ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS...SMIL (That's right... SMIL)

Written by Ronni Rhodes

Did I get your attention? I hope so because we need to talk about SMIL and how its use can turn your streaming media presentations into television-like experiences for your web visitors. SMIL (pronounced "smile") stands for Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language and was developed byrepparttar W3C Synchronized Multimedia (SYMM) Working Group to allowrepparttar 124168 synchronization of audio, video, text and graphics in web based presentations. It was expressly developed to enhancerepparttar 124169 quality of streaming media and can support multiple types of data, compression algorithms, and bandwidth environments. It was designed so that anyone familiar with HTML and some XML commands could employ it to create television like presentations.

Philipp Hoschka, Chairman ofrepparttar 124170 W3C group and editor ofrepparttar 124171 SMIL specifications says: "...the Web lacks a simple way to express synchronization over time, for example, 'play audio file A in parallel with video file B' or 'show image C after audio file A has finished playing.' SMIL enables this type of information to be expressed quite easily, allowing television-like content to be created..."*

I hear you asking yourselves "what does this technospeak have to do with me?" If you create web based advertising and would like to offer your clients a compelling new way to deliver it, this has a lot to do with you. If you're a website owner longing for a means to showcase your products and services with economical elegance, this has a lot to do with you, too.

Why? Becauserepparttar 124172 Web is inherently interactive and visitors can followrepparttar 124173 links imbedded in a SMIL presentation directly to your website. There they can obtain additional information or, more importantly, be taken directly to an order form forrepparttar 124174 product or service described in that presentation. "Users can switch from 'couch potato' mode into interactive mode with a simple mouse click," says Mr. Hoschka.

Let's talk about how you can put SMIL to work for you.

Inrepparttar 124175 entertainment industry? An entertainer wants his visitors to know where and when he'll be performing. Scrollrepparttar 124176 schedule of his club dates next torepparttar 124177 window playing a video clip of his specialty. As he sets his performance schedule for future dates,repparttar 124178 clip can be quickly updated to reflect this. Include some text ads fromrepparttar 124179 clubs involved, give their "live" URL's, and let them help pay forrepparttar 124180 production!

Selling real estate? Photos or slides taken with a digital camera can be coordinated with an audio commentary and text. Tell your potential clients aboutrepparttar 124181 geographic area,repparttar 124182 schools, recreational opportunities and transportation situation. Place commercial messages from merchants inrepparttar 124183 area, with live links to their websites, intorepparttar 124184 presentation and generate additional revenue to defray some ofrepparttar 124185 costs.

Behind the Files: History of MP3

Written by Gabriel Nijmeh

Behindrepparttar Files: History of MP3 by Gabriel Nijmeh

In just over a couple of years,repparttar 124167 MP3 audio file format has caused a big stir and capturedrepparttar 124168 minds and hard drives of millions of people worldwide. MP3, short for Moving Picture Experts Group, Audio Layer III is a compression format that compresses audio files with only a small sacrifice in sound quality. MP3 files can be compressed at different rates, butrepparttar 124169 higherrepparttar 124170 compression,repparttar 124171 lowerrepparttar 124172 sound quality. A typical MP3 compression ratio of 10:1 is equal to about 1 MB for each minute of an MP3 song.

It all started inrepparttar 124173 mid-1980s, atrepparttar 124174 Fraunhofer Institut in Germany, where work began on developing a high quality, low bit-rate audio format. In 1989, Fraunhofer was granted a patent forrepparttar 124175 MP3 compression format in Germany and a few years later it was submitted torepparttar 124176 International Standards Organization (ISO), and integrated intorepparttar 124177 MPEG-1 specification. Frauenhofer also developedrepparttar 124178 first MP3 player inrepparttar 124179 early 1990s, which wasrepparttar 124180 first attempt at developing an MP3 player. In 1997, a developer at Advanced Multimedia Products createdrepparttar 124181 AMP MP3 Playback Engine, which is regarded asrepparttar 124182 first mainstream MP3 player to hitrepparttar 124183 Internet. Shortly after, a couple of creative university students tookrepparttar 124184 Amp engine, added a user-friendly Windows interface and called it Winamp. The turning point was in 1998, when Winamp was offered torepparttar 124185 public as a free music player, and thus beganrepparttar 124186 MP3 craze.

Asrepparttar 124187 MP3 craze mushroomed, it didn't take long for other developers to start creating a whole range of MP3 software. New MP3 encoders, CD rippers, and MP3 players were being released almost every week, andrepparttar 124188 MP3 movement continued to gain momentum. Search engines made it easy to findrepparttar 124189 specific MP3 files, and portable MP3 players likerepparttar 124190 Rio andrepparttar 124191 Nomad Jukebox allowed people to copy MP3 songs onto a small portable device, no different than your Walkman or Discman.

By early 1999,repparttar 124192 first peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing software application was released, one which shookrepparttar 124193 world overnight. Napster,repparttar 124194 killer app that will be remembered like no other MP3-related software was developed by nineteen-year-old university student, Shawn Fanning and his idea for Napster was to allow anyone with an Internet connection to search and download their favourite songs, in minutes. By connecting people, Napster created a virtual community of music fans.

However, along camerepparttar 124195 Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) which as a representative ofrepparttar 124196 major record companies and owners ofrepparttar 124197 sound recordings, successfully battled Napster for copyright law infringement and an injunction was issued that effectively shut down Napster. The RIAA argument is that allrepparttar 124198 free downloading is in breach of copyright laws and therefore promotes audio piracy. As a result, file sharing impacts their ability to sell CDs and make a profit. Despiterepparttar 124199 legal problems that Napster has faced andrepparttar 124200 fact that they are currently not operational, MP3 file swapping and has continued on, and for a number of reasons.

A big reason MP3s have becomerepparttar 124201 de-facto audio standard is thatrepparttar 124202 original patent holders made it freely available for anyone to develop MP3 software. This open source model allowed early MP3 pioneers to develop MP3 software that acceleratedrepparttar 124203 acceptance ofrepparttar 124204 MP3 audio format. MP3 being just one of several types digital audio formats is not necessarilyrepparttar 124205 most efficient or of highest sound quality. Better compression technologies have existed for some time now, butrepparttar 124206 success of MP3 is due torepparttar 124207 relatively open nature ofrepparttar 124208 format. Companies such as Microsoft and Yamaha have developed proprietary formats, but have placed restrictions on how developers can utilize their technology. For example, Microsoft's Windows Media Audio (WMA) file format, which they claim is a higher quality audio format at smaller file sizes, is starting to gain more acceptance as it comes bundled asrepparttar 124209 standard audio format in Windows 98/2000/XP. Microsoft might be able to challengerepparttar 124210 dominance of MP3s or atrepparttar 124211 very least offer a second, popular audio format choice.

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