Audio and Video Jennifer Noble INF 385E November 13, 2007
Overview • Digital media introduction • Information architecture’s connection • Common vocabulary and technical terms • Design guidelines for implementation • Everyday uses for audio and video • A glimpse into the future of digital media
What is digital media? • Literally, “digital media” refers to any kind of electronic media that works on digital codes. • Examples of digital media include, but are not limited to, cell phones, CDs, digital video, digital TV, e-books, the Internet, video games, etc. • Audio and video can either be “digitized” from analog sources or be created in entirely digital environments.
What is new media? • The convergence of media and computing technologies led to the term “new media.” • Examples include video games, virtual worlds, blogs, wikis, interactive television, mobile devices, and mash-ups. • As these media forms mature, the inclusion of both digital audio and video will become even more essential parts of this type of communication.
What is the connection to Information Architecture? • Audio and video are both great ways to add dynamic aspects to a project. • This type of media is most accessible when identified in some way, either through formal taxonomies or less formal folksonomies. • As Web 2.0 evolves, more user-defined videos and audio tracks will become part of websites. It’s easy to utilize these types of sites now in personal pages thanks to the ease of embedding… and who says you can’t create a better version of youtube.com?
Foundations for Internet Audio and Video • Streaming Media: multimedia that is continuously received and displayed to the audience while being delivered by the content provider. • User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) are the basis of steaming media technology.
More Common Vocabulary • Codec:a codec is a computer program that both shrinks(encodes) large movie files, and makes them playable on your computer. Codec programs are required for your media player to play your downloaded music and movies. • Common codecs include XVID, DivX, MP3, and WMA. • To see how many video codecs are available, check out this page.
Audio and Video Vocabulary Continued • Lossless Compression: type of encoding that allows the exact original data to be reconstructed from the compressed data. • Lossy Compression: type of encoding that discards some information during the compression process; the data that is retrieved during decompression is not identical to the original file.
Media Players • Media players play back multimedia files. • Common media players include: • Windows Media Player • iTunes • Quicktime • Real Player • Flash • DivX Player • For a full comparison of player features, see the Wikipedia article.
What are some general design guidelines to follow? • Make sure that having an audio or video clip is useful to the purpose of your site. If you don’t need it, don’t use it. • Be clear about the technological demands of your media. • Provide a clear link to the necessary software to view your media. • Stick with the more standard formats in order to reach a wider audience. • If you can, offer multiple formats for those visitors who need choices.
Any video guidelines? • Remember there are three primary ways of displaying videos: as a download link, opening in a separate page, or embedded in the primary page. • Try using screenshots of the video content in its description. • Segment long clips; if the file’s too big, it will take too long to load - and where will your audience be? • Think about how your user will access the content.
How about audio guidelines? • Again, summarize the content; the user needs to know what the content is about! • Make sure users have control buttons when the audio is embedded in the page. • Seriously consider whether or not your page REALLY needs a looping midi file in the background. • Estimate download times if you’re just providing links to the content.
How do you embed files on a webpage? • Choose your file format. • Decide how you want to present your files. Do you want people to download the files? Stream them? • Pick a player. Should you allow the user’s browser use its default player? Or do you want to use a flash-based player? You can even use embedded players developed by other websites. • Audio specifics can be found here while video-related answers can be found here.
How I use Internet Audio and Video… every day. • Besides the obvious examples of youtube, what kind of applications do people use regularly? • Social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook support media uploads. Other networking sites center around media sharing, such as Imeem or Pandora. • All forms of media have been translated into Internet terms; you can listen to Internet radio stations, see the latest news online, watch your favoritetelevision shows , and even view movies while waiting for a DVD in the mail.
The Future… is here! • Portable devices like PSPs, iPods, cell phones, and PDAs allow playback of downloaded material. With 3G and other wireless technology, it’s even easier to download with these devices. • Even the Emmys recognize the importance of this content; in 2006, they started giving out an award for Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Content for Non-Traditional Delivery Platforms, the first time a major awards show has recognized original programming on new media platforms.
Current Issues in New Media • The Writer’s Guild Strike has been getting a lot of press, especially since one of the primary issues involves new media development and residuals. • Oprah launches her own YouTube channel, featuring “exclusive video including video I made myself just for YouTube, what’s coming up on my show from time to time we are going to be telling you, and also what happens backstage and during commercials and more.” • The BBC is encouraging UK users to take advantage of multicasting, a way of broadcasting content to multiple end users at one time.
More Resources • Lost Remote TV Blog, Retrieved on November 13, 2007 from http://www.lostremote.com/ • Nielsen, J. (1999). Video and Streaming Media. Retrieved on October 22, 2007 from: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990808.html • Rahman, Syed Mahbubur. Multimedia Networking: Technology, Management and Applications. Idea Group, Inc: 2002 • Solution Watch Blog, Retrieved November 4, 2007 from: http://www.solutionwatch.com/