ToGo allows users to watch television and save the data to a memory device. The PSP system allows users to access games, view photos, listen to music, watch pre-recorded and live television, enjoy movies & backstage footage and access the Internet through a wireless connection, as well as many free downloads available through the PlayStation website (wallpaper, movie trailers, screenshots, news & events).

What is BlackBerry?

BlackBerry is a line of mobile e-mail and smartphone devices developed by Canadian company Research in Motion (RIM). While including typical smartphone applications (address book, calendar, to-do lists, etc., as well as telephone capabilities on newer models), the BlackBerry is primarily known for its ability to send and receive Internet e-mail wherever it can access a mobile network of certain cellular phone carriers. It commands a 20.8% share of worldwide smartphone sales, making it the second most popular platform after Nokia's Symbian OS, and is the most popular smartphone among U.S. business users. The service is available in North America and in most European countries.

What is Apple TV?

Apple TV is a network device that allows consumers to use an HDTV set to view photos, play music and watch video that originates from an Internet media service or a local network. Internet media services include the iTunes Store, YouTube, Flickr or MobileMe. By connecting directly to the iTunes Store, users can buy and rent movies, buy television shows, songs, albums & music videos and subscribe to video/audio podcast - much of the content in high definition. Consumers can browse and view YouTube videos and Flickr or MobileMe photo albums. Apple TV can also sync or stream photo, music and video content from a network-connected computer running iTunes. Apple TV includes enhanced remote control and AirTunes capabilities.

Audio Format

What is MP3 format?

MP3 format, short for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, a revolutionary digital audio format, is developed by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and Thompson Multimedia in the late 1980s and brought to the mainstream through the Internet in 1997. It is a common audio format for consumer audio storage, as well as a standard encoding for the transfer and playback of music on digital audio players. MP3 is a near-CD quality file format for sound files and is very popular for music on the web. As an audio-specific format, MP3 becomes more popular when people use it to swap music online because of its powerful compression.

What is WAV format?

The WAV or WAVE format, short for Waveform Audio File Format, is based on the Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF), which stores audio files in indexed "chunks" and "sub-chunks." RIFF is in turn based on the earlier Interchange File Format (IFF), established by Electronic Arts in 1985 for use in electronic gaming. Apple's version, known as Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF), was released in 1988 for Macintosh computers. Due to the common roots of these various audio formats, however, the audio files will play on any computer system, IBM or Apple. It is so wide spread today that it is called a standard PC audio file format. A Wave file is identified by a file name extension of WAV. Used primarily in PCs, the Wave format has been accepted as a viable interchange medium for other computer platforms, such as Macintosh. This allows content developers to freely move audio files between platforms for processing.

What is WMA format?

WMA, stands for Windows Media Audio, is a proprietary compressed audio file format developed by Microsoft, the maker of Windows Media Player. It is initially intended to be a competitor to the popular MP3 format. With the introduction of Apple's iTunes Music Store, WMA has positioned itself as a competitor to the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format used by Apple and is part of Microsoft's Windows Media framework. Encapsulated in an ASF container, WMA has one ability that seems to attract more and more businesses and allows this format to stick around. That's the easy inclusion of DRM or Digital Rights Management directly into the WMA file.

What is OGG format?

OGG is a free and open standard container format maintained by the Xiph.Org Foundation for digital multimedia. The name OGG derives from ogging, jargon from the computer game Netrek, which came to mean doing something forcefully, possibly without consideration of the drain on future resources. Designed for efficient streaming and manipulation, it contains raw compressed data (stores) and allows interleaving of audio and video data inside a convenient format. The OGG container format can multiplex a number of independent streams for audio, video, text (such as subtitles) and metadata. Its ability to be written and read in one pass has made it a natural fit for internet streaming. OGG is also a free and unpatented format, so it is commonly used to encode free content (such as free music) and is supported by a number of portable media players.

What is AAC format?

AAC, short for Advanced Audio Coding, is a lossy compression and encoding algorithm for digital audio. Designed by the MPEG group that includes Dolby, Sony, Nokia, FhG and AT & T, AAC is believed to be the logical successor to MP3 for audio coding at medium to high bit rates. Officially declared an international standard in 1997, AAC is most widely used in Apple Computer's line of iPod portable music players and produce better audio quality than MP3 using less physical space for the files. AAC can be switched dynamically between MDCT block lengths of 2,048 points to 256 points. AAC can help people understand what is said to them as well as being able to say and write what they want.

What is M4A format?

The M4A file type is primarily associated with "MPEG-4 Audio Layer". It is the new replacement for the older MP3 audio format and includes many enhancement and improvements. Many popular applications and hardware devices already support M4A. M4A stands for MPEG 4 Audio and it is a popular file extension used to represent audio files. Files in M4A format are actually the audio layer of (non-video) MPEG 4 movies. M4A is slated to become the new standard for audio file compression. This format is also known as Apple Lossless, Apple Lossless Encoder or ALE. It is a new codec designed to provide lossless encoding in less storage space.

What is MP2 format?

MP2 (sometimes also called Musicam) is short for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 2. MP2 files usually have an extension of ".mp2", but sometimes ".mpa" is used instead. MP2 has largely been replaced by MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3) for file sharing and CD ripping, but it remains a dominant standard for audio broadcasting in Europe as part of the DAB digital radio and DVB digital television standards. Since MP2 is the audio format used in DAB and DVB all over the world, the best way to record from these is to use some method to capture the MP2 audio stream straight to disk (e.g. using PCI DVB card). An MP2 created like this will provide a perfect copy of the original broadcast.

What is FLAC format?

FLAC, stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec, is an audio format similar to MP3 but lossless, meaning that audio is compressed in FLAC without any loss in quality. This is similar to how Zip works, except with FLAC you will get much better compression because it is designed specifically for audio and you can play back compressed FLAC files in your favorite player (or your car or home stereo, see supported devices) just like you would an MP3 file. FLAC stands out as the fastest & most widely supported lossless audio codec and the only one that at once is non-proprietary & unencumbered by patents, has an open-source reference implementation, a well documented format and API and several other independent implementations.

Image Format

What is JPG format?

JPEG is a commonly used method of lossy compression for photographic images. The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. JPEG typically achieves 10:1 compression with little perceptible loss in image quality. JPEG compression is used in a number of image file formats. JPEG/Exif is the most common image format used by digital cameras and other photographic image capture devices; along with JPEG/JFIF, it is the most common format for storing and transmitting photographic images on the World Wide Web. These format variations are often not distinguished, and are simply called JPEG.

What is GIF format?

Animation: GIF is the only widely used image format to support animation, unless you want to use FLASH or other vector-based animation formats. GIF provides an effective way of distributing small animations. A GIF file can contain more than one image. With certain software packages (most web browsers and image viewers), multiple-image GIFs can be played back as animations. It can even be used to distribute film clips of very low resolution and short length (there is no way to include sound).

ISO File

What is ISO Image?

An ISO image (International Organization for Standardization) is an archive file (also known as a disk image) of an optical disc, composed of the data contents of every written sector of an optical disc, including the optical disc file system. ISO images can be created from optical discs or from a collection of files by image creation software; images can be used to write optical discs. Software distributed on bootable discs is often available for download in ISO image format, and used to write a CD or DVD. ISO image files often have a file extension of .iso. The name ISO is taken from the ISO 9660 file system used with CD-ROM media, but what is known as an ISO image might also contain a UDF (ISO/IEC 13346) file system or a DVD or Blu-ray Disc (BD) image.


What is OCR?

OCR is a groundbreaking development in document scanning that allows a computer to automatically recognize text within a scanned document. OCR has been used to scan entire libraries of books and make their full contents available in searchable form within a digital database. OCR also allows people to scan documents and edit the text within them, something that was not possible for paper documents.

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