All posts tagged ‘Multimedia’

File Under: Glossary


MPEG, for Moving Picture Experts Group, refers to a group of audio/video compression standards used to create videos.

To view an MPEG video, you need to download (shareware or commercial) client software that plays it. The MPEG group works within the International Organization for Standardization and periodically improves and updates the compression standards.

File Under: Glossary


Multimedia describes the ability of a computer to present and combine text, graphics, video, animation, and sound.

Before the personal computer boom, the word multimedia had a much simpler connotation – paper, glass, and acrylic on canvas was (and is) multimedia. The birth of the web led to a great potential for multimedia, because of the ability of networked computers to deliver this information to all users and to allow everyone to join in the world of multimedia publishing.

File Under: Glossary


A bitmap is a mapped array of pixels that can be saved as a file.

Both JPEG and GIF are bitmap graphic formats. Currently, the only other way to store an image is as a vector graphic. You can’t easily scale bitmap images, but you can control every single pixel and thus achieve many effects impossible in vector graphics. Conversely, vector formats offer advantages of scalability and lower bandwidth requirements. When you compress a bitmapped image, you suck out some of the visual information.

To bypass this, the portable network graphics format (or PNG, pronounced “ping”) was designed to store a single bitmap image for transmittal over computer networks without losing this data.

File Under: Glossary


Defined in 1992 by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), multipurpose internet mail extensions, or MIME types, are a specification for formatting non-ASCII messages so that they can be sent over the internet.

When a browser comes across a file in an HTML document with a MIME extension (like .gif), the browser knows to display that file as an image. Many email clients also support MIME, enabling them to send and receive embedded media via the internet mail system.

File Under: Glossary

Bit Depth

Bit depth describes the file size of an image by orders of magnitude.

When wrangling with file size versus image quality, it’s often important to minimize the bit depth of an image while maximizing the number of colors. To calculate the maximum number of colors for an image of a particular bit depth, remember that the number of colors is equal to two to the power of what the bit depth is. For example, a GIF can support up to eight bits per pixel, and therefore can have as a many as 256 colors, since two to the power of eight equals 256.