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The Multimedia Alphabet Soup

AIFF Audio Interface File Format
A Mac format for 8-bit and 16-bit digital audio.
Sound file format, originally for SUN UNIX systems, now also supported on PCs and Macs.
AVI AudioVideo Interleaved
Microsoft's native video for Windows movie format for storing video with audio.
2-D array of pixels representing video and graphics.
A Windows native format for a bitmapped graphics file.
CDI Compact Disc Digital Interactive
A standard developed by Phillips for CDs containing a mix of sound, images and interaction; for players following the Green Book.
CD-R Compact Disk-Recordable
A multi-session CD-ROM recording format; requires a multi-session CD-ROM drive.
Color depth
Number of colors in an image: 8-bit (256 colors), 16-bit (32,768 colors), and 24-bit (16.4 million colors).
Continuous tone
An image made of blended levels of gray flowing into each other without hard delineations.
Software containing instructional material, educational software, or audiovisual materials.
EPS Encapsulated PostScript File
A file format for describing graphics and page segments for PostScript devices.
FM Synthesis
Creating sounds and musical tones by directly manipulating the frequency of the audio signal.
GIF Graphics Interchange Format
A color image transfer protocol developed by CompuServe.
Nonlinear multimedia, with hypertext navigational links, nodes, and controls.
JPEG Joint Photographic Experts Group
A compression algorithm for 24-bit color images, giving compression ratios of up to 20:1 with very little degradation.
LCD projection panel
A device to project a computer screen, used with a high-lumen (very bright) overhead projector.
Intel's compression/decompression for video; Windows, OS/2, some Mac.
ISO 9660
Industry standard multi-platform CD-ROM format.
MIDI Musical Instrument Digital Interface
Industry standard connection for digital control of musical devices.
Changing one image into another by moving corresponding elements rather than by crossfading.
New codec algorithm, particularly in the PC platform.
Spec for a multimedia PC, based on a 486SX.
MPEG Moving Pictures Experts Group
Codec technology for moving images using inter- and intra-frame compression.
NTSC National Television Standards Committee
Composite signal standard adopted by TV and videos in the US and Japan, with a frame rate of 30fps actually 29.97fps).
Graphic format originally used by PC Paintbrush; the newest version supports 8-bit and 16-bit color images; supported by most PC and some Mac graphic programs.
PDF Portable Document Format
A platform independent PostScriptbased file format; part of Adobe Acrobat.
Photo CD
Kodak's technology for storing images on CDs, in five resolutions, for printing, computer display, HDTV display, and thumbnails.
A Macintosh graphic image format; the newest version can be compressed and supports 24-bit color images; supported by most Mac and PC graphic programs.
De facto standard page description language (PDL).
System-level software architecture supporting timebased media, giving a seamless integration of video, sound, and animation. For Macs and Windows.
RGB (Red Green Blue)
The additive colors used by computers to display colors. White is 100% of all three colors, black is 0% of all three.
RIFF Resource Interchange File Format
A file format for multimedia data on PCs; can contain bitmapped graphics, animation, digital audio, and MIDI files.
An object-oriented authoring language and multi-platform standard for multimedia software development.
SCSI Small Computer Systems Interface
A fast general-purpose system interface for connecting computer peripherals such as hard drives, scanners, printers, CDROM drives, and so on.
A standard Mac resource format for sounds; now widely supported.
Story boards
A precise description detailing how each multimedia element is going to be used and screen-by-screen planning of what is available to the enduser.
An older but proven removable data storage technology in 44MB, 88MB, and 200MB 5.5 inch cartridges or 105MB and 270MB 3.5 inch cartridges. Initial cost is much lower than for MO drives.
TIFF Tagged Image File Format
The most portable file format for color, grayscale, and line-art images.
Video CD-ROM
A CD-ROM standard that uses MPEG to store up to 74 minutes of digital video on one CD-ROM.
Video for Windows
Microsoft's system-level Windows software architecture; similar to QuickTime.
Popular format for storing audio files in Windows.
WordPerfect graphic file format.

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